Kids and adults alike love to indulge in tortilla chips. You probably crunch your way through tortilla chips all the time – but did you know that these triangular snacks have their own holiday? National Tortilla Chip Day is celebrated this week on February 24th! Celebrate with some nachos, a breakfast of chilaquiles, or just curling up on the couch with the whole bag and a movie. Why are these snacks worthy of their own holiday? Well, here are a few facts that might shine some light on the versatile tortilla chip.
Tortilla Chips Are:
1. Fiber rich – Corn tortillas have more fiber than their softer, flour counterpart. Depending on the size and brand of the corn tortilla, the fiber amount changes, but you can estimate about six grams of fiber per two ounces of tortilla. That’s a significant amount of your daily fiber intake! Of course, take into account that many tortilla chips are fried and therefore not as healthy as the tortilla from whence they come (look to #5 for how to make your own healthier tortilla chips).
2.Great for hearty breakfasts – Tex-mex breakfast faves migas and chilequiles both use tortilla chips as the base of a tasty dish. Pair with eggs, your favorite salsa, and get ready to start your day off with a whole lot of “yum!”
3. Part of a world record nacho plate – In 2012, folks at the University of Kansas used 765 pounds of tortilla chips to make record-setting, 4,689 pounds of nachos! That is a whole lot of nachos to eat.
4. Triangles because they were once round – It stands to reason that the iconic shape for the tortilla chip comes from necessity. When you cut equal chips from a whole, round tortilla, you get triangles. Don’t worry, there are plenty of brands that offer tortilla strips if you are looking for something different!
5. Easy to make at home – Make your own tortilla chips from the comfort of your own kitchen. Using a cutting tool (a pizza cutter or regular cutting knife will work just fine), make equal triangles by dissecting the tortilla. Or if you prefer the tortilla strips, just cut lines down the tortilla. You can make your own chips as big or as small as you like, and out of any type of tortilla you prefer! If you want to go traditional, fry these babies up in some hot oil. If you want a healthier chip, place them on a baking sheet, stick them in the oven at 350 degrees, and monitor closely.
6. Simply known as corn chips outside of the USA – In places like Europe and Australia, corn chips and tortilla chips are one in the same.
7. Were an afterthought in the early 20th century – Many restaurants served tortilla chips in order to use leftover tortilla dough and tortillas. See #8 below…
8. An invention of Disneyland – Of course Disney didn’t invent the tortilla chip, but one of the best-known brands of this crunchy snack, Doritos, sprung from a restaurant/tortilla factory in Disneyland USA! Extra tortillas were fried and seasoned, and grew extremely popular – so much so that in 1966 Frito-Lay took notice and marketed the chips to the rest of the country with plenty of success.
9. A mainstream, American fave – Tortilla chips have come a long way in the last few decades. No longer are they considered a food of ethnic origins. You’re likely to find a bag of these chips in many homes and somewhere on the appetizer menu of most restaurants.
10. Are the new potato chips – Is it overreaching to declare this a fact? Because today’s Americans are buying just as many (and some sources say more) tortilla chips as potato chips. They’re somewhat healthier, and you can use them in meals. When was the last time you tried to make nachos with a potato chip?