As ironic as it sounds, Carol and Martin Sidor are indebted to the low-carb craze for the success of their potato farm.
A few years ago, they weren’t sure they could keep their 150-acre, three-generation Long Island potato farm. The low-carb craze was in high gear, and potato sales had taken a nosedive. But Yankee ingenuity (and a little sunflower oil and salt) proved an irresistible recipe that allowed this 94-year-old business to stay in the family. They bought a massive, old-fashioned kettle cooker, revved the thing up, and created North Fork Potato Chips.
Today, Carol and Martin split the business: he farms; she makes the chips. Business is booming, thanks largely to the chips’ great taste. Carol uses only sunflower oil. It costs more, but it keeps the chips light and a lovely brown. In the beginning, Carol delivered the chips in her car. Now North Fork Potato Chips are sold in big-name, local grocery stores, and by phone and e-mail. With no added preservatives, the chips have a fairly short shelf-life, but they taste more like potatoes. For more information about North Fork Potato Chips, visit www.northforkchips.com.
By Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, food writers in Colebrook, Conn.