Is there a universally disliked potato chip? I don’t think so. As soon as someone condemns a chip from society some maniac treats the proclamation like a bat signal to come and rescue their beloved snack with every ounce of irrationality and wrongness at their disposal. Well, call me a maniac, because I’ve seen my bat signal, and I’m here to defend my chips. Yesterday whomstever was operating The Clock Out™️, a fine digital content website ran by esteemed wordsmiths, Twitter account at approximately 2:00PM my time (central time, the only time that matters) quote tweeted their answer to comedian KevOnStage’s question of just where exactly these chip flavors should be ranked.
Cheetos, Cool Ranch Doritos, Nacho Cheese Doritos, Fritos, BBQ Lays, Classic Lays
I don’t really have any issue with this opinion. That’s not why I’m here. Many, however, took great umbrage at this tweet, and voiced their responses in the comment section, as is their right. That’s why I’m here. I’m here in defense of Fritos. I can’t sit idly by whilst one of the most versatile and underrated chips is slandered straight into the sewer. Fritos are a classic, an essential to a true snacking palette.
At first I wanted to chalk the vitriol over Fritos up to classic coastal elitism. I assumed those in the big cities were just poopooing on flyover America as they are so wont to do. I mean, if you grew up eating 24K crab and caviar chips, how can I expect you to know the salty perfection that is a Frito? Fritos aren’t for the refined, they’re a working man’s chip. Frito bags don’t fly empty out of the backs of Rolls Royces, they stay tucked under the toolboxes of dependable, long lasting, genuine American steel pickups as reminders of picnics and accompaniments to 24oz roadies.
Perhaps it’s their loyalty, their perfection in accompaniment that make Fritos so great. Many of the objections I read made such claims as, “unless there’s Frito Pie in that bag I don’t even wanna look!, or, the only good Frito is a Honey BBQ twist Frito.” Think about that statement. Do we have Dorito Pie? When you’re at the carnival, does someone pop open a bag of Cheetos and bless them with melted stadium cheese? If you’re in Texas they will, only it’ll be hot Cheetos and it’ll be the greatest thing you’ve ever tasted. But we’re not discussing the G.O.A.T. of chips, we’re discussing its humble associate, Fritos. Fritos have purpose. From smashin’ em in a sandwich, drowning them in bean dip, smothering them with chili, or surprising you in your lunchbox as a signal the sample bag’s running low and it’s time to re-up.
I might be being unreasonable. Fritos were my mother’s favorite chip, so they’ll always be special to me. I haven’t had them in almost a year. I can’t bring myself to buy a bag, but, if I close my eyes I can fill my nostrils with their distinctive corn fried aroma, feel the sunlight on my face and hear my mom’s voice, muffled by the bite of a sandwich. So to me Fritos will always be top 5. They’re perfect to pair, and for me, they’re full of more nostalgia and warm memories than a childhood teddy bear. Think about them what you will, but when the slander flies I’ll always be there in defense of Fritos.