February 24, 2012

National Tortilla Chip Day

“We’ve got a tortilla chip type of love. So am I to blame if I’m looking for a little salsa on the side? Yes.” - Jarod Kintz, "This Book Has No Title"

It's National Tortilla Chip Day!

Sponsored by: Pan De Oro

I heart Mexican food.

I heart Mexican food hard.

The abundance of fresh veggies, the delicious seasonings, the endless possibilities of salsa types, and the taste of tradition in tortillas make it entirely hard to resist loving (even though tortilla chips aren't technically Mexican - they were made by a woman named Rebecca Webb Carranza in Los Angeles. She took the reject tortillas from El Zarape Tortilla Factory - where she and her husband worked - fried them and sold them for ten cents a bag. They became very, very popular. Obviously.).

To be totally honest, I've been pre-gaming for tonight all week. I think I could have gone swimming in the amounts of homemade guacamole I've eaten in the past few days. Not to mention the small lake of margaritas I drank, as well.

Anyway, I had been looking forward to tonight for a spell, because I got to chow down on tortilla chips from a company I had never tried before. Pan De Oro, which means "Bread of Gold," was founded in 1984 in Hartford, CT by Richard Stevens, John Grikis, and Rich Dana. The three men had previously been food scientists (what a cool freakin' job!) at Heublein, Inc. which developed lines like A1 Steak Sauce, Ortega Mexican Foods, Smirnoff Vodka, Jose Cuervo (mmm . . . margaritas; wait, where was I? Oh! . . .), etc. When R.J. Reynolds acquired Heublein, the three men decided to form their own company called Severance Foods, Inc. that would satisfy a growing need in the northeast for tortillas and tortilla chips. Over the years, product development efforts and high-quality standards have resulted in the company’s growth and a reputation for unique products. Today, Severance Foods is the largest manufacturer and co-packer of tortilla chips in the northeast.

Pan De Oro tortilla chips are gluten-free and certified kosher. They're made from stone-ground American-grown organic corn masa flour with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. They cook all their chips in 100% vegetable oil which is cholesterol-free. And how do they taste?

Really, really great. Upon first bite I was a little concerned, because they seemed entirely underwhelming. I quickly realized that it wasn't the chips - it was me. As a country I think we grow accustomed to certain standards - like the over (ab)use of hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup, and salt in our foods. Pan De Oro chips are not nearly as salty as their competitors products (maybe it's me, but I feel like when I eat/shovel-in-by-the-fistful tortilla chips the salt makes the corners of my mouth burn and feel like they're cracking open - gross, right?), which make them entirely dangerous: because they're so easy to eat, I've already polished off multiple bags. And, because they're so appropriately seasoned, my dips taste INCREDIBLE. I didn't realize how much the salt on competitor's tortilla chips was truly (negatively) altering the taste of my guacamole until now.

I also love Pan De Oro because they're priced right and all-natural; but, most importantly, they make red tortilla chips. THEY MAKE. RED. TORTILLA CHIPS! Now, some of you may not know this about me, but I have some really bizarre food related quirks (shocker, right?). And red tortilla chips are one of them. I am unnaturally in love with them. I force people around me (whether I know them or not) to trade their red's for my white chips when we're at Mexican restaurants. Red tortilla chips make me go all weak in the knees.

Whether you're dunking your chips in salsa, guacamole, or a chili-cheese dip (one can of vegan chili + one tub of vegan cream cheese + a few minutes in the microwave ='s a mouth party) like I did tonight, I hope you got the chance to celebrate a VERY filling and...

Happy National Tortilla Chip Day!

Disclaimer: The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer. Opinions expressed are totally my own and are NOT in anyway influenced by monetary compensation. Logo used with permission of company.