Frito pie is a dish popular in the Southern and Southwestern United States, whose basic ingredients are chili, cheese, and corn chips (specifically Fritos). Additions include everything from salsa, refried beans, sour cream, and rice to jalapeños.
One possibility for making Frito pie is by combining Fritos or other corn chips with chili and cheese in a large pan and baking it as a casserole. Because so many chips are used in the dish, they tend to be moistened but not soggy from the chili. An easier option is to place the Fritos in single-serving bowls and covering them with chili, then cheese and other toppings.
An alternative method uses a small, single-serving bag of corn chips, with chili or taco meat poured over the top. The combination is then often finished with grated cheese, onions, jalapeños, lettuce, and sour cream. This second method is sometimes called a Frito boat or a walking taco in the Midwestern United States, while in the Ohio Valley region, it is commonly called taco-in-a-bag. ("Walking taco," however, is the favored term at least in southwest Ohio). Frito pies are popular at sports venues, fundraisers, bingos, open houses, state fairs and street vendors.
The exact origins of the Frito pie are unknown though there are several stories as to its beginnings.
One of the stories says that the Frito pie originated with Frito-Lay's founder Elmer Doolin's mother. It claims that Daisy Dean Doolin came up with the Frito pie sometime after creating the first Frito chip. Mentions of the Frito pie are nearly as old as the company itself which was founded in 1932.
In the 1950s Nell Morris joined Frito-Lay where she helped develop an official cookbook which included the Frito Pie.
- Frito Pie Recipe from TexasCooking.com Retrieved December 10, 2008.
- Popik, Barry (28 November 2007). "Walking Taco". The Big Apple. Barry Popik. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- Harris, Joyce (13 June 2007). "The allure of Frito Pie". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- "10 more foods that make America great: Frito pie". Msnbc.com. July 7, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-04.
- "Santa Fe has strong hold on Frito pie title". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. 1999-10-27. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
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- Texas Cooking Article
- Cook the Book: Frito Pie
- Shilcutt, Katharine. "The Frito Pie Is Not from Texas: Commence Pearl-Clutching...Now." Houston Press. Thursday October 13, 2011.