LITERALLY HUMOR

A humor magazine written by Chason Gordon. See below.

Why No Ketchup Chips, America?

Some people wonder about the main difference between Canada and the U.S. You may point to the structure of government, the tax system, or the weather, but I can simplify it to one thing: ketchup chips.

The U.S. is the most snack laden country on the planet. Every shape possible has been sprinkled with flavor dust and shoved into polyethylene bags. The chip aisle is often the longest in any grocery store and many Americans have a hard time enjoying a sandwich or a hot dog unless there are chips lining the plate.

So why is it that the flavor which has most defined the United States has eluded their cherished and lucrative snack industry? Americans put ketchup on all sorts of things: burgers, potatoes, eggs (why?), whatever needs that extra sweet red kick. The ketchup bottle is more likely to be found on a kitchen table than silverware or dishes. Yet these two prized things – ketchup and chips – have never been united in this country (perhaps they can’t put egos aside and work together).

I live in the U.S. (as a dual citizen – suck it Canadian friends!) and search for them high and low. I write letters to Frito Lay and Doritos begging them to consider expanding their flavor kingdom into the wonderful waters of ketchup. I’ve tried making my own ketchup chips at home by drying ketchup and grating it onto plain chips, but all I wind up with is a big bowl of wrong.

Like many expatriate Canadians living near the border, I often drive up to Canada ostensibly to see friends or visit family when in reality I am seeking only the kind warm embrace of a bag of ketchup chips. Whenever the border guard asks me upon returning, “Did you purchase anything in Canada?,” I respond (as I have hundreds of times) with “ketchup chips,” pointing him to a trunk that looks like I won a ketchup chip prize on a game show.

You’re probably wondering what my brand is; you’re probably thinking: “Okay Chason, I’m an American, I have a car, I can drive to Canada. What bag should I purchase?” Sadly, you’ve already gone wrong there. For you see the brand to purchase is Old Dutch (sorry Canadian Frito Lay), but you do not purchase them in the standard polyethylene bags with the shiny gleam and bright colors. You buy only the boxed Old Dutch ketchup chips with two clear plastic bags inside, even if you have go from one store to another. It may sound silly to suggest that there is a superiority of taste in the boxed packaging, but this is simply the truth.

The boxes do not merely house a better product, they have better packaging and can be decoratively stacked in your apartment when you’re finished. They hearken to an old time in Canada, a time before the harsh efficiency of polyethylene bags, a time before snack products needed prizes or pictures of hockey players to draw you in, a time when a product was just successful because it was good, not because it had been branded cleverly. That is everything that comes to mind when you bite into a ketchup chip from an Old Dutch box, though the nirvana of flavor pushes these thoughts to a subconscious level where they wait for your dreams.

Of course, this is not the only new snack experience that awaits Americans over the border. Canada also has a product called Cheezies (“Made with real Canadian cheese!”) which puts Cheetos to shame, forever relegating them to a distant second place like a hockey championship between Canada and the U.S. (oh I went there). And sitting in the candy bar section, like a chewy Canadian hero, is the Eatmore bar, which is less a candy bar than a journey into the great toffee yonder.

This is Canada (it was really hard to get them to stand still).

Nothing defines a country more than its snacks, for they are the littlest of the little things that make up life, and are often how we spend our nights, sitting marooned on a sofa holding the bag as if it was an old dog that died years ago. So when I say there is a superior product up north, I do not do so with any arrogance or raged sense of Canadian nationalism; I merely mention it with the spirit of the original North American Free Trade Agreement. I want to bring our countries together and engender a better world where communication and trade and snacks flow freely.

In this dream an American will not have to stretch his arm over the border to grab from the proverbial bowl of ketchup chips, because sitting on his lap, in America, will be his own.


Other recent articles:

An Inside Look at Trader Joe’s Notorious Canadian Knock-Off – Seattle Weekly
You Can Buy a Ticket to Space in Gig Harbor - Seattle Weekly
Thanksgiving is About More than Turkey, I Think – Literally Humor
McGinn: Decent Docent – City Arts


Chason Gordon
Copyright 2013

 

39 comments on “Why No Ketchup Chips, America?

  1. stacydanielle@gmail.com
    05/01/2012

    Herrs makes ketchup flavored chips (specifically Heniz Ketcup chips), sold in PA, NJ and parts of NY that I have seen.

    • Kiki
      01/16/2014

      The kind Herr’s makes compared to the kind Lays makes in Canada is different. Herr’s tastes cheap. This was a great read. I was talking to a friend and telling him how Ketchup chips were so hard to find here and that Coffee Crisp was sooo much better than their version.

  2. Blaze
    09/10/2012

    Lol im canadien im lucky execpt i love lays!!!! U r prob thr biggest ketchup chip fan

  3. adbearrobe
    09/17/2012

    I luv and miss my Old Dutch Ketchup chips….and I also heat Ketchup mini rice cakes. Dill Pickle chips are also hard to find, at least in the Southwest.

    • Pepper
      07/23/2013

      We have Dill Pickle chips everywhere here in Miami! -^_^- I still miss ketchup chips the most… :'(

  4. adbearrobe
    09/17/2012

    thats HEART ketchup minis

  5. Des
    09/17/2012

    I sooo agree! Old Dutch Ketchup is much better… you can buy Kernels KETCHUP seasoning from walmart and sprinkle them on popcorn and plain chips… I have done that when Ketchup chip deprived. They are also missing Cherry Blossoms down there… soooo sad!

  6. Sy
    10/16/2012

    I am from Hawaii and am not a potato chip lover. Except for ketchup chips! I shamelessly have asked any friend or co-workers traveling to Canada to bring me some. And I have told co-workers I will not share them around the office. I, too, don’t understand why two very American things are not available here. I am eating some as we speak thanks to a co-worker. Keep up the campaign!

  7. kirsten
    01/31/2013

    lol i love canada :) ketchup…..nom nom nom :)

  8. Dan
    02/21/2013

    Finally someone that may love Ketchup chips as much as me!!! I wonder if we can sign a petition to get the chips in the US…or just start a black market for them…

    • micki
      08/08/2013

      I”ll sign and get more signatures !!

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  12. Katherine
    04/11/2013

    I traveled to the states last summer and we found HOTDOG flavored chips, but no ketchup ones :( I didn’t realize Americans don’t have Cheezies either, you poor depraved souls!

  13. do you Agree
    05/18/2013

    Hi there, You have done a great job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  14. Greg
    05/20/2013

    Ever consider eating fruit or veggies? I’m sure there are a lot bigger issues to consider then the lack of ketchup chips in th US. You are and idiot.

    • FaggotGreg
      06/16/2013

      Perhaps you should be trying to go solve these problems then, instead of commenting on a blog, you dumb nigger.

      • YouDeservedItGreg
        01/13/2014

        win.

    • Yupgregsucks
      09/12/2013

      Wow ya he really is a prick. But in a way there are bigger problems, like no all dressed chips.

  15. harvey
    06/06/2013

    Frito lay IS an American company……not a Canadian one

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frito-Lay

    • Thepointwasketchupchips
      09/12/2013

      Not the point

    • Gustav
      12/05/2013

      He knows that. He was talking about the Canadian subsidiary of Frito-lay which formed by purchasing Hostess (not the Twinkie company, the Canadian chip company) years ago.

  16. Lisa
    06/18/2013

    I just discovered ketchup chips (Lays brand) during a recent visit to Canada. Tried them on a whim and LOVE them. OMG! They are sooooo good. Bought a couple extra bags for the drive back to the US and wish I would have bought more. Though I’ll be flying home to California soon I am more than willing to stuff more bags in my luggage. Now that I think about it maybe it’s a good thing they aren’t available near me…..I might gain another 20 lbs inhaling those chips.

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    06/19/2013

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  18. Val
    08/06/2013

    I lived in Canada for 10+ years and I fell in love with Old Dutch Ketchup Chips. When I moved back to Hong Kong 9 years ago the one thing I missed most is Old Dutch Ketchup Chips!!! Last time I went back to visit friends and family I filled my largest luggage bag (which is huge) with Old Dutch Ketchup Chips and when I went through Hong Kong customs they looked at me like I was crazy! Wait till you tried a chip and you will know but you are NOT getting any from my precious collection!!!!

  19. RJ
    10/20/2013

    Cheezies and eatmore bars rule ketchup can go south no loss

  20. Gustav
    12/05/2013

    FYI, Sobeys now has “Extra Flavour” Ketchup chips and Presidents Choice has “Loads O’ Flavour” Ketchup chips. You can’t even see the chip, they’re so coated with Ketchup seasoning.

  21. Jk
    12/11/2013

    An Eat-More is a chocolate bar. Canadians don’t say candy bar.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=poser

  22. brenda
    01/01/2014

    Don’t forget about Smarties. Yum.

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    04/01/2014

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  25. Chelsea terry
    06/08/2014

    I want to cry everytime I think of ketchup chips. I am a Canadian living in Florida. I have family up in canada sending them whenever they can. No one can visit without bringing a few boxes with them. I remember Pringles’ attempt at ketchup chips and it was a disgrace. All I’m asking for is a quality snack in the states. I say Americans are missing out.

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  29. DH
    08/11/2014

    What a great article! I was reduced to tears at your description of crossing the border with a car jam packed with ketchup chips.

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