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Entry from September 02, 2006
Frito Pie

Fritos corn chips began in 1932. Someone, sometime, thought of the idea of adding chili to the corn chips and “Frito pie” was born.

Daisy Dean Doolin, the mother of Frito founder Elmer Doolin, is said to have invented Frito pie in the 1930s, but no documentation is shown for this.

Teresa Hernandez served Frito pies at the Woolworth’s (now Five and Dime) in Santa Fe, New Mexico from the 1960s, but she didn’t invent the pie.

Recipes for Frito pie (or something similar) have frequently appeared in cookbooks and newspapers from the 1940s. A “Cummings corn chips” version of “tamale pie” is given in a 1933 recipe (below).


Wikipedia: Frito pie
Frito pie is a corn chip and chili con carne dish of disputed origin, popular in the South Western United States.

A basic Frito pie is really no more then a small single-serving bag of Fritos corn chips, with a cup of chili poured over the top, usually finished up with grated cheese or onions. Because there are so many Fritos compared to the amount of chili, only part of the Fritos will get saturated by the chili, and most will stay at least partly crunchy.

History
Frito pie (also known as “Frito Chili Pie” or, in the Midwest, a “Walking Taco") may have originated in the 1960s with Teresa Hernandez, who worked at the F. W. Woolworth’s lunch counter in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Eating it became such a tradition that around 1997, when that Woolworth store closed, locals organized to keep the lunch business open. Others contend that frito pie has been a popular dish in Texas for generations. This “other” grew up in San Antonio and remembers Frito Pie predating the 60s. The corn chips have been available in the San Antonio area since before 1932.

Other sources state that Frito pie’s originated with the mother, Daisy Dean Doolin, of the Frito company’s founder, Elmer Doolin in the early 1930’s.

Some insist that only Fritos “original” can be used in an authentic frito pie, rather than fried corn chips made by other snack food companies.

In Oklahoma it has been a standard ballpark and drive-in restaurant food for many decades. Not baked but traditionally an individual-size bag of Fritos was split open and hot chili poured over the chips, along with grated cheese and (often) chopped onions. It is no longer common to use the split bag, as the packaging material has changed, leaving the bag less insulated against heat. In Texas it is a staple of most Bingo games.

The restaurant chain Dairy Queen introduced the Frito Pie Burger as part of its menu which consists of a traditional hamburger containing Frito chips and chili.

Sunset Magazine
May 1, 2002
Chile that’s over the top
Share New Mexico’s love affair with the great Frito pie
By Sharon Niederman
Elmer Doolin of San Antonio, Texas, made a successful bid for culinary immortality when he founded the Frito Company in 1932, originally manufacturing his crunchy corn chips in the family kitchen.

But mom did him one better. Sometime during the early 1930s, Daisy Dean Doolin gave in to a curious impulse: She dumped her chile over a bunch of Fritos. It was the invention of the Frito pie, and since Mrs. Doolin’s time, generations of Cub Scouts, rodeo attendees, and county fair–goers have accumulated fond memories of this down-home dish. In fact, the state of New Mexico has adopted it as its own, with several eateries churning out some of the best Frito pies you’ll find anywhere.

The formula of pie
The most authentic Frito pie, many say, is created when red chile is ladled directly into a small bag of Fritos. That’s the way Teresa Hernandez makes the “world famous” Frito pies she serves at the Five and Dime General Store in Santa Fe. Hernandez began working at Woolworth’s (now the Five and Dime) on the plaza in 1953, introducing the Frito pie there in the 1960s. Today, the establishment serves more than 56,000 tasty Frito pies a year made with her mother’s secret recipe for tangy red chile. She refuses to add any garnishes, maintaining that “the original didn’t have lettuce or tomato!” Says Hernandez: “The trick is to get the chile in the bag. But if you love what you’re doing, everything will come out good!”

31 March 1933, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Something New” by Marian Manners, pg. A7:
Now we have a brand-new delightful cracker-like food that tastes like more.  It is Cumming’s corn chips, to be used as a base for hors d’oeuvres or as an accompaniment for salads, sandwiches, soups and beverages. Corn chips are made from choice corn and popcorn, and are cooked by a special process.  Many interested homemakers have sent in recipes suggesting several unique ways to use this new product. They range from tamale pie to canapes, but the real demand comes from those desiring a tasty tidbit or an added touch to any favorite dish.

7 April 1933, Los Angeles (CA) Times, pg. A2 ad:
Cummings Corn Chips
Mighty good to serve with beer, caviar or cheese...25c

10 April 1933, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Requested Recipes” by Marian Manners, pg. A7:
CUMMINGS TAMALE PIE
Five ounces corn chips, 1 1/2 pounds ground round steak, one sliced onion, two buttons garlic (finely chopped,) four tablespoonfuls oil, one tablespoonful chili powder, one can tomato puree, one-half cupful seeded ripe olives, salt and pepper to taste.

Method: Brown meat, onion, garlic and chili powder in oil, adding enough water to throroughly brown and keep from burning.  Then add tomatoes and cook slowly until meat is tender and mixture has thickened. Last add the olives.

Grind corn chips in food chopper or meat grinder until finely crumbled. Butter the bottom and sides of a casserole or baking dish and line with crumb mixture, packing closely to make a firm crust.

Pour a layer of the chili meat mixture on the layer of corn chips and alternate layers. Top baking dish with corn chips and sprinkle with grated cheese. Place casserole in oven and bake rather slowly for about thirty minutes. Serve piping hot as soon as removed from oven.

19 February 1942, Paris (TX) News, pg. 3, cols. 2-3:
For a favorite dish at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Crain, 85 S. 23rd St., this recipe is tops:

Hot Tamale Pie
1 package fritos
1-2 lb. cheese
1 can chili
Put layer of fritos and layer of grated cheese in casserole. Add another layer of each, then pour can of chili, which has been heated, over it. Place in oven and back 20 to 30 minutes.

1 November 1946, El Paso (TX) Herald Post, “Winners of Sally Ann Awards Are Bill Holder And Mrs. C. J. Bovell,” pg. 7, col. 5:
Mrs. C. J. Bovell of 3121 Montana street wins Sally Ann’s first prize of $1 this week for her Chili Con Carne Pie recipe.

To prepare, peel two large onions and chop into fine pieces. Add it to one can chili con carne, one-half pound yellow cheese, one large bag of fritos or mazitas.

Fill baking dish with alternate layers of fritos, onions and chili con carne and grated cheese. Cover top with grated cheese and bake 45 minutes in a moderate oven.

A Cook Book
Compiled by the Women’s Society of Christian Service,
Dallas, TX: University Park Methodist Church
1947
Pg. 158:
MEXICAN DISH
1 package Fritos
1/2 lb. grated cheese
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup hot chili
Crumble Fritos in baking dish. Place over this chopped onion, grated cheese. Over this pour chili. Bake in oven 15 minutes.

17 January 1947, Abilene (TX) Reporter-News, “Pleasant Hill Has HD Club Program On Latin Dishes,” pg. 9, col. 1:
Mrs. Preston Clark’s subject was Enchiladas; (...) Mrs. Guy McCar-Smith, frito pie.

26 January 1948, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, pg. 12, col. 6:
Corn Chips Popping Into Mouths All Over U.S.
Fritos’ Main Role Is With
Drinks, Can Also Be Used
In a Variety of Dishes
By Clementine Paddleford
(...)
It was in 1933 that the Texan (C. E. Doolin—ed.) walked into a San Antonio cafe and picked up a sack of corn chips to munch with coffee. The flavor tickled his fancy, it lingered in memory. He found the maker was a San Antonian of Mexican extraction who claimed to be the originator of the thin ribbons of corn. The Mexican, he learned, was tired of frying the chips; he wanted to go home to Mexico and would be glad to sell out.

Lucky Doolin bought the formula for $100 and right from the start Fritos won a following.
(...)(Col. 7—ed.)
COOKING WITH FRITOS—(...) Or use them as we used them today as a hot-tamale pie crust: take two cups ground meat and fry in two tablespoons of fat until brown; add one tablespoon salt, one-fourth clove garlic minced, one tablespoon chili powder and one cup meat stock, mixing well. Link a nine-inch pie pan with one and one-half bags of crushed Fritos. Add meat mixture and cover top with remaining one-half bag of the crushed chips. Bake twenty to thirty minutes in a hot oven. Yield: four portions.

24 March 1948, Washington Post, pg. B8:
Those crunchy corn chips now on the market make a delicious crust for hot tamale pie. Line a 9-inch pan with the crushed chips. Add to this 2 cups of ground meat which has been browned in 2 tablespoons of fat and mixed with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 garlic clove, minced, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 cup meat stock. Cover top with more crushed chips. Bake in hot oven 20 to 30 minutes.

A Taste of Texas
by Jane Trahey
New York: Random House
1949
Pg. 169:
Chili Frito Pie
OVEN TEMPERATURE: 350 degrees
BAKING TIME: 30 minutes
YIELD: 8 servings
2 tablespoons shortening
1 pound lean ground round steak...Saute meat in shortening.

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon comino, groun or seed
1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced...Add seasonings; mix.

1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups hot water...Stir in tomato paste and water. Simmer 1 hour.

1 4-ounce package fritos
1 medium onion, thinly sliced...Put one-half the fritos in bottom of buttered casserole; pour one=half meat mixture over fritos. Add layer of onions. Add remaining fritos, then meat.

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese...Sprinkle grated cheese over top. Bake until hot and bubbling.
Mrs. Zedrick Moore, Hutchins, Texas

11 October 1953, Charleston (WV) Gazette, pg. 24:
A favorite dish of the newspaperwomen was the tamale and chili pie. Here is the recipe:
3 cups Fritos corn chips.
1 can tamales (6).
1 large onion, chopped.
1 can chili.
1 cup grated American cheese.
Place two cups of corn chips in a baking dish. Arrange tamales on the corn chips. Cover with onions. Pour chili over tamales and onions. Top with the remaining corn chips, onions and grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. 

13 October 1955, The Echo (Richardson, TX), “Next Week’s School Menus,” pg. 2, col. 2:
Tuesday—Frito Pie, ...

9 February 1961, Odessa (TX) American, pg. 15 ad:
Fritos Chili Pie
Out of the oven in 10 minutes!

2 1/2 cups FRITOS corn chips
1 large onion, chopped
1 15-oz. can FRITOS Brand Chili or chili of your choice
1 cup grated American cheese

Place 1 1/2 cups FRITOS corn chips in a baking dish. Arrange chopped onions and half of the grated cheese over FRITOS. Pour heated FRITOS Brand Chili over onions and cheese. Top with remaining FRITOS corn chips and grated cheese. Bake at 350 F. for 10 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

A hearty combination for cool days! Meaty, homemade-tasting FRITOS Brand Chili...the bright flavor of crunchy FRITOS corn chips...a little onion and cheese. Serve a crisp salad and your meal is complete. How about making Fritos Chili Pie tonight? 

(Trademark)
Word Mark FRITOS CHILI PIE
Goods and Services IC 029. US 046. G & S: PACKAGED MEAL COMBINATIONS CONSISTING PRIMARILY OF CHILI OR SNACK FOOD DIPS CONTAINING MEAT OR CHEESE. FIRST USE: 19990100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990100
IC 030. US 046. G & S: CORN-BASED SNACK FOODS, NAMELY, CORN CHIPS; SAUCES AND SALSA. FIRST USE: 19990100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990100
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 75691885
Filing Date April 27, 1999
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition November 23, 1999
Registration Number 2502596
Registration Date October 30, 2001
Owner (REGISTRANT) Recot, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 5000 Hopyard Road, Suite 460 Pleasanton CALIFORNIA 94588
(LAST LISTED OWNER) FRITO-LAY NORTH AMERICA, INC. CORPORATION DELAWARE 7701 LEGACY DRIVE LAW DEPARTMENT PLANO TEXAS 75024
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record Kelly Mahon Tullier
Prior Registrations 0502325;0657528;0689601;0836038;1529786;AND OTHERS
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “CHILI” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

(Trademark)
Word Mark FRITOS
Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 030. US 046. G & S: CAKES. FIRST USE: 19320327. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19320327
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 71335180
Filing Date February 21, 1933
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 0306005
Registration Date August 29, 1933
Owner (REGISTRANT) DOOLIN, DAISY D. DOING BUSINESS AS FRITO COMPANY INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES 1416 ROOSEVELT AVENUE SAN ANTONIO TEXAS
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 12C. SECT 15.
Renewal 2ND RENEWAL 19730829
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Saturday, September 02, 2006 • Permalink


My first Frito Pie and I didn’t care for it too much:
http://eatingtheroad.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/five-dime-general-store/

Posted by Eating The Road  on  11/06  at  09:12 AM

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