The first known reference to a food similar to the modern potato chip was in a recipe book, The Cook’s Oracle, by William Kitchiner, published in 1817. The recipe (number 104) is called “Potatoes fried in Slices or Shavings”. Sprinkled with “a very little salt”, they are the first known ready-salted crisps. Kitchiner’s book was apparently a best-seller on both sides of the Atlantic, and his recipe was referenced in two subsequent recipe books: Mary Randolph’s Virginia House-Wife (1824) and in N.K.M. Lee’s Cook’s Own Book (1832).
A similar recipe appeared in an 1825 book of French Domestic Cookery, by “An English Physician”.