Home Today Is Texas Made Tortilla Chips And Salsa The State’s Official Snack In 2003

Texas Made Tortilla Chips And Salsa The State’s Official Snack In 2003

National Tortilla Chip Day, a day set aside for the crunchy snack loved by millions across the nation, is observed annually on February 24th.

  • Even though tortilla chips have always been considered to be a Mexican food, known as tostados, they were first mass-produced in Los Angeles in the late 1940s.
  • It is said that the triangle-shaped tortilla chips were made popular by Rebecca Webb Carranza as a way to use the misshapen tortillas that were rejected from the automated tortilla manufacturing machine that she and her husband used at their Los Angeles deli and tortilla factory.
  • Carranza realized that once the discarded tortillas were cut into triangle shapes and fried, they became a popular snack.  She then sold them for a dime a bag at the El Zarape Tortilla Factory.  Carranza received the Golden Tortilla Award in 1994 for her contribution to the Mexican food industry.
  • Another inventor of tortilla chips was probably Jose Martinez of San Antonio, Texas. According to the book Taco USA, Martinez invented mass-produced masa, which is what tortillas are made out of. He found himself with lots of extra masa, so he decided to cut it up and toast the pieces into chips.
  • The United States is one of the primary markets for tortilla chips. 
  • Another favorite dish made with tortilla chips is nachos.  The dish was first created around 1943 by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya. Nachos are tortilla chips served with melted or shredded cheese, and often additional toppings are added, such as meat, salsa, refried beans, tomatoes, diced onion, lettuce, olives, jalapenos, guacamole and sour cream.
  • In Mexico, Tortilla Chips are called tostados, toasted chipsOutside of North America they are called “corn chips”
  • Doritos brand is the first toasted tortilla chip launched nationally in the U.S.(1966)
  • Doritos were invented in Disneyland back in the mid-1960s. Frito-Lay operated a restaurant there called Casa de Fritos. A salesman noticed stale tortillas were being thrown out, so he suggested frying them. A hit was born! Frito-Lay started selling the chips nationally in 1966.
  • Tortilla chips are considered the most fattening item sold in Mexican restaurants with as much as 2 grams of fat per chip.
  • The word tortilla comes from the Spanish word “torta” which means round cake.
  • In Guatemala and Mexico, there are three colors of maize dough for making tortillas: white maize, yellow maize and blue maize (or black maize).
  • The typical Mexican family of four consumes more than 2 pounds of tortillas each day.
  • Today, tortilla chips enjoy being one of the most popular snack foods, only behind crackers and potato chips.
  • Offered in small Mexican restaurants catering to migrant workers, they remained a niche market until World War II, when Charles Elmer Doolin “invented” corn chips.
  • The name, tortilla, comes from the Spanish word “torta”, meaning a round cake or bread. These rounded buns are used in Mexico to create delicious, multi-layered sandwiches that contain everything from steak or black bean paste to chicken, grilled onion and avocado.
  • Variously called sopaipillas, pupusas, and tlayudas, these corn flatbreads are very much like French crepes both in preparation and in purpose.
  • In 2006, Frito-Lay made the first “game day” connection, launching its “Crash the Super Bowl” competition. Ever since, some football fans have not been able to sit down to watch said game until a bag of tortilla chips and a bowl of salsa – or a plate of nachos – are readily available.
  •  Taco Bell made its debut in Downey, California back in 1962, created by a man named Glen Bell whose customers called his tortilla-wrapped products “tay-kos.” There are now over 6300 in existence that all offer various tortilla and nacho combinations and flavors.
  • Amazon sells 51 different brands of tortilla chips on its site
  • The state of Texas made tortilla chips and salsa the state’s official snack in 2003.


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