A line of chips made from the best-available ingredients. Photo courtesy Cabo Chips.
If you’re having tortilla chips on Cinco de Mayo, celebrate with a better chip. We received a sample of Cabo Chips, and the toughest part has been restraining ourselves so there are still chips left on May 5th.
Cabo Chips were born during a beach vacation to Cabo San Lucas in Baja, Mexico. Created by a college student who set out to make “the best,” these are artisan chips. The company actually grinds whole corn kernels, makes tortillas, and cuts and batch-fries them into the chips.
The seasonings are top drawer, too: fresh lime juice, sea salt, powdered mango (not “mango flavor”), organic cinnamon and sugar. You’ll taste the difference: fresh and natural.
There are currently four flavors:
Original, with delicious corn flavor.
Blue Corn, ditto, with a hint of lime.
Churro, with a light touch of organic cinnamon and sugar, for a sweeter chip that can be paired with ice cream for a riff on buñuelo.
Mango Lime, tangy, fun and, we believe, the only mango chip out there.
Ancient Grain launches in June, a complex blend of teff, chia and amaranth with sea salt and lime.
The line is certified kosher by KSA, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan and whole grain.
If you can’t find Cabo Chips locally, you can buy them online at CaboChips.com, in 1.5-ounce snack packs and 5.5-ounce bags.
WHY BLUE CORN IS BETTER FOR YOU
Long ago, we bought our first bag of blue corn chips because we were attracted to the color, and then the naturally sweeter flavor. Much later, we learned that blue corn was better for you than white or yellow corn.
Blue corn-based foods were originally developed by the Hopi natives of Arizona and New Mexico, who bred the blue corn. Blue corn is actually regular yellow corn that has a high level of anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that give the corn (and blackberries, blueberries, etc.) its blue hue.
Blue corn contains 20% more protein and has a lower glycemic index than white corn.
It is a more complete protein source than white or yellow corn.
The anthocyanins metabolize toxins, inhibit DNA damage, reduce inflammation, metabolize carcinogens and more.
THE HISTORY OF TORTILLA CHIPS
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, so Ms. Carranza turned them into snack chips. She cut them into triangles, fried them and sold them in snack-size bags.
Needless to say, they sold well and became a popular appetizer in California’s Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants. They expanded across the U.S. in a big way in the late 1970s, with the growth of Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants. They replaced corn chips like Fritos as America’s favorite corn chip* snack.
And yes, they made their way to Mexico.
*The main difference between the two types of chip is that a tortilla chip is cut from a whole tortilla. A corn chip is corn meal that is processed into a particular shape.
Why is blue corn better for you? See the explanation above. Photo courtesy Cabo Chips.
OUR TOP 10 FAVORITE WAYS TO USE TORTILLA CHIPS
Some are obvious, some are new:
With dips: guacamole, salsa, queso and others.
With soups, as a garnish or on the side instead of crackers.
As a base for canapés, topped with cheese, meats, spreads, etc.
Crushed or pulsed into a gluten-free crust or coating for chicken and fish or pork†.
Crumbled into omelets, used instead of tortilla strips with migas, or served as
an egg dish side with salsa.
As a casserole topping.
As a meatloaf filler or in stuffing.
As a salad garnish.
Nachos and nacho dogs: hot dogs topped with shredded cheese, salsa and crumbled nachos.
With ice cream, especially sweeter flavors; or plain chips with a drizzle of honey.
Have we left out your favorite uses? Let us know!
†A great use for the broken pieces! Shake ‘n Bake was created to use Kraft’s supply of cereal crumbs.
‡Pulse in a food processor into a flour.