Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fritos: The Most Underrated Chip

Everybody has their favorite chip or chip flavor(s) and nobody selects Fritos. Why? What Fritos lack is an overpowering taste, they will never be confused with Salt and Vinegar chips (which are mathematically the worst chip in existence). But they do have more flavor than either regular potato chips or tortilla chips. And this is where their greatness lies.

In casual dipping communities most “dippers” recognize the aforementioned plain chips and choose based on dip. The cheese based dips go with tortilla chips, sour cream based dips go with potato chips, and au jus based dips go with roast beef sandwiches. Fritos can be used as a replacement with tortilla chips as they both fall under the corn umbrella. EXCEPTION: DO NOT USE FRITOS WITH SALSA. Any person that does not use Fritos automatically with a seven layer dip is a fool. The one thing that Fritos always had against them was that they were too small for efficient dipping. But along came the Frito Scoop. No chip innovation has changed the landscape of the industry as significantly as this one. I understand that the tortilla chip also has a scoop variation but c’mon.

Now there are some retorts that I can expect from the readers of this essay (article?) and I will attempt to disprove at least a few of them. The first one is, “Can’t you simply take a chip with more flavor and use that to dip? Let’s use Nacho Doritos as an example.” Okay, personally I would have used Cooler Ranch Doritos as the example but we’ll go with this. No, you can’t. The nacho flavor is too powerful; the chip has essentially been pre-dipped. Secondly you could only do this by yourself, you would look ridiculous.

Another potential weakness that has been found in my Frito argument is that some find them too salty. A survey I conducted for this essay (short story?) resulted in 33% of the participants citing excessive saltiness as a reason to dislike Fritos. Name a chip that is not salty. It’s what they do, they do salty. Per Frito-Lay’s site Frito-Lay’s Classic Potato Chips contain 180mg of sodium per serving size while regular Fritos contain only 110mg of sodium per serving. Both have a serving size of 1oz. Dagger. Looks like his argument wasn’t based on much (sodium).

Basically what it comes down to is that Fritos can hold their own with the flavored chips while leading the way in the dipping class. They combine form and function and offer us a hybrid option. In this economic climate a chip with multiple uses is more important than ever. We didn’t even get to the Frito Chili Pie…


Shannon said...

Well, this is good with Fritos.

DUH! Frito's have their own dip too. It's like some weird industry... frito-lay.

Shannon Mattingly said...


GoodPointJoe said...

Fritos are fine, but without a dip, they're essentially the worst chip ever. They don't go nearly as well with onion dip as even a standard potato chip, and don't even get me started on kettle-cooked potato chips (which are better than both regular potato chips and Fritos in every way).

I'm not a big fan of the cheese- or avocado-based dips, so it's possible you've got a contingent of supporters over there. But when it comes to chip flavor, the Frito is far behind.