Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Frito Pie, How Do We Love Thee? Let Us Count the Ways ...

Photo source: Roadfood
Back in 1932, a year generally regarded as the nadir of the Depression, a San Antonian named C.E. "Elmer" Doolin tasted a home-fried corn chip in a Mexican cafe. He was so intrigued by its taste that he paid $100 for the chip's recipe and the right to market it.

Not that Mr. Doolin actually had $100 cash. He borrowed the money from his mama, Daisy Dean Doolin. Mrs. Doolin must have had an unshakable faith in her son, because she gave C.E. her diamond wedding ring to pawn for that $100 loan.

What's more, she let him set up shop in her kitchen and mix batch after batch of corn dough, which was shaped into strips by extruding the dough through a converted potato ricer. And she fried innumerable strips of ground corn in hot vegetable oil while C.E. and his brother, Earl, experimented with perfecting the chips. One can only imagine how many hours she must have spent scrubbing oil splatters from the walls and floor. ...
It is Fritos 75th anniversary and what better way to celebrate than with a tasty Frito Pie? Yes, they're a guilty pleasure for me. I love 'em. The Morning News has a round up of recipes, local spots to find them, and even (gasp) a story about a New Mexico wanna-be who is making the claim to inventing our beloved Frito Pie. Now, that's just plain wrong! (Free registration required.)

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