Fritos

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For the company that produces Fritos, see Frito-Lay.
Fritos logo

Fritos is the name of a brand of corn chips invented in the 1930s by Elmer Doolin and produced since 1959 by Frito-Lay. They are made from a deep-fried extrusion of masa.

An Animatronic vending machine featuring The Frito Kid, outside of Casa De Fritos. Rancho Del Zocalo now stands there.
Frito Kid At Casa De Fritos

Origins[edit]

According to popular lore, Fritos hail from San Antonio, Texas, where Elmer Doolin, who apparently had an obsession with making a snack based on corn that would not go stale too quickly, found a local man who had deep-fried corn snacks made from an extrusion of masa. Doolin bought the man's patent and recipe, and with the help of his mother perfected the recipe in his own kitchen (in much the same way that he later invented Cheetos).[1] He began selling Fritos in 1932 under the moniker of the Frito Corporation. Original Fritos ingredients are limited to whole corn, corn oil, and salt.

From 1952 until 1967, the Frito Kid was the company's official mascot.[2] The Frito Bandito was its mascot from 1967 until about 1971, and was discontinued due to complaints about the Bandito image. He was initially replaced by the Muncha Bunch, a group of cowboys, which then were replaced by W.C. Fritos, modeled after comedian W.C. Fields.

Varieties[edit]

  • Original
  • BBQ
  • Chili Cheese
  • Flamin' Hot
  • Scoops! (wider chips intended for dipping)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Limited Edition Wild 'n Mild Ranch (Limited re-release of discontinued flavor – late 2012)
  • Chile and Lime (in Mexico)
  • Chorizo and Chipotle (in Mexico)
  • Salt and Lime (in Mexico)
  • Adobados (in Mexico)
  • Bar-B-Q Hoops (in Canada)
  • Sweet Chilli (in South Africa)
  • Tomato Sauce (in South Africa)
  • Chutney (in South Africa)
  • Peri Peri Waves (rippled chips – in South Africa)
  • Sweet Chilli Twists (fusilli-shaped chips – in South Africa)
  • Tomato Ribbons (similar shape to regular Fritos – in South Africa)


Additionally, a sub-brand called Flavor Twists is produced in two flavors in the United States:

  • Honey Barbecue Flavor Twists
  • Cheddar Ranch Flavor Twists (Available only in Munchies Totally Ranch snack mix)

Discontinued variations:

  • King Size
  • Fritos Lite
  • Fritos Tabasco
  • Fritos Racers, the Fritos material formed into a more crunchy race car shape were sold for a short while before the introduction of Twists.
  • Jalapeño (late 1980s)
  • Nacho Cheese (late 1980s-early 1990s)
  • Wild 'n Mild Ranch (1986-late 1990s)
  • Cheddar Ranch Twists (late 1990s-early 2000s)
  • Jalapeño Cheddar Twists (late 1990s-early 2000s)
  • Texas Grill, a thicker version of the original with "grill strips" on the chips. The honey barbecue flavor transitioned over to the twists.
  • McGraw's Spicy Jalapeño (limited edition; 2008, 2009)
  • Ballpark Nacho (limited edition; 2010)
  • Tapatio Flavor Twists
  • Tex-Mex Flavor Twists
  • Tangy Roasted Corn

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Kitchen Sisters (18 October 2007). "The Birth of the Frito". NPR. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Frito Kid and Deeee-licious Fritos!". Imagineering Disney. 2010-06-26. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 

External links[edit]