Corn Chips & Tortilla Chips Difference | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Corn Chips & Tortilla Chips Difference | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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FOOD HOLIDAY: Corn Chips Vs. Tortilla Chips

January 29th is National Corn Chip Day.

Before THE NIBBLE, we thought that corn chips and tortilla chips were synonymous. They aren’t, as you’ll see below.

The best-known corn chips in America are Fritos, which were created in 1932 by Charles Elmer Doolin of San Antonio.

Dolan was the manager of the Highland Park Confectionery in San Antonio. As the story goes, he found a local man who sold deep-fried corn snacks and had 19 retail accounts. He purchased the recipe, the accounts and a handheld potato ricer for for $100, which he borrowed from his mother.

Doolan and his mother perfected the recipe in their kitchen, and Doolan created the Frito Corporation. [Source]

In 1948, Doolin invented Chee-tos. In 1961, a merger between The Frito Company and H.W. Lay & Company, makers of potato chips in 1961 to form Frito-Lay. In 1965 Frito-Lay became a subsidiary of The Pepsi-Cola Company.

Here are more photos from the early years of Fritos, on

Corn chips and tortilla chips are made from the same basic ingredients, but in very different ways.

The corn for both undergoes a process known as nixtamalization, in which the corn is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution such as lime water.

It is then hulled and ground into corn meal (masa). It is here that the two snacks diverge.
Corn Chips

  • Corn chips are made from corn meal which has been mixed with salt and water.
  • The dough is then extruded (shaped by pushing hrough a die, like pasta) and fried.
    Tortilla Chips, A.K.A. Taco Chips

  • Here, the corn meal is mixed with water and salt, but the dough is shaped into rounds that are then cooked on a cast-iron or other heavy skillet.
  • The tortillas are then sliced into triangular wedges and fried into crispy chips.
  • Tortilla chips were invented in the late 1940s in Los Angeles. Here’s the history of tortilla chips.
  • National Tortilla Chip Day is February 24th.

      Fritos Corn Chips
    [1] Celebrate National Corn Chip Day with a bowl of corn chips and a cold beverage of choice (photos #1 and #2 © Frito-Lay).

    Bag Of Fritos
    [3] Fritos, America’s original—and most famous—corn chips.

    [3] A vintage back of “truly krisp” Fritos (photo © Flashback Dallas).



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