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May 26th, 2004

Ruffled v. Non-Ruffled

A popular snack at parties is the “chip and dip” combination. For years before the invention of dip, people were wondering what they could put on their chips. And likewise, when dip was invented people tried to come up with things that could go in the dip (besides fingers and spoons.)

But there is one thing I know for sure: ruffled chips are perfect for dip. No doubt. No contest. So when we ran out of ruffled chips, and I had a hankering for some chip and dip, I was a bit confounded. My wife suggested using the Lay’s Deli Style (ie, slightly thicker than normal) chips we had on hand. I did, and I will admit that while it works… it’s just not the same.

So those of you enjoying dip with your flat chips, you’re all wrong.

Posted in Food and Beverage

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday May 26, 2004 -- 12:32:32 pm
For a person who requires a chip to do something other than taste good by itself, there really is no question--ruffled chips are superior. It's really a simple matter of formology. The addition of ridges, ruffles or corrugations makes many materials stiffer and able to support more load, without any increase in the material's thickness being necessary. The best illustration is to hold a sheet of paper in your hand by one of the shorter edges. It will sag. Now, put a slight bow in it or crease it down the longer axis and hold it again. Sticks straight out, and may even support a penny placed on the far edge.

This simple concept is a marvel of engineering and it works for concrete, steel, aluminum, and, chips.

So, while the deli chips will support more load (dip) than flat chips, this is because of an increase in material--the chip is made thicker to support the dip. Meanwhile, a ruffled chip can be the same thickness as a regular flat chip, but still support the same load as the thicker flat chip. It's efficiency in action! I love it.

And here's another thing that formology does that is best appreciated in chips--it makes them crunchier! Chips are all about the crunch. While I suppose corrugations may make sheet metal and concrete crunchier, I just don't care.

That's why the best corrugations, ruffles, are found in chips--because you can enjoy the added stiffness, enhanced load bearing capability, and extra crunchiness.

The ruffled chip--an engineer's dream.

On the other hand, Ruffles do not seem to add to flavor at all. That's the thicker chip's prime advantage. I think it's mainly because they hold more of the yummy yummy grease without getting sogged as a thin flat chip does.

My over all hands down favorite chip? Zapp's (I'm happy to finally be able to share something with other Pingers, from whom I've discovered the magic of the Chillow and other consumer items)

Zapp's do not make a corrugated chip. But they make the best tasting chip, in my opinion. I discovered them while living in New Orleans, where they are a local favorite and are even stocked at the Subway sandwich shops there.

You can order them by calling 1 800 Hot Chip or, just search on line. They are thick chips, but they usually aren't flat either. They are often curled, but not ruffled. Nevertheless, the curling achieves all the prized attributes of the ruffled chip, but the thickness does the ruffled chip one better--it adds great flavor.

Hands down, this is the best chip ever, and comes in some exotic flavors. Personal favorites: Cajun Crawtaters or Bee-Licious Honey Mustard. Sour Cream and Creole Onion, Gator Taters (Dill) and the regular plain ones are really great as well. I recommend getting a sixteen bag box and trying all flavors.

Once in a while, you get a flavored bag without much flavor. I think sometimes the flavor machine runs out of flavor dust and no one in the factory knows about it. So consistency of product has been an issue at times, but overall the consistency is very high.

While I'm getting all nostalgic for great New Orleans treats, the best beer to drink with any kind of Zapp's chip is Abita beer. This is another New Orleans favorite. I haven't looked for it since I've moved away, just because I've sort of stopped drinking beer now that I don't often have Zapp's to eat. I've heard that it is available outside of New Orleans, usually if the beverage store owner has been to New Orleans and tried it. It soon makes the "must have" list.

Okay, I think I'm going to order some Zapp's now--and see if Abita can be gotten here in CT somehow.

Thanks again Daily Ping, for reintroducing the joy of the quest into my life! I now have a purpose for today!



FROM: towinlovinit
DATE: Wednesday May 26, 2004 -- 3:10:30 pm
After wasting my time reading the above, I now have a hankering for chips. Thanks for the extra pounds that you will have put on me. I have successfully done without any chips and dip for nigh on to 2 months now until I read your lengthy reading.

Now that I have the chips with dip, I can't find any clams. I have to have clams with my dip and chips.

Now look what you have done. I am more stressed out now because I don't have any clams. gee!



FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday May 27, 2004 -- 12:05:57 am
Chips are my heroin. Here in PA, most are made with lard. Mmmmm, larrrrrrrrrrrrrd.



FROM: Kate
DATE: Thursday May 27, 2004 -- 8:58:43 pm
I love a good chip 'n' dip combination, but I also love my tortillas and salsa. Do you think they will ever come out with ruffled tortilla chips?



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Friday May 28, 2004 -- 3:10:44 pm
I'm eaating chiops now! Mmmmmm soo gfood!

Sstyupiod grewasy kyboia4rd!



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