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#a62 :: Tortilla chip

April 15, 2008

ENLARGEWhen I was a kid, viagra web the only corn chip I ever knew existed was Fritos.

They came in impregnable mustard-and-red plastic bags, visit web were packed with salt and oil, and stuck in your teeth when you chewed them. They tasted fantastic washed down with Coke.

A few years later, my first reporting job put me in Putnam, Connecticut. Late-night shifts would take me home past the Frito-Lay plant in Killingly, which smelled amazing.

I remember the 4 a.m. aftermath of one particularly heavy night of journalistic cameraderie (all right, drinking until shitfaced) put me on the road in an completely unfit-to-drive stupor of the sort that made me fear and loathe heavy drinking ever since. It’s a wonder I made it home without getting killed, pulled over or worse.

But the Frito-Lay plant was an olfactory beacon in the pine-scented dawn. Right, red, returning. Homeward bound. I knew I’d get home safely once I passed through the pungent cloud of aerosolized tallow and fried corn meal.

When I moved to California in 1990, new cuisines waltzed before me, courting my palate with the sublime (Wolfgang Puck’s Granita, chops and martinis at Musso and Frank) and the obscene (the spicy Polish chili-cheese dog at Pink’s).

The tortilla chip became a new staple, and now it’s an old friend. Trader Joe’s makes the best store-bought salsa.

And this chip is all that’s left of the not-too-shabby carnitas burrito my wife picked up for me tonight from Baja Fresh: Crisp, not too oily, uniformly shaped.

A solid, humble snack.

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