Snyder of Berlin: The Potato Chip of Appalachia

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Photo: Bag of Snyder of Berlin BAR-B-Q chips
Photo: Bag of Snyder of Berlin BAR-B-Q chips

I grew up in the home of a displaced Mountaineer and with this distinction came a variety of oddities that set us apart from the rest of our community.

Unlike my classmates, my family drank “pop” and my dad’s vocabulary was filled with colorful adjectives few individuals in our flatland Southern community had ever heard.

For the most part, these peculiarities became a source of embarrassment as I grew older and attempted to “be cool”, but there was one thing about my family’s “foreign” Appalachian heritage that I always appreciated very much — Snyder of Berlin.

None of our neighbors or my classmates had ever tasted the indescribable goodness that is Snyder’s BAR-B-Q potato chips.

Long before the Internet and ability to order chips online, individuals in the predicament my family was in had only a single option to purchase these chips — drive to the places they were sold.

Though the chips may be found on just about every corner in West Virginia, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Kentucky, they’re as rare as gold (and far more tasty) in the heart of Dixie.

Every trip “back home” to my mom and dad’s native homeland of West Virginia would end with us in a gas station or crowded grocery store stocking up on bags of both Snyder of Berlin’s BAR-B-Q chips as well as plain chips.

It’s been a long time since I was a young child sitting in the back seat of my family’s station wagon winding our way back to the Southland with a loot of the North’s tastiest potato chips in tow, but even today, when I see that red brick on the covers of Snyder bags my mind is instantly transported to the days when everything was made right simply by a bag of Snyder of Berlin potato chips.

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