- Sometimes, this is how I feel.
"THOSE ARE THE CHIPS I WANT. RIGHT THERE. RIGHTTHEEEERRRRE."
I don't usually think that loudly while shopping at Whole Foods, but my bag of chips was right there, and I wasn't expecting to find it. What I wanted was, quite specifically, a small-ish bag of tortilla chips fit for one woman and a bowl of guacamole (as opposed to the more typical one-pound bags fit for a Super Bowl party-for-20), filled with chips of the thick and freshly fried variety. My shopping basket was chip-less as I reached the store's final frontier of prepared foods and steam tables. I was ready to give into subpar tortilla chips.
But on top of the salad bar was a row of small, lunch-sized paper bags filled with freshly fried tortilla chips—"Our Own Homemade Tortilla Chips," according to the Whole Foods-branded sticker on the bag. The chips looked appropriately golden and thick. Could...could it be? Could I be this close to filling my mouth with the painfully sharp shards of crunchy, corny awesomeness I so madly craved? I could see my future in those chips, the grand night of tortilla-chip-and-homemade-guacamole that would ensue, aka "EPIC ROBYN PARTY FOR ONE."
And then, as soon as I got home and dumped all my stuff on the ground because that's where stuff goes (my mom didn't teach me that; I learned it on my own, after many years of honing my dumping technique), I hastily shoved a chip in my mouth. And that high I was riding—the high that comes when you get something you really wanted but didn't expect—suddenly stopped. And, following the laws of physics, even though this is metaphorical, I was flung off into a wall of disappoint (which is a bit different from disappoinment, but I don't feel like explaining that now). After one bite, the chips crumbled like my dreams-of-one-second-ago. The chips looked hearty, but it was a lie; their texture was brittle. They looked corn-alicious, but their flavor was wan and marginally salted. And then the ingredient list gave away their substandard origins: They were made of flour tortillas.
Why? Why would you do that, Whole Foods? If the label had said "Shitty Pita Chips" then I wouldn't have been as disappointed because it would've tasted like what it said on the bag. (I continued to eat a handful of chips, trying to convince myself it was worth saving, but...no. In the trash the bag went.) And while you technically delivered "Homemade Tortilla Chip" as advertised, I don't know why you're catering to whatever microscopic subset of the tortilla chip-eating population that expects flour tortilla chips instead of corn tortilla chips when they see the words "tortilla chips." These people are fools, FOOLS; let 'em fend for their own weird chip preference selves*. I'm telling you, most people would expect corn.
- Image: Laurie's Buffalo Gourmet
But, months later, Whole Foods redeemed itself by giving me my first taste of Laurie's Buffalo Gourmet's Thick and Hearty tortilla chips. Prominent display + two bags for $5 price = okay, I'll try it. And, jeez, it worked; I'm hooked on these chips. They're now my favorite mass-market brand of tortilla chips, my favorite tortilla chips overall being these guys from a Mexican supermarket in Phoenix. They're super thick, corn-tastic, well salted, and if I didn't chew well I'd fear those heartily crunchy shards would threaten to pierce my throat. Aw yeah, that's the stuff.