Geek Trivia

Doritos Chips Were Invented By?

A NYC Cab Driver
A Disneyland Chef
NASA
Ernest Hemingway
Calling The U.S. Financial Sector "Wall Street" Is An Example Of What Linguistic Concept?
An example of one of the early and elaborate Doritos vending machines.
Kevin Kidney/Flickr

Answer: A Disneyland Chef

Doritos have been on the market for so long now that it would be easy to assume they were a staple as old as potato chips themselves. The spicy triangular chip, however, can trace its roots back to a Disneyland restaurant in the early 1960s.

It was there that a Disneyland chef working in the Frontierland-located restaurant Casa de Fritos (known as Rancho del Zocalo now) came up with the idea to take surplus tortillas, slice them up into little wedges, and then fry them like traditional Mexican chips known as totopos, but season them like chilaquiles (only served dry instead of wetted down with salsa or mole). The photo here shows an early and elaborate vending machine that delivered bags of the chips down a chute as if they were coming from a mountain mine.

The new chip proved to be such a hit that the then vice president of marketing for Frito-Lay, Arch West, took note and struck a deal to begin regionally distributing them in 1964. Sales were so high that by 1966, they expanded distribution of the popular chip under the now well-known name “Doritos” to a national level (making Doritos the first national tortilla chip brand in the process).

Since then, Doritos have gone on to become the single best selling non-potato chip of all time, second in all chip sales only to Frito-Lay’s other popular chip, the ubiquitous Lay’s Potato Chips. That’s a pretty great return on a recipe intended to use up surplus tortillas, if we do say so ourselves.