This holiday is always February 24
Today is a holiday with a crunch! One might even suggest that it is a corny holiday. Well, that’s okay because today is National Tortilla Chip Day!
Just a few decades ago, Americans seldom ate corn chips and salsa. It’s popularity has grown immensely. Today is a tribute to the rising popularity of what has now become one of America’s favorite munchies.
Tortilla chips in Mexico are called tostados, which means toasted chips. Outside of the North America tortilla chips are called corn chips.
The word tortilla comes from the Spanish word “torta,” which means round cake. According to Mayan legend, tortillas were invented by a peasant for his hungry king in ancient times. Corn tortillas date back around 10,000 years before Christ and were made of native corn with dried kernel. When the Spanish brought wheat to the New World, flour tortillas were created.
Tortilla chips were initially an afterthought, a simple snack made with leftover tortillas. But these crispy triangles of deliciousness soon became a nationwide sensation!
Even though tortilla chips have always been considered to be a Mexican food, known as tostados, they were first mass-produced in Los Angeles in the late 1940s. It is said that the triangle-shaped tortilla chips were made popular by Rebecca Webb Carranza as a way to use the misshapen tortillas that were rejected from the automated tortilla manufacturing machine that she and her husband used at their Los Angeles deli and tortilla factory.
Carranza realized that once the discarded tortillas were cut into triangle shapes and fried, they became a popular snack. She then sold them for a dime a bag at the El Zarape Tortilla Factory. Carranza received the Golden Tortilla Award in 1994 for her contribution to the Mexican food industry.
The United States is one of the primary markets for tortilla chips.
Tortilla chips are made from corn tortillas cut into wedges and then fried. The tortillas are made from corn, vegetable oil, salt, and water. Typically made with yellow corn, tortillas can also be made with white, blue or red corn.
The tortilla chip is most commonly served with salsa, chile con queso, guacamole, cheese dips or other dips.
Another favorite dish made with tortilla chips is nachos. The dish was first created around 1943 by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya. Nachos are tortilla chips served with melted or shredded cheese, and often additional toppings are added, such as meat, salsa, refried beans, tomatoes, diced onion, lettuce, olives, jalapenos, guacamole and sour cream.
Each February 24, we celebrate these salty snacks with National Tortilla Chip Day. Whether you eat yours plain or dip them in a spicy salsa, tortilla chips bring the fiesta to any occasion.
Celebrate National Tortilla Chip Day with a handful of crunchy, tasty corn chips and your favorite salsa or dip!
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