March 23, 2015 is National Chip and Dip Day!
Did you know?
Not so long ago, Jan Petersen wrote in to ask, “When did dips for chips first become popular?” Jan’s seemingly Superbowl-minded question may seem like a version of the old conundrum about chickens and eggs, at least as regarding which came first. But in this case there’s an answer.
If you look through cookbooks before the 1950s, you won’t find any mention of dips, although you will happen upon recipes that seem to channel them. In the appetizer section of the 1947 edition of Fannie Farmer’s The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, there exist cocktail spreads intended for use with canapés or hors d’oeuvres devised from crackers. Farmer also includes a paragraph on a Mayonnaise Cocktail Bowl, which was something like our contemporary crudités: a bowl of mayonnaise, flavored with mustard or Worcestershire sauce and surrounded by raw cauliflower florets, canned artichoke hearts, cooked or canned asparagus tips, cooked or canned shrimp, even lobster pieces. However, there’s no mention of chips—and certainly nothing resembling the modern notion of dips as big bowls of sauces into which guests dipped savory or salty snack foods.
The Oxford English Dictionary asserts that the earliest appearance of the word “dip” in print, at least in our desired sense of the word, came in 1960, in this telling sentence in James Kirkwood’s book There Must be a Pony!: “We were up to our necks in dips: clam dip, cheese dip, mushroom dip.” Obviously, something occurred between 1947 and 1960 that changed the word, and the substance it named, from nonexistent to all-too-common.
Did you know?
- It takes 10,000 pounds of potatoes to make 3,500 pounds of potato chips.
- Dips can be salsa, guacamole, cheese, hummus, olive dip – anything can be made into a dip.