Friday, February 24, 2012

National Tortilla Chip Day

My goodness, if you live in the Southwest, or anywhere in America for that matter, tortilla chips are a crunchy, delicious treat that should be on everybody’s favorite snack list.

Tortilla chips are made from corn tortillas cut into wedges and then fried to perfection. Light, crunchy and just salty enough, they consist of simple ingredients: corn, vegetable oil, salt, and water.

These delectable chips are the result of an unexpected, but brilliant, innovation by Rebecca Webb Carranza. During the 1940s, she and her husband ran a Mexican delicatessen and the El Zarape Tortilla Factory in Los Angeles. They were among the first to automate the production of tortillas. The machine often produced misshapen tortillas and Carranza decided to try and use them instead of throwing them away. She took the less-than-perfect tortillas, cut them into triangles and fried them up, selling them for a dime a bag. Carranza received a Golden Tortilla Award for her contribution to the Mexican food industry in 1994.

For decades, tortilla chips have been a nationwide sensation, served alongside salsa, chili, guacamole, and a variety of other appetizers. In fact, Nachos, which are tortilla chips topped with a variation of shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, etc. (said to have been created by Ignacia Anaya in 1943) account for 30% of all tortilla chips used in American restaurants.

The Doritos brand was the first toasted tortilla chip launched nationally in the U.S. in 1966. There are, however, many local brands, especially in the Southwest, that are considered to be “more authentic” and therefore more desirable for salsa and guacamole dipping.

Grab some of those delicious, crunchy tortillas and celebrate the day!

1 comment:

  1. Darn it...I missed National Tortilla chip day! Now I'll have to make up for it tonight. I hope you at least celebrated.