Here, you may behold ruminations on a variety of crunchy snacks (and associated truths) by gutbloom, Mayor of LiveJournal, along with the comment the entry inspired me to make.
In fact, I should do this:
My comment, archived, in case the Mayor decides to again delete his journal.
Of Chips, Etc...
I once had a conversation with the Frito delivery man as he ate his lunch while parked in the shade of a big eucalyptus tree on Mooney Drive one summer afternoon. I was probably nine or ten. I'd been out riding my skate coaster (standard roller skate in two parts, the halves nailed to the ends of a two-by-four, a wooden apple crate nailed to the top of one end of the board-- you saw one in "Back to the Future.") I'd stopped in the shady spot by the roadside to adjust the skate halves (if they came even a bit out of alignment, the coaster would tend to veer to one side or the other), and the big, orange Frito truck pulled to a stop right there.
I don't remember what we talked about, or if the driver offered any opinions, but I remember the sound of the truck's side panel door opening and the rustle of waxed paper as the driver unwrapped his sandwich. He used the floor of the truck as a bench, the stacks of boxes filled with bags of Fritos behind him like a guarded golden treasure. He finished his lunch in just a few minutes and, before he left, gave me a nickle bag of Fritos (the smallest bags were only a nickle then, and a frequent item in the lunches I took to school), but told me not to open it until I got got home and got permission from my mother. It's the way things were done then.
The Fritos were just plain Frito flavored. That's the only kind they made. Potato chips were just plain potato chips, too. BBQ potato chips didn't appear in the markets until a couple of years later, and were the only other flavor for several more years. If someone had shown us a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips, we'd have thought he and his snack were from France, or some such jaded, decadent place.
There was then no such thing as a Dorito. The only tortilla chips I'd ever seen were those sold from bins in Mexican delis. They were invariably fried in lard. I think the Fritos may have had lard in them too, in those days. I know they no longer taste as good as they used to. I have to say that lard is one of the tastiest of all the deadly foods. And my favorite application of lard when I was a kid was in another non-packaged snack-- the chichirones which, like the tortilla chips, were bought from bins in Mexican delis. Chichirones are, of course, fried pork skin, and I'm quite willing to give the opinion that you haven't risked death from coronary and arterial disease worthily until you've risked them from eating crunchy chunks of pig skin deep fried in pig fat. They are an irresistible abomination. I no longer eat them, of course, but the childhood memory of them (and the way they tended to stick halfway down my gullet in a painful lump that had to be washed down) is one of the delights of adulthood.
We did have pretzels, in both stick and traditional pretzel shapes, but I was never fond of them. Aside from these, Corn Nuts, and a few varieties of actual nuts, the only other salty snacks I can recall being available in those days were of the ever-popular cheesy sort. There were Cheez-It crackers, puffy Cheetos, and the small, capsule-shaped crackers called Cheese Nips, made by Nabisco. Each of these were available in but one basic flavor-- cheddar. Our choices were decidedly limited in those days, and yet I don't recall being disappointed by snacks as a child. Maybe the limited choices had something to do with that, or maybe the disappointment is just something that happens when you become an adult.
After the driver gave me the bag of Fritos, he got in his truck and drove off to his next delivery-- probably another small neighborhood market like the one around the corner from my house, with a rack a couple of feet wide capable of containing a few bags each of every size of every brand of every chip on the market. Of course, once he was gone I opened the bag of Fritos and ate them without going home to ask my mom, because that, too, was the way things were done then.
I crumpled the empty bag and stowed it in the space at the bottom of the apple crate for later discard (because I never threw trash on the street), and rode off on the coaster, down the steep hill past the little Pilgrim Holiness Church that nobody in the neighborhood attended, and the house where the dogs came barking and running along the fence, furious at my noise, and the house with the chicken coop in the yard, and the house where an apricot tree hung over the front fence (successfully tempting boys into theft each spring), and all the other houses to my own at the bottom of the hill. The steel wheels of the skates transmitted through the board every bump of the rough asphalt, filling my feet with an electric vibration. I could still taste the Fritos. If I concentrate, I can still taste them now.
Light now begins to reveal the east, silhouetting the bared branches of the oaks. I will observe its advance. Perhaps the dawn will bring colors as delicious as did last evening's sunset.