This is awesome. NPR recently dedicated a segment of Morning Edition to the history of Friots. This is awesome — they go crazy for everyone’s favorite pre-Dorito corn chip:
Charles Elmer Doolin is one such man. Possessed by a vision. By corn. By creating snack food. Doolin was obsessed with Fritos, his daughter Kaleta said. During the Depression in the 1930s, Doolin had a confectionery in San Antonio. Always an innovator, he got a bug to put some kind of corn snack on his counters. Tortillas staled, so Doolin went on a mission. At a gas station, Doolin found a Mexican man making an extruded corn chip out of masa, frying it and selling little bags of the fried corn chips. They were fritos, “little fried things” — the beach food of Mexico. Doolin bought the patent and 14 customers from the man and began to make the chips in his own kitchen at home, with his mother perfecting his recipe. “His life was one big hidden kitchen,” his son-in-law Alan Govenar said. Doolin had kitchens in his factory, kitchens in his lab, kitchens with test tubes and beakers in his house.
If that’s not enough, they also have the audio from a classic Mitch Hedberg sketch.
The Birth of the Frito [NPR]