Guest Blogger: Meredith Hoffa

Meredith Hoffa is one of my favorite people.  She’s fun to chow with, but I can just talk about lint with her and be thoroughly happy.  Here she talks about potato chips and now I’m hungry for all of them.

RUSTY’S These are the top potato chips in the universe. The salt to grease ratio is impeccable, plus these chips are hard as a rock.  And the crunch sends a little jolt of reverb through your head which might sound unpleasant but is actually strangely exhilarating. Pair with a Diet Coke.

DIRTY CHIPS (Sea Salted) Say “sea salt,” and I am instantly attracted to whatever the product is.  In part because I am white but also because the words “sea salt” on a label imply a plainness, a straightforwardness.  Which I quite appreciate since I’m the type of lady who always prefers the basic, original version of a food over an innovatively-flavored, newfangled version. Like I despise flavored chips (except for the one varietal on this list).  And am of the opinion that BBQ or lime or jalepeno/fiery fiesta/jerkhole chips are generally

1) a disgusting mess, 2) a marketing tragedy, and 3) an offense to innocent, straight-talking chips everywhere who are just trying to do their job.

Likewise, my coffee mustn’t be vanilla or hazelnut. Cream cheese must not be jacked up with chives or flecks of salmon (vomit).  And so forth.  Please, just give me the food in its plain, original version.  So I can taste it.  Sea salt, I feel, respects this preference.

CAPE COD A few years back, when my mom first started chemo, all sorts of gifts started pouring in from her friends and colleagues. There were lotions, candles, little potpourri sachets to put in your delicates drawer.  All that type of supercute girlie biz that I always compels me.

But the best gift she received — the one that really blew my mind and continues to blow my mind to this day — is a huge crate of Cape Cod Potato chips. A CRATE! That arrives at the house via UPS!  With like a dozen big bags of chips in it!  I’ll never forget it.  In fact now I’m curious whether this gift is chosen specifically because Cape Cods are known to be a *thing* with my mom? Or whether these friends just put their heads together and simply said let’s get her one million Cape Cod potato chips, who wouldn’t love that?  Either way seems pretty terrific.

RUFFLES CHEDDAR AND SOUR CREAM These are not fancy schmancy chips, they’re buy-’em-in-a-gas-station chips. But they are extreeeemely lovely and refreshing, orange hue and crinkles and all. I actually never gave these chips the time of day until one afternoon recently.  And as I sit there under an umbrella — homemade apple juice popsicle in one hand and Ruffle in the other — watching naked toddlers bobble around chasing a rabbit, I think to myself, this is a happy moment.

WISE ALL NATURAL This ranking is 50% taste-based, 50% nostalgia factor. When I eat these, I am eight and slathering Coppertone and sitting on our ribbed green blanket at Crystal Lake. Where we are eating these chips along with a turkey sandwich.  And it is post-swim, because if you eat before you swim you will die. For dessert I can have 2 (two) Fig Newtons and a plum.


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