Tortilla chips combine the crunchiness of a chip, the crispiness of a cracker, and the dip – ability of both.
According to Mayan legend, the first tortillas, which date about 10,000 years BC, were made with dried, ground kernels of native corn – invented by a peasant for his hungry king in ancient times. Native Mexicans commonly use tortillas as eating utensils. “Cowpokes” of the Old West also filled them with meat or other foods as a convenient way to eat around the campfire.
In the 1940s, tortilla chips were made as a way to use malformed tortillas that came out of an automated tortilla machine. They were cut into triangles, fried, and sold for a dime a bag.
Tortilla chips and salsa were designated the official state snack symbol of Texas in 2003. The most common commercial makers of tortilla chips in the United States are Tostitos and Doritos.
Tortilla chips come in many varieties and even colors. There are flavored (guacamole, peppercorn ranch, etc.) chips, whole grain tortilla chips etc., but one thing they all have in common is they’re more healthful than other crunchy snacks, no matter which type you enjoy. Of course, we must mention that obviously you’re better off getting baked tortilla chips as opposed to fried. So, having said that…
Smother your tortilla chips in a fresh chunky and healthful salsa, or dip them in reduced fat melted cheese, guacamole or hummus. Or, eat them plain!
Nutrition Nibble: This food is very low in cholesterol.
Buy the Blue
Research has discovered that blue corn tortillas (fresh, not fried) contain more protein than their yellow or white corn counterparts. In addition, blue corn tortillas have a lower starch content and lower glycemic index (GI) than regular corn tortillas. Both of these factors may be helpful to people on low GI diets, such as diabetics, because food with a lower starch and low GI breaks down more slowly into sugars absorbed by the blood stream and can help people avoid spikes in blood sugar levels.
One ounce of tortilla chips, plain, white corn contains:
- 137 calories
- 7g total fat; 1g saturated fat and 0 trans fat
- 0mg cholesterol
- 118mg sodium
- 18g carbohydrates
- 1g Dietary fiber
- 0 sugars
- 2g protein
National Tortilla Chip Day is February 24