Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chips vs. Pretzels - No Contest

Hey, here’s something I bet you’ve never really thought much about… the popularity of chips over pretzels.  Everybody loves chips, I mean really, what’s not to love, but pretzels, well they’re kind of the outcast of the snack food community.

Chips are easy to make.  You take a potato, slice it up, drop the pieces into hot oil, and voila… chips!  Pretzels on the other hand take much more work.  You have to figure out how to make pretzel dough, kneed it, take small amounts of the dough and roll them into long segments, then fold ‘em all up so that they take the classic pretzel shape, then bake them.  Seriously, who has time to do that?  It’s no wonder there are so few people out there making pretzels. 

Chips come in a variety of flavours.  Nowadays, you can pretty well get chips in any flavour you can imagine.  Sour Cream & Onion, Ketchup, Dill Pickle, Chicken Wings, Mesquite, Salt & Vinegar, and the list goes on and on.  Granted, some of the available flavours do sound absolutely disgusting, but obviously people are buying them or else they wouldn’t make them.  There are so many options of potato chip flavours that depending on your mood that day, you can find a chip that will satisfy your snack food needs.  Pretzels on the other hand, well, they taste like pretzels.  No fancy flavours there.  I hope you like pretzel flavour, because that’s all you’re going to get!

Pretzel manufacturers had such high hopes of success, and kudos to them for trying, but one day they must have walked into their big pretzel warehouse and realized they made way too many pretzels than the market demanded.  This forced them to ask themselves some difficult questions, the most important of which was “What are we going to do with all these pretzels?!”  It was during one of those executive pretzel meetings where the Vice President of Pretzels accidentally dropped a pretzel into his yogurt (even he preferred yogurt as a snack food over pretzels).  Upset, he ate the pretzel anyway, and that’s when a little light went off, and his eyes opened real wide!  “This pretzel tastes less like pretzel if we mask its flavour with yogurt!”  So they started covering their left over pretzels in yogurt, put them into smaller bags, and marketed them as a healthier alternative to chips.  They also tried covering them in chocolate, although the health benefits start to become a little foggy with that idea.  I give them an “A” for effort, but regardless of whether I've got “the facts” straight of the inner workings of the pretzel industry, when it comes right down to it, it’s still a pretzel.  They’re not fooling anyone.    

Chips have a nice gentle crunch, and have managed to find a perfectly balanced ratio between crunch intensity, and the strength of their consumers teeth and jaw.  It doesn’t take much effort to eat chips, and let’s be honest, if you’re sitting at home eating chips, you’re down for the count, and likely not in any mood to be expending any more effort or energy than absolutely necessary.  Pretzels are just far too crunchy.  If you bite a pretzel the wrong way, there’s potential it could puncture your cheek.  Now who wants to deal with that? 

If you’re having a party, and you put out one bowl of chips and one bowl of pretzels, it’s guaranteed that you’ll be re-filling the chip bowl several times throughout the evening.  Most of the pretzels on the other hand will likely find their way back into the bag at the end of the night, leaving the host to wonder why they even bought them in the first place.  Some people try to mix the pretzels in with other things, hoping the combination of alcohol and the munchies will confuse people into eating at least a couple, and sometimes that works.  In any good snack mix though, the pretzels will always be the last to go, and if you find yourself faced with a bowl of remnant snack mix pretzels, just think about how many hands have reached into that bowl, and pushed the pretzels around in order to get to the cheesies and other little goodies first.  Unless you really want to catch a cold, you may want to pass.

So there you have it.  If you haven't ever really thought about this, now you have, and I think we can all agree the verdict is out.  Chips are awesome, pretzels are not.  Case closed.


  1. Love it!!!! As usual, well articulated.

  2. See you mentioned Cheesies, but not where they fall in this mix. Clearly not a pretzel, but not a chip either but perhaps surpass both in awesomeness.

    1. Cheesies are more complicated, and are hard to pin down. Chips you can eat anytime. Pretzels you only eat if there's nothing else left. For Cheesies, you have to be in a Cheesies kind of mood, because you can get sick of 'em real quick. Cheesies are most enjoyable when you least expect it. You may find yourself in a situation where someone has a few Cheesies scattered amongst some other snack mix ingredients, and as soon as you have that first one, it's like WOW! You wonder to yourself why you haven't bought any Cheesies in something like 2 years!! You completely forgot how awesome they are!! So you rush out and buy some, but by that time the excitement has kind of passed, so they'll sit in your cupboard for a week or two, until you eventually remember "Oh yeah, I have Cheesies!!" You'll then polish off the entire bag in no time at all, but realize as you get near the bottom of the bag that you're kind of Cheesied out. The craving has once again passed, and back to chips you go. And so the cycle continues.

  3. these are all very interesting thoughts and ideas, but I believe there is more of a challenge between salty snacks and sweet delights..i do wholeheartedly agree chips are the superior snack. My sexy figure comes directly from the goodness of the bottom of a ruffles sour cream n onion bag.(1995 fatman award winner) they are truly wonderful. Now at the same time I cannot sit back and let the pretzel get trashed. The pretzel is a great delivery system for some of the best dips in the world, such as Helluva Good dip. helluva on this good friday is especially good. but thats for another religous discussion...but there are so many dips to wade your pretzel into. all the cream cheese and philly dips. now after defending the twisted delicacy, I must admit the pretzel sticks suck, they will impale you. surprized nobody hasn't been mortally injured. ...as for cheezies, (both fluffy and cheetos style hard), smart food and ringo's, hickory sticks and other random snacks do not have the same satisfaction level of both the chip and the pretzel. Afterwards you never say i'm going to eat them again tomorrow like a bag of Sour Cream 'n' onion chips, they are the family that you visit and promise to get together more often at Christmas and you never call them, until next Christmas......and yes I did get sour cream n' onion Ruffles back after they were discontinued for the french onion style, spent many days calling and writing letters while living at Huntington. ..but in defence of the pretzel my friend Steve's mother makes a spicy pretzel mix that is fantastic....now pass me the peanuts, because they're tasty with this delicious beer.