The Various Types of Chips: A Universe of Crisps and Crunches
Chips or crisps (as the Brits call them) are a household snack staple. Let’s take a look at the diverse types of chips! This is especially crucial when getting a late-night munchies or while watching a good movie! Did you know that not all chips are made from potatoes? Some are made out of other roots, grains, beans, and fruits.
Types of Chips
Chips Made Out of Root:
- Sweet Potato Chips: Are made the same way as potato chips and are considered root vegetables. These chips have a very crunchy texture and their shape can be thin, curled or flat. They are sliced into thin pieces or pressed into oval-shaped chips. They can be seasoned, baked or deep-fried, and consumed as a snack or topping for some foods. Their flavor is sweeter than a regular chip.
- Tapioca Chips: Made from a deep-fried cassava root and are cut into thin wafers. They are quite common in South India and Sri Lanka, as well as in Indonesia where it is known as kripik singkong (cassava chips).
- Beet Chips: These types of chips are often baked or prepared in a dehydrator instead of being fried, which is a good sign for any healthy enthusiast. Beets have a lot of nutrients and they are colourful snack, but they are known to be higher in carbs in the vegetable family. While not the best option if you’re on a low-carb diet, this is definitely worth a try.
- Carrot Chips: Get an orangy snack. Carrot chips are usually salted or seasoned much just like ordinary chips. And what’s great with carrots is that they’re a great source of Vitamin A.
- Parsnip Chips: Parsnips are a root vegetable, similar to carrots or parsley roots. They are paleo, vegan, and have a slightly sweet taste. Parsnips are naturally lower in carbohydrate and higher in fibre than potatoes and sweet potatoes, which means that they are lower in calories and a little better for your digestive system. They retain the slightly sweet taste of parsnip with many kinds of seasonings that give these chips an interesting taste. Even if root vegetables aren’t your thing, you will be surprised at how good these chips are.
- Kohlrabi Chips: Part of the cabbage family, kohlrabi is an obscure and strange-sounding vegetable. It comes in green and purple kinds, and might not sound like the most obvious chip ingredient. But when sliced and eaten, it is crunchy and tasty, and goes wonderfully with seasonings like olive oil, salt, lemon or lime. Kohlrabi can be made into chips or even fries.
- Taro Chips: Another popular root vegetable, taro is a staple food in many parts of the world. Its root is full of fibre and vitamins, and has many benefits for digestion. When you cut open this plant’s rough exterior, you’ll see a cream-coloured flesh with purple streaks and lines, which is the part used in chips. Its taste is similar to potatoes, albeit more deep and nuttier. It makes for great chips as the decorative streaks make is aesthetically pleasing, give it a try!
- Lotus Root Chips: Lotus root is a Japanese fruit often used in simmered dishes. When cut into slices, this fruit has a unique circular shape with holes, which make for a pretty chip design. When baked or fried, they get as crispy as potato chips, and when sprinkled with pink Himalayan salt or seaweed, the result is a delicious Japanese-inspired snack!
Chips Made Out of Grains or Beans
Potatoes are once again substituted as the main ingredient and this can be very common practice in areas where potatoes do not normally grow.
- Tortilla Chips: These types of chips became popular in the 1940’s by Rebecca Webb Carranza and her husband, Mario Carranza. They were owners of a Mexican deli as well as the El Zarape Tortilla Factory in Los Angeles. It is believed that the couple installed an automated tortilla-making machine that churned out a copious amount of product, however, the quality was often questionable. A lot of the tortillas ended up being misshapen and damaged. Not wanting to be wasteful, they decided to cut up these tortillas and fry them. The result? A staple to Mexican cuisine was born! Today, tortillas are usually served as an entree or appetizer in many Mexican restaurants. A popular way to eat tortillas is to use salsa and/or guacamole as a dip. Another popular way to eat tortilla chips is by making nachos; A popular tortilla dish that is served with melted or shredded cheese. Many toppings (such as meat,salsa, refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, diced onions, olives, and pickled jalapeños) can be added to make it a meal. Tortilla chips are usually made of yellow corn, they can also be made of white, blue, or red corn or even wheat flour.
- Corn Chips: Made from cornmeal, they are fried in oil or baked. They resemble a noodle or a scoop and are thick, firm, and crunchy. They smell and taste like roasted corn and are densely seasoned with salt. They taste marvelous alone or can be accompanied by a dip.
The Differences Between Corn Chips and Tortilla Chips
- The corn in the tortilla chip undergoes a nixtamalization process that gives the chip a milder flavour and aroma.
- The corn chip’s texture is also less rigid than the tortilla.
- Corn chips tend to be saltier, and smaller than Tortilla chips.
- Tortilla Chips are less fatty than corn chips.
- Bean Chips: These are chips that are considered to have a higher fiber and protein content compared to corn and potato chips since they are made out of beans. They are prepared from a variety of beans such as pinto beans, black beans, and white beans. Sometimes, green beans are also used. To add to the beans, some chips will also contain rice flour. The bean dough is steamed, sliced, and fried. Like any other types of chips, they can be consumed on their own or accompanied by a dip.
- Pita Chips: Made from pita bread, they are cut into triangles, and are baked or fried. They come in a variety of different seasonings (e.g., Zatar, sesame, cumin) and are known to be a very popular and tasty snack. They taste great with hummus or spinach artichoke dip. Many manufacturers claim these chips are healthier than potato chips or other snack foods.
Chips Made Out of Greens
As we know greens are essential food group that can assist us fight cancer and inflammations in our body. Let’s face it, eating greens is not the most delightful meal (unless you invest in a great salad dish). Thus, why not explore the healthy green snacks as an alternative:
- Kale Chips: The invention of Kale Chips is actually a charming love story. Around the year 2005, New York Chef, Herbert Rindfleisch, wanted a healthier lifestyle. He had gained a significant amount of weight due to his profession and had a reputation for being a chip enthusiast. Rindfleisch made it his personal mission to find a healthier alternative to his favorite snack, chips! His goal was to lose weight and bond with his nutritionist future bride. This is where he came up with the idea for kale chips! As a result, Rindfleisch lost over 100 pounds and looked amazing in his wedding photos and now, the happy couple can enjoy a nice bowl of kale chips together!
- Swiss Chard, Turnip or Radish Chips: Greens from Swiss chard, turnip or even from radish can serve as a great base for chips. Spread oil and few spices and you have it ready in the oven. These colourful leaves are very decorative, as well as healthy as they are an excellent source of fiber and vitamins. Not to mention that otherwise, most people will throw those leaves to the garbage bin. Instead of creating waste, use it to have a crunchy and yummy chips.
- Spinach Chips: Spinach is another leafy ingredient that contains lots of fiber and vitamins. Mix some garlic and you can fry or bake it. These crispy leaves will be munched in no time. I have seen those crispy spinach served with peanut sauce in a Thai restaurant. Not sure if it is a common appetizer dish.
- Collard Chips: Collard is rich in vitamins and minerals that help lower calories and is high in fibre and protein. This superfood can withstand temperatures and should be planted in early spring so that its leaves have time to mature before the weather warms up. One can enjoy this amazing green chips variant with sandwiches and soups or munch them for the right nutrition punch.
- Seaweed Chips (Nori): Seaweeds have always been consumed as a nutrition-rich snack, and the most widely known nimble food is Nori, which is very popular in Japanese cuisine. There are many types of chips that are made of seaweed with different applications and distinctive flavour profiles, all of which are highly nutritious.
Chips Made Out of Fruits
Certain common chips come from the fruit kingdom. We included the common fruit chips:
- Plantain Chips: Also known as alloco, dodo, or chicharritas are made from green plantains. They are thinly sliced, and deep-fried until they are crisp. They are then sprinkled with seasoning to give them an absolutely divine taste and are an excellent carb alternative to potatoes! They are grown and are popular in tropical regions, such as portions of Africa, the Americas, and the Caribbean.
- Banana Chips: These are increasing in popularity and are made from dried, fried bananas. They’re often coated with a sugary syrup or seasoned with spices or salt. This is a good snack to have when you want to refuel your energy while participating in an outdoor activity such as hiking. The dehydration process allows these types of chips to have a longer-than-usual shelf life than fresh bananas. This snack is known to be full of simple carbs, you don’t have to worry about it being damaged or bruised like a banana would and they are also very easy to pack.
- Apple Chips: Often seasoned with cinnamon or caramel, these chips can be purchased in a store or easily made at home by baking, using an air fryer or dehydrator. The sweetness and tartness of the apple make these chips a must-have for your palate!
- Jackfruit Chips: Chakka Upperi is a popular teat in the southern part of this Asian country. This anytime snack is prepared by deep frying half-ripe jackfruit flesh and can even be roasted or baked if you prefer less oil in your snacks. They are rich in fibre, which helps in good digestion, and are also eaten to aid weight loss.
- Citrus Chips: Have you ever considered turning fresh citrus into the most gorgeous dried citrus chips in your oven? Well, you should definitely try it. This process is easy and can be used with cocktails, garnishes, teas, and lots more. You can also try mixing it with whole spices like cinnamon sticks and star anise for a fragrant and homemade potpourri (naturally fragrant mixture to offer gentle scent in your house).
- Coconut Chips: Healthy snacking is not supposed to be mundane or dull taste. Coconut chips are a delicious example of a sweet and salty flavour combo. They are formed from moistened, creamy coconut flesh that has been cooked with coconut blossom nectar till it becomes crisp and delicious.
- Pear chips: Convert fresh pears dehydrated into delicious pear chips! This tasty treat has also high fiber and vitamins content. This helps control cholesterol and reduce risk to heart diseases. Some choose to crystalize the thin slices of the pear and add it to a cold scoop of ice cream.
- Pineapple Chips: Dried pineapple chips are love! They’re a healthy snack packed with enzymes, dietary fibre and antioxidants and are an effective low-fat way to get some quick energy.
- Strawberry Chips: Looking for chips with a tangy taste? Try these tasty oven-dried or baked strawberries with granola, oatmeal, and more. This is a healthy, refined-sugar-free treat which you can enjoy without consuming excessive sugar content, unlike other desserts.
Who knew there would be such an amazing variety of crisps? If you are curious about trying one of these types of chips, why not check our Dessert Advisor’s search feature so you can find some chips near you!