According to the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, Americans ate roughly 1.5 million pounds of potato chips in 2011 alone. And though the chip is consistently the country’s favorite snack-food year after year, the most common complaint among consumers is that brands frequently pack their bags with too much air and not enough fried, potato-y goodness.
And while that “air” is actually nitrogen—and there for a pretty good reason—the geniuses behind stackable chips like Pringles have found a way to maximize space for food while minimize crumbs. Now, thanks to a video released by the Science Channel last week, we can finally see how those crispy, hyperbolic paraboloid-shaped chips get made.
The method doesn't involve dicing and frying natural spuds like a more typical potato chip recipe. Instead, the chip calls for a mixture of water, potato flakes, and a dash of cornstarch. From there, the solution faces four tons of pressure in order to create one long, flat "potato sheet." After a rotary cutter carves the sheet into rows of oval chips, a concave mold helps give each piece it's stackable shape.
While the 20 minute process might not sound too appetizing, there’s something oddly soothing about watching it all unfold.