The Great Big Post of Why

So you may be wondering why I like making Onion Dip from scratch but not necessarily potato chips from scratch. Fair question.

I suffer from being a foodie. (One day we'll have our own telethon...oh, wait, we do. It's called the Food Network.) Whenever I taste anything, I generally look for that item's "weak link" on my palate. Too salty? Vegetal off-tastes? Inappropriately sour (or sweet) levels? Then I proceed along two tacks:

1- How can I make this INFINITELY better? and
2- Has someone already done this?

A great example is ketchup. My default as a kid was Heinz's except I always found it too sweet and around age 27 or so, I actually started making my own, because, frankly, I don't do corn syrup and Heinz's is screaming with it. Then one day, Heinz started making an organic ketchup that had, not commodity-quality corn syrup, but cane sugar. Cane sugar, being the subject of protectionism (don't get me started) is a lot more expensive and therefore they use less of it and therefore the ketchup isn't nearly as sweet and I am happy as a pig in effluvia and so is my long suffering wife because I no longer need to make ketchup. So that was good right there.

Same thing, sorta, with potato chips ("crisps" for the rest of the Anglosphere). When it comes to plain potato chips, the elite members of the very uppermost echelons of the snack food industry have finally decided to relieve me of the onerous task of making my own. In fact, ANYTHING deep fried is wildly onerous and bordering on dangerous...because who likes having a gallon of some flammable lipid at 375F (200C) with two boys running around? Never mind the vaporized peanut oil molecules that go into some frenzied aerosolized diaspora only to resettle in the least convenient places.

So when Cape Cod Chips actually produced a chip that actually tasted of potato (Shock, gasp, stunned silence), I was ripe for the fall. When I was a boy I fried potatoes and when I became a man I put aside potato chip frying things.

"Ah," I hear the Macchiavellians in the crowd say "but what about flavored chips."

Joke's got you covered, dude!

Here, just because you meant to ask (never mind that you didn't) are the rest of my chip favorites (Only the plain Russet chips from CCC merit my onion dip, though) :

Solea Olive Oil Rosemary Potato Chips (how they got the big crystals of sea salt to adhere, I have no idea)
Terra Chips Taro w. Red Pepper
Terra Chips Yukon Gold Onion & Garlic
Zapp’s Potato Chips, Spicy Cajun

Now, if I feel really insane I'll fry some chips so I can give them some sort of unusual flavorings (jerk, curry, etc.)

Now you know,



daysgoby said…
Ever do sweet potato chips? (Look at me, feeding the man's obsession...Sorry Mrs Joke!) Very, very good with curry.
Joke said…
Hmmmm. Sweet potato and curry...

julia said…
You should try making sweet potato fries. Serve them with gently warmed REAL maple syrup. (I prefer the dark amber, but I'm a maple syrup junkie.) Try those. You can thank me later.

Curried poato chips. Damn you, Joke. Now I'm going to have to go buy a deep fat fryer because that sounds too good to pass up.
Joke said…

Sadly, down here in this corner of the Republic it's well-nigh impossible to get Grade B maple syrup (my fave) so I must make do with Grade A amber.

I'm thinking the curried sweet potato chips ought be in the waffle configuration to maximize the crunch, because SPs are not as crunchy as regular potatoes.

And you needn't get a deep-fryer. My modular JennAir cooktop came with one, but before then I was just using a big ol' stockpot with a clip-on (oh, shut UP Badger) thermometer.

halloweenlover said…
I don't even like potato chips that much, and you have me salivating here. I need to make that onion dip. Yum!
julia said…
You can order it online. If you have a Whole Foods, they may have their brand, too. It's called 365.

Up here, they're tapping the trees. Makes me want to stop and have a little sip from every bucket each time I pass those blue tubes and white pails. It's a shame they don't still do it the old-fashined way, with a metal spigot and shiny pail.

I'm going to have to make waffles this weekend, I can tell.
Poppy Buxom said…
Joe said:

I suffer from being a foodie.

I believe there's a typo in the above sentence. I think it should read:

You suffer from MY being a foodie.

As for deep-fat frying being a pain--of course it is. But how else are you going to cook turkey for 50 people?
Joke said…

Of course you're right. I've long suffered from being a foodie. Now it's your turn.

Badger said…
Hey! I didn't say anything! I may have been THINKING, "I can't believe he doesn't affix the thermometer to the pot with a four in hand." Or I may have been thinking whatever it is that a nice Catholic boy like yourself may have thought I was thinking. But I didn't SAY anything.

Except for just now.

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