A corn chip is a snack food made from cornmeal fried in oil or
baked, usually in the shape of a small noodle or scoop. Corn chips
are thick, rigid and very crunchy. Corn chips have the strong aroma
and flavor of roasted corn, and are often heavily dusted with salt.
In the US, Fritos is one of the oldest and most widely recognized
brands of corn chips.
While American-style corn chips and tortilla chips are both made
from corn, the corn in tortilla chips is subjected to the
nixtamalization process, resulting in a milder flavor and aroma, and
a less rigid texture. Tortilla chips also tend to be larger,
thinner, and less salty than American-style corn chips.
Corn chips are most often eaten alone or with a chip dip. They are a
common ingredient in homemade and commercial party mix. In the
Southwestern US, a popular dish, Frito pie, is made with corn chips
and chili. In some areas, it is popular to pour the chili into to a
bag of corn chips and eat the mixture directly from the bag.