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Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Tortilla Chip Day


Tortilla chips are made with yellow, white and
blue corn. Riding the whole grain
nutrition wave, they’re also made in
multigrain blends. Photo by courtesy Garden
of Eatin’.


On the heels (perhaps too close on the heels) of National Corn Chip Day (January 29th), February 24th honors one of America’s favorite snack foods, the tortilla chip.

Surprisingly, tortilla chips are not a traditional Mexican food. They were first popularized and mass produced in southwestern Los Angeles in the late 1940s by Rebecca Webb Carranza, who, with her husband, owned a Mexican deli and tortilla factory.

Misshapen tortillas were rejected from the tortilla manufacturing machine, and she turned them into chips—cutting them into triangles, frying them and selling them in snack-size bags.

Needless to say, they sold well, and became a popular appetizer in Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants in California. They expanded beyond California in a big way in the late 1970s, with the growth of Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants, replacing corn chips like Fritos as America’s favorite corn chip snack.

As we mentioned in our post on corn chips, the main difference between the two types of chip is that a tortilla chip is cut from a whole tortilla, and a corn chip is corn meal processed into a particular shape.


  • See our favorite gourmet tortilla chips.
  • Make this tortilla soup recipe—a favorite Mexican dish, blending chicken, corn and tortilla chips.
  • Enjoy one of our favorite guacamoles with your chips, Yucatan Guacamole—not only delicious, but organic and kosher.
  • ind our favorite salsas in the Salsas and Dips section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.
  • Before they were tortilla chips, they were tortillas. Read about our favorite tortillas, from Tumaro’s.

    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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