I Still Can’t Eat Just One


There have to be 8 gazillion types of potato chips out there, and I like them all. Even the faux chips of Pringles or Munchos. I mean, it’s hard to go wrong with potatoes, fat and salt. Sure, adding some extraneous flavoring is OK (although I might not really want to try seaweed flavored chips). I also really like the kettle-cooked chips, with their extra heft and crunch (and often a darker color).

But I really like the simple, thinly sliced, plain chips.  With lots of salt, of course.

I grew up eating Troyer Farms potato chips, a small, grower-owned local brand from northwestern PA.  I think I loved these chips more for the location of their factory — right across the street from a XXX drive-in theater that you could catch a glimpse of the screen from the road — than I did for the chips themselves.  They’re thin and salty and slightly sweet, but they were also unbelievably hygroscopic — they pulled in moisture a day or two after being opened, so the chips almost felt wet.

And then I tried Wise chips, which were huge salt bombs.  But they were ultra-thin, and oh so tasty.

But now, when I really am craving potato chips — and these days, with a reduction in my caloric intake (I’ve dropped 30 pounds, thank you very much), I crave potato chips a lot — the one chip I long for is plain ol’ Lay’s Classic. They used to be referred to as Lay’s, but like anything that stands the test of time, they had to distinguish the original from the newer variations — thus, the “Classic” designation.

Very thin chips. Light blonde color. Just enough grease and salt.

All the other types of chips will satisfy my regular need for salty snacks, but I’ll always have to find a way to work some Lay’s in there, now and then.

I’m not sure if it’s the familiarity of something I’ve eaten for my entire life or if they really are better than other chips. No, of course they’re not better. As they say on the ultimate salty-snack website, taquitos.net, “They’re average — kind of greasy but not too greasy; kind of tasty but not too tasty.”  And still they’re mine.


9 Responses to I Still Can’t Eat Just One

  1. Tyler says:

    Being the junkie that I am, nothing is better than a plain potato chip. I am partial to Utz – their regular chips are less greasy, have less sodium, and offer more potatoe flavor than Lay’s do.

  2. Matt says:

    Wow, Troyer Farms. I am partial to Utz, Martin’s, and Middleswarth Bar-B-Q myself. I’m not sure if it’s a consequence of growing up in PA that most of my favorite junk foods are made there, or that PA just happens to have some of the best junk food.

  3. Varmint says:

    Yeah, I’m not saying Lay’s are better than other plain chips. I like Utz’s, too, but I always am drawn to that yellow and red packaging.

  4. Minibites says:

    What about Maui Chips? My lucky friend who lives in Hawaii brings a case to me when she visits once a year and I hoard them, ripping open a bag in the middle of the night, and secretly eating them so as not to have to share. Or Miss Vicki’s Vinegar and Sea Salt Chips? Worthy of “chip hound” praise!!!

  5. Best I’ve had lately (potato chip-wise, anyway) is Potato Finger. But here’s the frustration: Although the company is based in Atlanta, the chips are actually made here in Charlotte. But they haven’t been able to get shelf space at any stores in Charlotte. So they’re made here, but not sold here. They sent me samples, though, and I have to say, those are mighty fine chips. So if anyone spots a reliable local source, please let me know.

  6. MB says:

    These aren’t made from taters but you have to try the True North pistachio chips. The calories are really low for the amount of chips you eat. They have them at Lowe’s Foods. If you want to add a little punch to them add some of the Laughing Cow low calorie cheese. Yummy!

  7. Lisa -- says:

    Here is the ultimate chip companion:

    1 bar Phillie cream cheese, softened
    1 container sour cream
    1 bunch scallions, cleaned and sliced thin (green included)
    1 large jar dried beef, chopped fine (this can be found in the tuna aisle)

    Mix all ingredients; chill for 30 minutes or so to let the flavors meld.

    You need a hearty chip for this, but oh my gawd it’s good. But the combo of this simple yet fabulous dip married to the chips — heaven.

    Also fabulous on a baked potato or as a schmear on a bagel.


  8. Maura says:

    Matt, PA has the best junk food. In fact, in the past, Central PA has been named Snack Food Capital of the World by (I think) The International Snack Food Association.

    Middleswarth FTW.

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