Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Great American Potato Chips and Corn Chips

One of the most popular snacks in America is the potato chip, what people in the UK would call 'crisps'. This is often a cue for hilarity when a Brit is traveling the States and asks for a plate of chips!
America has mastered the art of producing potato chips with thousands of varieties available and when you throw in corn chips too - the same sort of product only made, rather unsurprisingly, from corn, not potato - the range available is mind boggling.

Potato chips are basically thinly sliced potato that has been deep fried, making them crispy. Generally they are then salted to add flavour, but the evolution of the potato chip has led to a huge number of different flavours, created by adding seasoning, herbs and spices.

More Potato Chips


Corn chips, on the other hand, are made from corn meal and either fried or baked and are thicker than potato chips, though often heavily salted in the same way for flavour. Both are eaten on their own or sometimes with dips and salsas, commonly as snack food as part of party buffets or family and friend "get togethers". Corn chips can also be used as an ingredient of sorts. Frito Pie, popular in the South West of America, is made by combining corn chips with chilli, for example.

What is driving the continued success of these snacks is the innovative introduction of newer and more interesting flavours. Primarily either salted or cheese-flavoured, you can now buy potato and corn chips in tastes that range from sour cream and cheese through barbecue and pizza to bacon ranch and even ketchup and fries! More international flavours being introduced include sweet chilli, honey soy chicken, wasabi, paprika, lime and pepper and mozzarella, tomato and basil.

Both potato chips and corn chips are generally purchased in bags providing one serving, with bigger bags available just for those party occasions, and are often all referred to as 'potato chips'. For the purposes of this article, we will do the same. Popular brands of potato chips include Cheetos, available as Cheetos Crunchy, Cheetos Puffs and Cheetos Crunchy Flaming Hot, Lay's Potato Chips ina wide variety of flavours and Fritos Corn Chips. Herr's is another big brand in the potato chip market, offering a wide range of flavours themselves. Newer and increasingly popular brands to enter the market include Pringles, TGI Fridays and even Burger King.

While countries outside the USA have their own brands of potato chips - or crisps as in the UK, where Walkers is probably the best well known brand (and is a regional brand of Lay's, by the way!) - the US versions are becoming more and more popular. Demand for American food in the UK and Europe is on the up and you can now buy Cheetos, Fritos and other American branded potato and corn chips there, alongside popular US candy, sweets, chocolate and soft drinks - and that despite the fact that these brands have launched their own UK and European products! There really is nothing like the real thing.

More Potato Chips


Ben Greenwood is writing on behalf of American Soda, importers of American potato chips like Cheetos and Fritos.
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