Tortilla chips are a popular and widely consumed snack food around the world today, but few people know how they came to be. The origin story of tortilla chips is an interesting one that involves a little bit of history, legend, and serendipity.

The origins of tortillas themselves can be traced back to the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations where corn was a staple food source. Corn was believed to have been domesticated in Mexico over 9,000 years ago by indigenous people who learned to cultivate it through selective breeding techniques.

Tortillas were originally made by pounding cooked corn kernels into a dough-like consistency and then patting the dough flat into thin rounds which were then roasted or baked until crispy. These original tortillas were tough and chewy making them difficult to eat on their own as a snack.

It wasn’t until the early 1900s when Mexican Americans started frying leftover tortilla pieces cut into triangles that the modern-day tortilla chip came about. According to legend, this particular process began in Los Angeles with Rebecca Webb Carranza. Her husband owned Tortilleria El Zarape where they made fresh masa (cornmeal dough) daily for their customers’ homemade tacos.

One day in 1943, Carranza’s newest batch had cooled off before she could use it all up for her usual taco-shells production runs—she couldn’t bear throwing away perfectly good masa! Determined not to waste any resources (or profits), she chopped some remaining dried-up tortillas leftover from previous days’ bakes into triangles rather than discarding them completely like everyone else would do at this time period – that’s how ‘tostadas’ typically got rid of excess stale leftovers priorly.

She put these triangle-shaped pieces onto hot oil while quickly checking if everything turned out fine; emerging from deep-fry freshly-cooked & crisped without any trouble or spattering oils flying around everywhere. To her surprise, tangy, flavorful chips were born!

Almost immediately after that discovery, Carranza began selling her new creation at the tortilleria where they became an instant hit with customers. Her famous “Tortilla Chips” quickly gained popularity and by the mid 1940s, she had started packaging them for commercial sale; starting a national craze approved by American consumers hungry for new snackable tastes.

Despite the success of Rebecca Carranza’s invention their fame initially only stayed within Mexican-American communities in California until two non-Latinos put up a sign advertising a brand called “Doritos,” a play on dorado, Spanish for ‘golden.’ The first Dorito was made by Arch West who worked for Frito-Lay (now part of PepsiCo) – he set out to enlarge his division’s product line when visiting Mexico trying fresher ingredients rather than artificial seasonings commonly used over those days, brought back some ideas which let him create something superior enough to be patented.

The company concedes it borrowed inspiration from El Zarape but intends its chips to emulate “one extra-crispy tortilla” in contrast where Fritos looked like corn curls serving as a popular substitute during war shortages. It wasn’t long before other companies jumped onto this trend bandwagon as well trying to capitalize on Americans’ growing love affair with Mexican cuisine! Tortilla chip production boomed along with America’s taste buds interest: from Fiesta brand/ Old El Paso–which General Mills acquired around 1995 among others—to H.E.B. grocery stores under staff member Roger Eddy having originated another variety named Tostadas there now sold worldwide.

Today tortilla chips are enjoyed all over the world in virtually limitless flavors and varieties ranging from spicy chili-lime to sweet cinnamon sugar. But while we may never know exactly who invented these crunchy little triangles of goodness that have become so ubiquitous across borders due to immense popularity worldwide – we can thank Rebecca Carranza for being a clear pioneer in this snack food revolution. Thanks to her decision to not let any of that precious masa go to waste, Americans have been crunching on these delicious chips ever since; an internationally recognized finger-food symbolizing Mexican cuisine itself!
Tortilla chips are a beloved snack food today that can be found in households, restaurants, and grocery stores all around the world. However, not many people know about its origin story, which is fascinating and involves history, legend, and serendipity.

The origins of tortillas can be traced back to Mesoamerican civilizations where corn was a staple food source more than 9,000 years ago. Indigenous people domesticated corn through selective breeding techniques in Mexico. They pounded cooked corn kernels into dough-like consistency before flattening them into thin rounds that were roasted or baked until crispy. These original tortillas were chewy and tough making them difficult to eat as snacks.

In the early 1900s Mexican Americans started frying leftover pieces of tortilla cut into triangles resulting in modern-day tortilla chips according to legend. It began when Rebecca Webb Carranza couldn’t use all her newest batch of masa (cornmeal dough) because it had cooled down before she could produce enough taco shells for her customers at Tortilleria El Zarape—her husband’s business partnership.

Carranza decided not to waste any resources or profits by chopping leftover dried-up tortillas into triangle shapes instead of discarding them entirely—a typical practice for excess stale leftovers previously used primarily for ‘tostadas.’ She put these triangular-shaped pieces onto hot oil while quickly checking if everything turned out fine; emerging from deep-fry freshly-cooked & crisped without trouble or spattering oils flying around everywhere. The tangy flavor resulted in surprising deliciousness discovered during this process!

Immediately after that discovery emerged Rebecca Carranza’s latest creation became an instant hit with customers who flocked towards “Tortilla Chips”. By mid-1940s packaging began commercially selling nationwide sparked off by pioneering consumers hungry for new snackable tastes endorsed among California’s Mexican American communities initially despite their success.

Two non-Latinos then advertised “Doritos,” which is Spanish for ‘golden,’ relying heavily on El Zarape. The first Dorito was invented by Arch West while working for Frito-Lay and intended to enlarge his division’s product line using fresher ingredients rather than artificial seasonings commonly used during the days of war shortages. It wasn’t long before other companies began capitalizing on Americans’ growing love affair with Mexican cuisine! Tortilla chip production boomed, from Fiesta brand/ Old El Paso General Mills acquired around 1995 among others—to H.E.B.’s grocery stores under staff member Roger Eddy originating another variety called Tostadas worldwide.

Today, tortilla chips are enjoyed in virtually limitless flavor and varieties ranging from spicy chili-lime to sweet cinnamon sugar. But while we may never know exactly who invented these crunchy little triangles of goodness that have become so ubiquitous across borders due to immense popularity worldwide – we can thank Rebecca Carranza as a clear pioneer in this snack food revolution. Thanks to her decision not letting any precious masa go waste resulted in immensely popular finger-food globally symbolizing Mexican cuisine even today.