DarkPotatoChips.com is a big fan of Zerbe’s dark potato chips … read on to discover why!These chips, known as Zerbe Darks, are legendary near their home base in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where they’ve been produced since 1945 …
Zerbe’s Potato Chips are located in Adamstown, PA. The small town is located just north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, about an hour east of Harrisburg and just a few minutes southwest of Reading …
The secret to Zerbe’s dark chips is the use of russet potatoes, which offer a slightly higher sugar content. The chips themselves, as you can see by the photo, are darker than most other takes on dark potato chips. Zerbe Darks offer a distinctive curled shape and an unforgettable crunch much like a kettle cooked chip, which they are …Zerbe’s is a small Pennsylvania potato chip company, and in addition to their prized Zerbe Darks, they offer regular potato chips and a variety of flavored chips.
The regular chips are packed in distinctive green and white bags, while Zerbe Darks are packed in clear packaging to show off their distinct dark brown color.
How Zerbe Darks Are Made
As mentioned, it all starts with a russet potato. Russets typically offer a slightly higher sugar content than regular potatoes. This higher sugar content makes all the difference …
Zerbe’s Dark Potato Chips Win “Darkest Chip” Award …Click Here
When the russets are sliced and cooked, the sugar content caramelizes and the cooked chip turns a deeper shade of brown. The biggest difference between Zerbe’s and other chips is Zerbe’s aren’t cooked in oil like regular chips, but lard. Cooking in lard accounts for the hearty crunch. These chips offer a fuller, richer flavor than any other types of dark potato chips we’ve tried and if you enjoy sampling dark chips all across the spectrum, give Zerbe Darks a whirl. We’re sure you’ll love them just like we do!
Exclusive Interview – Melissa Smith, Marmel Industries
Melissa Smith of Marmel Industries (co-owner of Zerbe’s Potato Chips along with her husband Marshall Smith) graciously answered a few questions for the readers of DarkPotatoChips.com … our questions are in bold italics below and Melissa’s responses are below each question:
Thanks for doing this brief interview, Melissa. We understand Zerbe’s has been around since 1945. What is the origin of the name Zerbe?
“Zerbe’s was the last name of the founder and original owner. Eugene “Gene” Zerbe. He brought his product to Green Dragon Farmers Market some time in 1945. He was a welder by trade.”
“After he returned from the war, he made his own cooking kettle’s and ran a production facility in Denver, Pa. Since then the business has been passed through several different owners, including a local Amish family who took the brand back to its roots. Zerbe’s has always been produced from Lancaster County, PA. Most recently, Marmel Industries purchased the business in 2017, expanding the business & relocating to an upgraded facility in Adamstown, Pa.”
You’re one of the few potato chip manufacturers in the country who make dark potato chips. How long have Zerbe Darks been around and what prompted the company to make this product?
“Sometime in the mid to late 90’s Zerbe’s realized they had something special! Customers had so many requests for “a bag of darks” they couldn’t keep them in stock.”
“At that time you could really only get them in the summer, when the potatoes were just right. They were hand picked out of regular batches. So, they searched around for a Russet Potato that would deliver that dark, crunchy chip all year round! “Zerbe Darks” as the locals call them are now produced year round.”
Can you tell us a little bit about the retail distribution of Zerbe Darks? It looks like distribution is primarily local in scope, correct?
“Zerbe’s is Local to Lancaster County,Pa. You can find us primarily in farmers markets, Amish road side stands, bulk food stores, convenience stores and local Grocery retailers. We distribute mostly in Lancaster, Lebanon, & Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.”
We bought Zerbe Darks for the first time and they’re fantastic! Can you tell us a little more about the company? With so many small snack manufacturers being swallowed up, it’s refreshing to see a long time small independent company.
“Zerbe’s is a small family owned and operated business. Each bag of chips is still hand seasoned, packed and sealed. Our chips are kettle cooked in “Lard” not vegetable oil.”
“Lancaster County Pa., known for it’s Amish population, is a diverse community full of old “secret recipes” passed down from one generation to another. It is the snack food capital of PA. A visit to one of our many farmers markets or roadside stands can tickle your taste buds with some of the best fresh made snack foods available today!”
Finally, if dark potato chip fans don’t live in the Lancaster County area, how can they get their hands on a few bags of Zerbe Darks?
“Our chips are available for online purchase at Marmelindustries.com.” (Note: A new dark potato chip flavor has recently been introduced: Vinegar & Salt Zerbe Darks!)
Many thanks to Melissa Smith of Marmel Industries for spending a few moments with us. If you like dark potato chips, you’l be thrilled with Zerbe Darks, they’re absolutely fantastic!