NPR : The Birth of the Frito

This spot is part of the Hidden Kitchens series on NPR.

C.E. Doolin had big plans for this chip. He opened a Casa de Frito restaurant in Disneyland in 1955, and another one in Dallas. The restaurants were a sort of precursor to fast food, a hybrid between hamburgers and Mexican food.

When he invented the Frito, C.E. Doolin imagined them as a side dish, a handful to be served with soup and salad to complement a meal. He never imagined anyone would consume an entire king-size bag. He rarely ate them.

The broadcast is mostly an interview with Kaleta Doolin (C.E. Doolin’s daughter) and her husband. Recipes are included at the bottom of the page.

I must admit I’m not a big Frito fan (I prefer pretzels) but I love this kind of story – products invented by a person not a corporation.

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