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.