Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Team Goes on a Field Trip

The whole sales team flew up to Ohio yesterday to tour our potato chip factory. We wanted to join our chipmates at the plant to learn more about the chip-making process. Coming from Atlanta we were unprepared for that gray drizzle of a winter they endure up there. But you can' t beat the beauty of the farmlands and the occasional Amish farmer trotting by behind his shiny black horses.

I tried to take a photo of a horse and buggy but just when I was about to snap the picture, the owner and his wife appeared. They were dressed in all black and I wondered if they have to wear that color in the Summer. That could get uncomfortable. They were unhappy about my camera. I felt embarrassed and grew very hot, which was a nice change in that frigid temperature.

The factory was fascinating. I don't know what it is about watching warm salted chips come off a conveyor belt but we found ourselves mesmorized. And very hungry. Our tour guide let us taste chips out of a freshly packed bag. They were almost hot. It was like eating all the best bits of a savory potato.

Our factory is squeaky clean. I love that. Our chipmates actually stop at a de-lint station to remove any tiny thread or unpleasantry (like a stray hair) from their bodies. We are about to purchase a little vacuum room where our team will walk into a bubble type space that will suction off any unwanted strays. It will not work to remove unwanted boyfriends.

We watched the potatoes being unloaded from the farmer's trucks. They pack them in there loose, no boxes or containers or anything. Just loads and loads of potatoes. They scoop them out by weight and from the time a potato is scooped and dropped into the cleansing water to the cutter to the fryer to the bag eleven minutes had passed. ELEVEN MINUTES from the truck to the bag. Now that's a fresh potato chip.

We all left with bags of fresh chips to happily munch on the way home.

Cheers, Abigail, The Potato Chip Girl


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