Every city seems to have its own brand of potato chip. I love, when on road trips, going into gas stations and checking out the potato chip selection.
It’s actually come up in theater– Terry tells me that, during a particular show that was set in New York, the local prop mistress in Alabama wanted to use Golden Flake chips, which are about as local as you can get in Alabama. At a show I saw that featured potato chips and New York again, I remember seeing a Husman’s can in the background of a Brooklyn set. Chips end up becoming iconic of the area they hail from.
Around here, I’d say the three brands that are most “local” are Grippo’s (made on Colerain Avenue), Husman’s (Cincinnati-based, but owned by Bird’s Eye), and Mike-Sell’s (based in Dayton). Growing up, it seemed like every household had its own default chip– my house was definitely a Mike-Sell’s house (they are delicious, after all) but my cousin’s house was a definite Husman’s house. My elementary school served Grippo’s on Hot Lunch days (which was, more often than not, Domino’s), so those barbecue chips were a once-a-month treat. We would occasionally, at home, have another brand– Sour Cream and Onion Lay’s, for example– but it was rare.
Grippo’s regular chips are OK, but their Bar-B-Q (with the retro logo) is their standout. They’re tomato-y, spicy, salty, and just darn good– probably my favorite kind of bar-b-q chip. I haven’t found any quite so distinctive, or coated with bar-b-q-y goodness.
What’s your favorite chip– Cincinnati based or otherwise?