Friday, April 12, 2013

Barbecue Potato Chip Nostalgia

We went shopping last weekend.  Nothing weird about that, we do it most weekends.

On the other hand, we did get to the wholesale store so that meant we had mass quantities to move around.

The nice thing about getting to these sorts of stores is that sometimes you can choose to get them "portion packed".  When you're talking about a big box of barbecue potato chips, it makes more sense to go that way.

I now have a very large box of 50 packs of chips sitting on the kitchen table.

What got me thinking about it was how much that whole business of potato chips changed.

Back in the bad old days of the 1960s and 1970s when there were just two flavors of potato chips - plain and barbecue.  If you're over a certain age, you'll remember that potato chips have changed.   Where you used to get an occasional burnt chip, now they all look about the same.  The "doneness" of any given average potato chip now is about the same as the next one. 

It seems that over the last few decades, someone set to deciding that burned is bad, then worked to making sure that you or I never see a burned chip.

Crispy is good, brown is bad.

Now we have a uniform chip.  After all, when is the last time you saw a Green Potato chip.

But that uniformity took away one of my favorite memories of childhood.  That would be hunting for the Over-flavored Barbecue Potato Chip. 

They never quite had that mix right for the longest time.  Some of the chips were bright red, coated in that secret recipe coating that made for "Barbecuey Goodness".  Others were not quite so bright, barely coated.

I used to eat my chips by color.  Red first, then orange, then the palest ones. 

You simply don't have that these days.  Now they're uniformly good, and some would say bad, tasting.  But no shock of brilliant red inside of each bag waiting to be snacked on by hungry little hands.

I still enjoy those barbecue chips, but every so often I'll look in deep to a bag trying to find that one chip that spent an eye-blink longer under the seasoning spray. 

Yes, you my red beauty, you shall be the first!


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