Fritos Are the Most Underrated Chip and They Deserve Better

Fritos. They’re always the last kind of chip left in that giant Costco variety pack you see at barbecues and catered lunches. It’s rare you find them in a bowl at a party, or at any social event, really. Why are Fritos always an afterthought or a backup plan? Is it because people don’t like them? Or find them boring? Or simply because every other type of chip in that variety pack (and the chip aisle) comes in more brightly colored packaging and is coated in some sort of flavor powder? I have a theory. 

I believe most people don’t like Fritos simply because they haven’t had them in a while. I think we all got so used to fighting over the Cheetos and Doritos and Sour Cream & Onion Lay’s as kids that we just started believing those were better options. It’s a simple supply and demand issue: The scarcity of the other more “interesting” chips made us want them more. Because there are always Fritos available, we forget they are actually bomb, and should by no means be considered a last choice. I believe there is power in the plain salted chip, and that applies to Fritos. No fluff, no flavor powders, no Mesquite BBQ. Just oil, salt, and corn, my three favorite food groups.

Seriously, I’m tellin’ ya, try Fritos as an adult. Just try them! For me. Not because I have some vested interest in boosting Fritos’ business (I would guess Frito-Lay is doing alright monetarily), but because they are aggressively good. What else can you eat that embodies the taste of pure unadulterated corn and packs more salt than the Pacific ocean in a chip the size and shape of an acrylic nail? Not to mention that Fritos, unlike a lot of store-bought tortilla chips, actually taste fried (fitting, given their name). They almost seem to gush oil when you take a bite, creating a greasy, salty explosion that makes these lil’ chips as addicting as they are satisfying. Also, they are small, so you get more of them in a bag and you can eat them by the handful. Or you can use them to top hotdogs, throw them as a crunchy layer on top of chili, and more. What other chip can make all those claims?

Now I’m not telling you to throw out your Cool Ranches or your Sour Cream & Cheddars or your Chile Limóns. Alls I’m sayin’ is GIVE FRITOS A CHANCE! GIVE FRITOS A CHANCE! GIVE FRITOS A—

No one’s joining in? That’s fine. I didn’t want you to anyway, whatever. Harumph.

If there’s one thing I want you take away from this, it’s that, next time you see one of those infamous chip variety packs, consider choosing Fritos. If you are in any way a fan of the flavor of fried corn and salt, you won’t be disappointed. Their awesomeness may surprise you. And if not, the stakes are low—you can always go back and choose a different chip variety. I won’t be mad, just disappointed. And, hey, more Fritos for me!

About the Author

Jessica Block

Jessica Block is a freelance contributor to Sporked, a comedian, a baker, a food writer, and a firm believer that Trader Joe's may just be the happiest place on earth. She loves spicy snacks, Oreos, baking bread, teeny tiny avocados, and trying new foods whenever she can. Also, if you give her a bag of Takis she will be your best friend.

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  • counter-theory: Fritos are always overlooked not because of any kind of missing nostalgia, but because of simple form factor.

    to preface, I love Fritos. I think they’re the most unique-tasting mainstream chip out there. But I, like most others, still find myself gravitating toward the more “classic” chips like Ruffles and such when I’m at a party or BBQ.

    my theory is that this is due to Fritos’ form factor. most chips, as you know, come in that standard wide, flat, thin shape. Fritos, on the other hand, are much smaller; narrow and short. and I hate to say this to Fritos but a Lays chip does so much better at the functions it needs to perform when it’s called into duty.

    if this makes more sense: picture a bag of potato chips and one of Fritos. you’re at an outdoor BBQ, you’re walking around chatting and you’ve got a plate with a Sloppy Joe in your hands. you need a chip that will a) rest comfortably on a plate without sliding around everywhere, b) rest comfortably on a Sloppy Joe without falling out, and c) easily scoop up a mound of dip. which bag are you reaching for?

    this, unfortunately, is where regular potato chips are vastly superior to Fritos. the form and shape of a Lays chip is engineered to be perfectly suited for said BBQ/grillout duties. Fritos, on the other hand, are just too small and short to hold up to the task. they’ll slide around all over the place; they’ll be dropping out of a sandwich like flies; and you can’t scoop dip with them without applying some extra gumption. we as the consumers have subconsciously noticed this; hence, we gravitate toward the classic potato, leaving the Frito morosely in the dust.

    again, nothing against Fritos. they’re awesome, and it’s sad that they’re always brought to the wrong niche and subsequently left behind. they just need to discover their proper place in the world.

    apologies for the ADHD rant.