Thursday, February 09, 2006

Un momento del silencio, por favor

Rebecca Webb Carranza -- not a household name, at least not in very many households -- passed away last month at the grand old age of 98. If you have never heard of the lady, I'm betting you have at least partaken of her very tasty contribution to the culinary world. Mrs. Carranza was the inventor and grand matron of that staple of Tex-Mex restaurants and Super Bowl parties, the tortilla chip!
In the late 1940, the Carranza family's Los Angeles-gaxed El Zarape Tortilla Factory began making tortillas by machine, but at first many of the corn and flour disks were misshapen and had to be thrown away.

Carranza took some of the rejects home for a party, cut them into triangles and fried them. The result was a huge hit with her guests and she began selling them for 10 cents a bag. By the 1960s the Tort Chips, as they were called, were El Zarape's main business.
We plan to pay our respects by overeating at El Corral today.

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