Best readily available tortilla chip

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Chris Freemott
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Best readily available tortilla chip

#1 Post by Chris Freemott » May 4th, 2014, 4:20 pm

Been on a quest for the perfect chip for nachos. Now, I do realize this may (hopefully) devolve into a battle of what constitute a 'nacho' and the appropriate accouterments, and that's just fine - but I'm looking for the ideal chip.

Thankfully, being located in Chicago with a strong hispanic population, we likely have good local stuff I've just not stumbled onto yet.

But, I'll be candid - I do find the salty and thin - almost wispy - chip at the Uncle Julio's establishment to be a damn fine salsa chip but they don't have the structural rigidity to stand up to a great nacho cheese sauce. Oh, if you have a homemade sauce you like - pipe up. It will soon be summer and with summer comes drinks with salt and straws and with those comes a need for an appropriate platter of calories on the middle of the deck table.

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#2 Post by Sean Devaney » May 4th, 2014, 5:28 pm

Ask at a local latin market? I'm sure Chicago/IL will have a few local producers that will meet your criteria. My go to in the Bay Area is Casa Sanchez but I don't think they even reach SoCal.

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#3 Post by Mel Hill » May 4th, 2014, 6:03 pm

image.jpg
We like these local chips

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#4 Post by SeanHarding » May 4th, 2014, 6:04 pm

I have the opposite problem. All the tortilla chips I can find locally are too thick for normal eating with salsa. When I lived in Seattle there was a brand whose name escapes me that was great, but nothing my local stores in OC carry has satisfied me. I like them super thin and pretty salty.

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#5 Post by Kris Patten » May 4th, 2014, 7:02 pm

Image
ITB

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#6 Post by Eric LeVine » May 4th, 2014, 7:17 pm

Mmmm Kris, those are good and indeed super salty.
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#7 Post by Randy Bowman » May 4th, 2014, 7:22 pm

Here's our fav:

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#8 Post by Brian Tuite » May 4th, 2014, 7:36 pm

[smileyvault-ban.gif] Real nachos have cheese not cheese sauce.
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#9 Post by Terence T-Bone Livingston » May 4th, 2014, 7:38 pm

I've found these to be my favorite:

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Lower in sodium, but still packed with flavor. Costco carries the larger bags.
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#10 Post by Poppy Davis » May 4th, 2014, 7:40 pm

Sean Devaney wrote:Ask at a local latin market? I'm sure Chicago/IL will have a few local producers that will meet your criteria. My go to in the Bay Area is Casa Sanchez but I don't think they even reach SoCal.
We get Casa Sanchez in LA. It's our weekly salsa from Whole Paycheck. But it doesn't come close to the chips and salsa we get from our local Vallarta Market.
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#11 Post by Brian Tuite » May 4th, 2014, 7:41 pm

SeanHarding wrote:I have the opposite problem. All the tortilla chips I can find locally are too thick for normal eating with salsa. When I lived in Seattle there was a brand whose name escapes me that was great, but nothing my local stores in OC carry has satisfied me. I like them super thin and pretty salty.
Then these are the chips for you!

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#12 Post by George Hejna » May 5th, 2014, 6:22 am

Brian Tuite wrote:[smileyvault-ban.gif] Real nachos have cheese not cheese sauce.
Just like you buy real margaritas in a 1.75ml bottle right?

George

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#13 Post by Brian Tuite » May 5th, 2014, 6:25 am

George Hejna wrote:
Brian Tuite wrote:[smileyvault-ban.gif] Real nachos have cheese not cheese sauce.
Just like you buy real margaritas in a 1.75ml bottle right?

George
Exactly! [barf.gif]
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#14 Post by Jay Miller » May 5th, 2014, 6:44 am

Widely available locally I like the Xochitl blue corn tortilla chip.
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#15 Post by Chris Freemott » May 5th, 2014, 6:59 am

Real nachos have cheese not cheese sauce.
No dispute. But, a sauce made from real cheese protects the cheese from breaking and causing pools of oil.

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#16 Post by Brian Tuite » May 5th, 2014, 7:09 am

Chris Freemott wrote:
Real nachos have cheese not cheese sauce.
No dispute. But, a sauce made from real cheese protects the cheese from breaking and causing pools of oil.
Try a cheese like this and you will not have that issue.

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#17 Post by Scott G r u n e r » May 5th, 2014, 10:39 am

Kris Nailed it. Not sure how broad the distribution is, but best dang tortilla chips around.
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#18 Post by David Wright » May 5th, 2014, 11:17 am

Brian Tuite wrote:[smileyvault-ban.gif] Real nachos have cheese not cheese sauce.
+1. Proper (good) nachos are assembled individually: each chip is topped with a small slice of cheese, peppers, etc.. Cheese sauce? Sounds like a midwestern thing...

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#19 Post by Corey N. » May 5th, 2014, 11:51 am

Mel nailed it. And I know that Jewel carries them.
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#20 Post by Larry P » May 5th, 2014, 2:25 pm

If you want a nacho cheese sauce made from real cheese, start here:
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010 ... achos.html

I prefer to melt cheese directly onto chips for nachos, but for our Superbowl party we used that recipe for chile con queso and it tasted great and stayed creamy all day in a crock pot.


For chips, we use these:
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#21 Post by Barry L i p t o n » May 5th, 2014, 2:45 pm

Trader Joe's Blue Corn Tortilla chips

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#22 Post by Clayton Wai-Poi » May 6th, 2014, 7:22 am

Chris,

I've tasted through most of the many great Tortilla Chips available in Chicago, and based on your descriptions (salty and wispy thin) you want to go out and buy Xochitl White Corn Chips. I'm pretty sure that's what you're looking for. They're the most expensive, although do come in a very large bag. Marianos, Whole Foods and Jewel all carry them.

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#23 Post by Corey N. » May 6th, 2014, 8:07 am

Clayton Wai-Poi wrote:Chris,

I've tasted through most of the many great Tortilla Chips available in Chicago, and based on your descriptions (salty and wispy thin) you want to go out and buy Xochitl White Corn Chips. I'm pretty sure that's what you're looking for. They're the most expensive, although do come in a very large bag. Marianos, Whole Foods and Jewel all carry them.
These are great and my favorite, but they are so thin that I don't think that they can handle a nacho.

YMMV.
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#24 Post by Brian Tuite » May 6th, 2014, 8:52 am

David Wright wrote:
Brian Tuite wrote:[smileyvault-ban.gif] Real nachos have cheese not cheese sauce.
+1. Proper (good) nachos are assembled individually: each chip is topped with a small slice of cheese, peppers, etc.. Cheese sauce? Sounds like a midwestern thing...
Individually? Get outta town.
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#25 Post by David Wright » May 6th, 2014, 9:06 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
David Wright wrote:
Brian Tuite wrote:[smileyvault-ban.gif] Real nachos have cheese not cheese sauce.
+1. Proper (good) nachos are assembled individually: each chip is topped with a small slice of cheese, peppers, etc.. Cheese sauce? Sounds like a midwestern thing...
Individually? Get outta town.
It is the only path to righteous nachos, Grasshopper.

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#26 Post by Corey N. » May 6th, 2014, 9:12 am

David Wright wrote: It is the only path to righteous nachos, Grasshopper.
This is insane. Besides the ridiculous time commitment, part of the appeal of nachos is getting a little different flavor in each bite.
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#27 Post by David Wright » May 6th, 2014, 9:18 am

Corey N. wrote:
David Wright wrote: It is the only path to righteous nachos, Grasshopper.
This is insane. Besides the ridiculous time commitment, part of the appeal of nachos is getting a little different flavor in each bite.
Perfection takes time. And one can vary the flavors on a tray of nachos by deploying different peppers, etc., among the chips.

At least please say that you don't use shredded cheese.... [shock.gif]

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#28 Post by Robert Pollard-Smith » May 6th, 2014, 1:24 pm

Agreed on El Milagro.

We used to love Nana's Cocina Tortilla Chips, but they are nowhere to be found in these parts anymore.

Cook's Illustrated had a chip taste-off, won by Santitas, a Frito-Lay product. I may have to try these.
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#29 Post by Brian Tuite » May 6th, 2014, 2:24 pm

Robert Pollard-Smith wrote:Agreed on El Milagro.

We used to love Nana's Cocina Tortilla Chips, but they are nowhere to be found in these parts anymore.

Cook's Illustrated had a chip taste-off, won by Santitas, a Frito-Lay product. I may have to try these.
http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 5#p1449615 [whistle.gif]
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#30 Post by brianmcbrearty » May 6th, 2014, 2:35 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
Robert Pollard-Smith wrote:Agreed on El Milagro.

We used to love Nana's Cocina Tortilla Chips, but they are nowhere to be found in these parts anymore.

Cook's Illustrated had a chip taste-off, won by Santitas, a Frito-Lay product. I may have to try these.
http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 5#p1449615 [whistle.gif]
No, the ones you pointed to were yellow corn, Brian. And in my opinion they're great. But the ones in the taste off were white, and so were a bunch of the competitors, which I find confounding.
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#31 Post by Scott G r u n e r » May 6th, 2014, 3:38 pm

Santitas would be my back-up choice if Juanitas weren't available.
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#32 Post by BRhoades » May 6th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Our local Whole Foods makes limited batches of amazing tortilla chips, usually we can find them Thursday-Saturday. Other than that I buy mine at El Indio in SD on my weekly business trips, I don't like any commercial tortilla chips that much, and yes, these are thicker than the store brands and hold up very well with a variety of toppings.

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#33 Post by Brian Tuite » May 6th, 2014, 6:54 pm

brianmcbrearty wrote:
Brian Tuite wrote:
Robert Pollard-Smith wrote:Agreed on El Milagro.

We used to love Nana's Cocina Tortilla Chips, but they are nowhere to be found in these parts anymore.

Cook's Illustrated had a chip taste-off, won by Santitas, a Frito-Lay product. I may have to try these.
http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 5#p1449615 [whistle.gif]
No, the ones you pointed to were yellow corn, Brian. And in my opinion they're great. But the ones in the taste off were white, and so were a bunch of the competitors, which I find confounding.
The white ones are great also but way way way too salty. The yellow corn version is still very salty but not heart stoppingly.
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#34 Post by Larry P » May 7th, 2014, 9:16 am

David Wright wrote:
Brian Tuite wrote:
David Wright wrote: +1. Proper (good) nachos are assembled individually: each chip is topped with a small slice of cheese, peppers, etc.. Cheese sauce? Sounds like a midwestern thing...
Individually? Get outta town.
It is the only path to righteous nachos, Grasshopper.
http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/how- ... achos.html
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#35 Post by debbie holm » May 7th, 2014, 9:21 am

Donkey Chips - Treasure Island sells them - the best!

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#36 Post by David Wright » May 7th, 2014, 9:32 am

Larry P wrote:
David Wright wrote:
Brian Tuite wrote:
Individually? Get outta town.
It is the only path to righteous nachos, Grasshopper.
http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/how- ... achos.html
Amen, Brother!

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#37 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » May 7th, 2014, 12:52 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
Robert Pollard-Smith wrote: Cook's Illustrated had a chip taste-off, won by Santitas, a Frito-Lay product. I may have to try these.
http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 5#p1449615 [whistle.gif]
Yes, as Brian posted above, this would get my vote.

Ironically, I first had them in Florida two weeks ago (they are a Frito-Lay product). I was in a local supermarket today (in the Philadelphia area) and could not find them, however. I wonder what their distribution is?

Updated: They are not distributed within 50 miles of Philadelphia or New York City. Wonder why?

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#38 Post by SeanHarding » May 9th, 2014, 3:13 pm

I think I've tried the Santinas and found them too thick for my preference (though again my application isn't nachos), but maybe I'm mistaken. I'll try some next time I'm at the store.

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#39 Post by Jim Brennan » May 9th, 2014, 6:19 pm

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote: Updated: They are not distributed within 50 miles of Philadelphia or New York City. Wonder why?
Ray Walker is managing distribution? neener

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#40 Post by Alan Rath » May 9th, 2014, 8:43 pm

BRhoades wrote:Our local Whole Foods makes limited batches of amazing tortilla chips, usually we can find them Thursday-Saturday. Other than that I buy mine at El Indio in SD on my weekly business trips, I don't like any commercial tortilla chips that much, and yes, these are thicker than the store brands and hold up very well with a variety of toppings.
We just went through a bag of Whole Foods chips, first time, and they were really good. And I'm sure I ate a hundred bags of El Indio chips while I was in college and grad school [cheers.gif]
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#41 Post by Brian Tuite » May 10th, 2014, 5:54 am

SeanHarding wrote:I think I've tried the Santinas and found them too thick for my preference (though again my application isn't nachos), but maybe I'm mistaken. I'll try some next time I'm at the store.
I think you have the, mixed up with another brand. Santitas are thin enough to break when you dip them in Salsa and Guac.
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#42 Post by Chris Freemott » May 10th, 2014, 7:02 am

I've spent the last part of the week trying multiple chips.

Santitas White Corn - #1
Tostito's Cantina - #2
Santitas Yellow - #3
El Milagro - #4

Several other above suggestions on the docket for today.

To El Milagro. It's a good/great chip. It is also sturdy and can handle a full nacho load. It is currently my mental leader in the clubhouse for once I load up the chips. For now, working on narrowing down to 5 chips I like to eat prior to covering them up IN CHEESE SAUCE!!! And pulled pork, tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, sour cream, guacamole, black olives and anything else I can find to throw on there...

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#43 Post by Bob Summers » May 10th, 2014, 3:49 pm

Simple is good. If you find a chip in a bag that you like, mission accomplished. If you still feel that the mark has not been hit, try making your own.

Couldn't be simpler. Buy a stack of corn tortillas. A few "pizza cuts" through the whole stack will give you the wedges instantly, fry in batches. You can control toastiness and saltiness. I spend half the year in the southwest so there are Mexican markets with delis that sell bags of chips made fresh daily. If you have any Mexican markets in your area, maybe they will too.
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#44 Post by brianmcbrearty » May 11th, 2014, 10:54 pm

Bob Summers wrote:Simple is good. If you find a chip in a bag that you like, mission accomplished. If you still feel that the mark has not been hit, try making your own.

Couldn't be simpler. Buy a stack of corn tortillas. A few "pizza cuts" through the whole stack will give you the wedges instantly, fry in batches. You can control toastiness and saltiness. I spend half the year in the southwest so there are Mexican markets with delis that sell bags of chips made fresh daily. If you have any Mexican markets in your area, maybe they will too.
Yeah, this. You will just be starting over hunting again through all the tortilla brands until you get the one you want, but in a general rising tide kind of way, regardless of which one you're working from, results are so so so worth it.
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#45 Post by David_T » May 12th, 2014, 3:58 pm

In a strange coincidence to the timing of this thread, this is on Kickstarter right now
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#46 Post by s.nellessen » May 13th, 2014, 7:54 am

another vote for donkey, and also have had good results just baking the milagro corn tortillas (quartered) at 400 for 10 mins.
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#47 Post by b. c@stner » May 14th, 2014, 7:28 am

Chris if you ever get west check out the house made chips at Hy-Vee in Sycamore.
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#48 Post by Jason Hagen » May 21st, 2014, 9:25 am

I usually have extra tortillas so I often make my own which no store bought could compete with.

But my favorite store bought are Tacupeto. They are awesome. They are readily available here at Sprouts but probably a fairly local thing. http://www.tacupetochipsandsalsa.com/
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#49 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » May 28th, 2014, 10:00 am

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:
Brian Tuite wrote:
Robert Pollard-Smith wrote: Cook's Illustrated had a chip taste-off, won by Santitas, a Frito-Lay product. I may have to try these.
http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 5#p1449615 [whistle.gif]
Yes, as Brian posted above, this would get my vote.

Ironically, I first had them in Florida two weeks ago (they are a Frito-Lay product). I was in a local supermarket today (in the Philadelphia area) and could not find them, however. I wonder what their distribution is?

Updated: They are not distributed within 50 miles of Philadelphia or New York City. Wonder why?
Found them in Hannaford's supermarkets in Maine this weekend...FWIW. So..they are creeping to the east coast, I guess.

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David_T
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Joined: February 17th, 2011, 9:07 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Best readily available tortilla chip

#50 Post by David_T » May 28th, 2014, 9:38 pm

I was reminded over the holiday weekend that the chain On The Border also supplies their chips to supermarkets... and they are quite good
David Tietz

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