The Perfect Potato Chip

   I have to say that the potato chips of today leave a little to be desired in comparison to potato chips of old.

   Of course when we start talking about the perfect potato chip, a lot depends on personal preference.

   Some people like a hearty chip, with a thicker cut, maybe a ridged chip made to hold up under the scoop of dipping.  And for those seeking the strongest chip, they go for the kettle cooked chips.

   Others prefer a thinly sliced chip, so paper-thin that you can see through it.

  Of course you have to consider flavor, salty or less so?  Sour cream and onion? Or barbecue?  Then there are the people at the edges of good taste who go in for the more exotic flavors like pizza flavored potato chips, or Old Bay flavored. Some of the really out there folks like things like chocolate covered chips.

  But it’s not just  flavor that makes a chip, the perfect chip. It is also about the size and shape of the chip.

  Now I am going to give you my version of the perfect chip, this by no means is intended to mean that it would be the perfect chip for everyone.

  I like a thinly sliced natural potato chip, (not those pre-formed potato products, though they will do when there isn’t a better choice), I like my chips salty, I like a chip that is big enough that I have to stretch my mouth to get it in. But not so big that I have to take two bites. I hate the chips that have gotten folded over in the process. A perfect chip should be the shape of the potato. If the chip is plain and salty, then I like it to have just a hint of the brown color from being slightly over cooked. I guess you would say that I like a more traditional chip.

  My perfect chip however is barbecue, with salt and vinegar coming in a close second. I like my chips with a little kick to them, so that their flavor can stand up to the sandwich I may be having with them. No weak flavorless chip for me.

  Now of course the perfect chip has to be whole and unbroken, there is just something about that whole, unbroken chip that adds to the pleasure and enjoyment of the chip, that is not there with the crumbs at the bottom of the bag.

  You would think that with the many different brands of chips out there and the number of flavors, and the thousand, or millions, of bags of chips in the world, that we would come across the perfect chip every time we open a bag of chips. Not so.

  In fact it is becoming more and more of a challenge to find the perfect chip. One may only come across that perfect chip in every tenth bag, maybe only in every twentieth or so.  Why? Because the bags get handled so very roughly these days. There was a time when the people who were in charge of  putting out the bags would handle them with care, so as not to break the chips into pieces.

  In today’s world however, the people who have the responsibility of putting out the chips seem to be intent on breaking them for no good reason.

  I can’t tell you how many times I have come across what I thought was the perfect chip, only to notice that it had a small green spot at the edge of the chip. Of course I went ahead and ate the chip, even though it tends to leave a slightly off taste in my mouth.

  I can’t begin to tell you how many inferior chips I have had to eat, just to get through a bag of chips in the hope of finding the perfect chip. Of course as you near the bottom of the bag, the likelihood of finding that chip becomes less likely.

  These inferior chips always leave me wanting, longing for the next perfect chip, and so I keep opening bags and eating chip in the hope of the next perfect chip.

  Now as I said, my idea of the perfect chip may run counter to that of others, I mean some strange people actually like potato sticks. Nasty! I have seen some people actually take a brand new bag of chips and bust them all into nothing but a bag of crumbs. I have no idea why. But everyone has the right to their own idea of the perfect chip. Of course there are people who consider themselves potato chip aficionados, and will tell you that the said perfect chip that you have found in that rare bag, is not actually perfect. They may even reach out and snap off a piece just for their own sense of fun. They will also tell you that you shouldn’t eat any chip at all, unless it is a perfect chip according to their standards.

  So, if you have stuck with me this far, and you are wondering what in the heaven’s name I am talking about, and why, well think about this.

  If you replace the idea of the perfect potato chip, with the idea of the perfect political candidate in my writing, well it may make more sense.

   Like the search for the perfect potato chip, there is always the search for the perfect candidate. And like the chip, not everyone can agree on what constitutes the perfect candidate. The same as there is no one perfect chip for everyone, there is no perfect candidate for everyone either.

  Some like a candidate that is strong and able to stand up under the scoop of the media and the opposition party. Some prefer a candidate that is thin  and easily broken to an agenda that fits their views. Some even like the pre-formed candidate that comes out of the can ready-made, with little flavor. And yes, some like the potato stick type candidate. Nasty!

   Like the search for the perfect chip, we will have to search long and hard to find the perfect candidate. We will many times settle for an inferior candidate that leaves a bad taste in out mouths. But we do not throw out the entire bag just because it did not contain the perfect ideal candidate.

    After all, we won’t know if the perfect chip is in the bag until we reach the bottom.

   We also have to contend with the people who have put themselves up as the deciders of perfection. They will be more than glad to tell the world about the small green spot at the edge of an otherwise perfect candidate. Why? In many cases, because they are small,  frustrated people who have been failure in their own attempts to be the perfect anything.

  So,  in the same way we go to a party and find the chip bowl filled with chips that are broken, or of a flavor that may not be our favorite, we will eat them just the same. Because it is better to have something to nibble on until the bowl is refilled, than to stand in a corner whining that the perfect chip has already been eaten.

  Sooner or later someone will refill the bowl. As with candidates, sooner or later another perfect candidate will come along. We must however keep our eye open for them. We must not be so consumed with searching for them, that we miss them.

  We may also have to accept,  that for the near future we will need to accept that small green spot at the edge, and recognise that it really doesn’t taste all that bad, compared to potato sticks.



3 Comments on "The Perfect Potato Chip"

  1. Duke Brooks says:

    Just as potatoes are grown for specific purposes and sizes, the chips they yield are likewise specialized. When making California dip, (1 pint of sour cream mixed with one envelope of Lipton’s onion soup mix), the best chip is Ruffles with ridges, unflavored.
    To accompany a tuna fish salad sandwich on white toast with extra mayonnaise, Utz sour cream and onion flavor are the best. They are also the best when placed on a ham-and-Swiss-on-rye with mustard and mayonnaise, which is the ultimate mohammedan-proof sammich. Incidentally, the best canned tuna on this earth is Bumble Bee premium fancy white albacore in water, which comes in a gold-colored can. It’s absolutely awesome and makes the best damn tuna fish salad in the known universe. A fresh onion and Hellman’s real mayonnaise is the only way, incidentally. Beyond that, the ultimate luncheon meal made at home is the tuna fish salad sammich on white toast with a little extra mayonnaise, some Utz sour cream and onion chips on the side, and a cold glass of “Promised Land” midnight chocolate milk, which is the single most delicious thing that has ever existed in the known history of mankind. Depend on it.

  2. kavips says:

    I think the moral of Frank’s story is one must get rid of those nitpickers whose words blemish every chip, before the host will again come by to refill the bowl with lots of brand new chips.

    I think that is a lesson the Republican Party can take to the bank….

  3. FRANK KNOTTS says:

    thank you kavips, I had started to think that the message was too subtle.

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