Khok: Liking chips

Ober Khok

WHY do people like potato chips so much?

Gweenie, a second cousin of mine, replied: “Pot-chips provide noise. When the world gets so noisy about Covid-19, and there’s reason it should, I try to drown my fear. With every crunchy bite that I alone can hear, I feel less afraid.”

My niece Ellen said: “Potato chips provide my daily requirement of high fat and salt content in food. I can’t resist the alluring taste of salt. And oh, the fat. The fat.”

“I like your sense of humor,” I said in praise.

Uncle Gustave said: “I like potato chips, the plain, less salt variety. The bag is easy to hide under my shirt so your Tita Blitte will not see it. As for why I like consuming them, the crispiness is the first attraction. Then as you chew, the flavoring gets mixed into the potato chips.

Polonggoy, the son of my cousin Dona, said: “The great thing about potato chips is that after eating them, you want to slake your thirst. Cold water is my choice of drink.”

Dona said: “Potato chips should be spelled reward. It’s my reward, not daily, but occasionally and for something difficult to achieve, like losing weight. This sounds absurd, but one bag of low-salt chips can make me feel I’ve won a medal in the Weight Losing category in the Fatty-lympics.”

Peetong, Dona’s husband, said: “There are several studies that show how eating chips is so tempting. The salt triggers the body to release dopamine or the ‘happiness’ chemical. It’s a messenger juice that controls our brain’s pleasure center. So after Dona has her first chip, the action starts rolling. She feels happy and craves for more.”

“Thanks for that great lesson on the Anatomy of Craving,” I said.

My Aunt Tita Blitte said: “I agree that the crunch can help us release our nervousness or can cover our fear because the sound itself provides distraction. There is such a thing as white noise.”

She said it is a random sound that overlaps a more jarring sound. Examples of white noise are the sound of rainfall, waterfalls, wind blowing, television static and bamboo grove making a creaking sound in the wind. Add the sound created by chicharon (pork cracklings) and potato chips when you eat them.

My nephew Pannon said: “Potato chips are easy to eat. You don’t need forks. But why are you asking us, Uncle?”

I said March 14 is National Potato Chips Day in the United States. Since Filipinos also like potato chips, I decided to make a survey and a tip or two on how to celebrate the day.

Dump potato chips of all flavors into a gigantic bowl. Watch movies with the family on Netflix as you dig into the bowl.

Top them on green salad, beef steak and fried fish. Try dipping them on different kinds of dips. Drizzle them with cheese sauce or chili sauce mixed with mayo.