Troy Warren for CNT #Celebrations
NATIONAL CORN CHIP DAY
On January 29th, grab the queso or salsa and celebrate National Corn Chip Day. Recognized each year across the country, the day encourages corn chip lovers to whip up their favorite dips and toppings.
The corn chip or friotes are not to be confused with the tortilla chip. Both are made from cornmeal which is baked or fried in oil.
Differing steps for processing the corn separate the tortilla from the corn chip. The corn for a tortilla chip is soaked in a lime-water solution that breaks down the hulls. This process creates a crisper, milder chip. A corn chip is sturdier with a stronger corn flavor. Both were popular snacks originating in Mexico.
Filler and Doolin
There are two men credited with patenting and marketing the corn chip in the United States. First, Isador J. Filler often ate a tostada (a hard corn tortilla with toppings) while traveling in San Antonio, Texas as a salesman. He struck on the idea of making them in rectangles and marketing them as a chip. In 1932 he patented his concept.
Around the same time, Elmer Doolin was also traveling in San Antonio and was enjoying friotes. According to the story, he paid $100 for the recipe. Experimenting in his home until he created the ideal chip, Doolin then started selling them from the back of his Model T Ford. When he began mass-producing them under the name of Frito Corn Chips, they were a hit.
In 1945, Doolin came to an agreement with Herman Lay (of potato chip fame) to distribute Doolin’s Fritos across the country. The two companies merged in 1959 after Doolin’s death.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCornChipDay
- Create a topping buffet with everyone’s favorite toppings. Include jalapenos, cheese, olives, queso, seasoned shredded pork, chicken or steak, onions, tomatoes, sour cream, and guac.
- Dip it! Some of you are looking for hot and spicey while others like it light and fresh. Get the cheese dipping, layers, melty, herbaceous, flavor party started.
- Pack them up! Sneak corn chips into your loved one’s lunch bags. Add cheese slices or a container of their favorite dip. Stick a corny note to it. You know. Something like this: Chip, chip, hooray! It’s National Corn Chip Day! (It even rhymes.) This one is a real winner: It’s nacho average holiday, #NationalCornChipDay. Now if this doesn’t just guac their world, we don’t know what will.
- We love your ideas, too. So be sure to chip in by using #NationalCornChipDay when posting to social media.
Keep exploring the day by discovering more chip and dip combinations to enjoy.
NATIONAL CORN CHIP DAY HISTORY
We have been celebrating National Corn Chip Day since at least 2002. However, we’ve not been able to identify the organizer of the celebration.
Corn Chip FAQ
Q. Are corn chips gluten-free?
A. Yes. Corn chips and potato chips are gluten-free. However, you will also want to make sure they are not made where flour and other gluten products are made to avoid cross-contamination.
Q. Can I make corn chips at home?
A. Yes. Fresh corn chips are delicious, too! You can cut corn tortillas into strips or triangles and bake or fry them until crispy.
Q. Is real corn used in corn chips?
A. Yes. Cornmeal, made from ground corn, is used to make corn chips.