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Great (regional?) potato chips

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Great (regional?) potato chips

enrevanche | Apr 20, 2004 08:01 PM

A post below on a potato chip taste-off started me daydreaming about the potato chips of my youth.

Growing up in North Carolina, our neighborhood enjoyed twice-monthly visits from a representative of the Charles Chips Company (familiarly referred to as "The Charlie Chip Man.") This estimable fellow sold metal tins full of wonderful gourmet potato chips (not greasy, not oversalted, thick-cut and rich in potato-y goodness) in addition to pretzels, cookies, and so forth. (I was a particular fan of the milk-chocolate-coated pretzel, available in the South only in the cooler months.)

Home delivery of snack foods has gone the way of the dodo, of course.

A few years ago I located a Charles Chips sales outlet on the web and eagerly ordered a bag (they no longer come in tins unless you special-order them and pay through the nose for the privilege.)

I am sorry to report that the CC potato chip magic was gone. Further research indicated that Charles Chips had gone out of the chip-making business and licensed their name to other manufacturers... and the resulting chips are indistinguishable from the banal greasy oversalted commercial bagged chip you can get anywhere.

Has anybody found a good, solid artisanal potato chip worthy of praise? My instincts tell me that such a thing, if it exists, would be a local/regional phenomenon, since that is how these things tend to work. I'm looking for flavor here, and texture, something to make my heart sing. A little grease is okay, but nothing that leaves an oil slick behind it need apply.

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer.

- er

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