Who makes the world's greatest potato chip? If you asked me in 1990, I would have told you Frito Lay's Crunch Tators were the undisputed greatest potato chips of all time. For whatever bizarre reason, Frito Lay suddenly dropped Crunch Tators and their alligator mascot. Personally, I think they recognized that the out of this world Crunch Tators would eventually wipe out their regular Lay's brand chips. There wasn't much of a contest there. Sure, Lay's are good chips, particularly certain flavors. But Crunch Tators were from another world: thick, high-quality chips with five-star potato taste. And chef-quality seasonings such as Cajun, Barbecue, and Jalapeno. A great package design topped it off. Only Fruit Pie the Magician suffered an equally disrespectful fate as the Crunch Tator Gator.
My travels around the internet confirm the greatness of Crunch Tators. Hundreds of people are demanding the return of Crunch Tators potato chips. I certainly hope Frito Lay comes to its senses soon and starts making those fantastic Crunch Tators again.
But until that day, fellow Crunch Tator fans, I have wonderful news for you. It turns out that Frito Lay didn't invent the Crunch Tator. Rather, they copied it from the originator, Zapp's Potato Chips outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. On a trip there, a bag of Zapp's Original Flavor was included with my room service order. One chip and I recognized a thick potato slice, extra-satisfying compared to the ordinary thin chip, and realized that I had the original Crunch Tator.
Zapp's chips are five-star gourmet chips, with less salt and fat but more quality and taste. Remember Cajun Crunch Tators? Try Zapp's Cajun Crawtators. They are probably the best flavor. Other great ones are Cajun Dill, Sour Cream and Creole Onion, and Hotter n Hot Jalapeno. I usually don't like burning hot chips, but found Zapp's Jalapeno to be surprisingly good - less heat than some others and more flavor. But you still notice it. And even plain Original Flavor is outstanding. That's what happens when you start with a quality chip and unique cooking process. Zapp's also has frequent special flavors such as a Steak flavor I had years back, and recently, Creole Tomato with real Tabasco sauce (much hotter than the Jalapeno!). Currently, they have two special packagings of Crawtators and Original Flavors called, TigerTators (in honor of LSU) and WhoDat?
You may find Zapp's at finer stores, but there is always their entertaining and easy to use web site, where you can order the flavors you like and have them shipped right to you. Enjoy the world's greatest potato chip, Zapp's.