Ode to Grippo’s

I spent my college days in Evansville, Indiana, and one thing I discovered there was the ubiquity of a bbq potato chip that I had not known before. Grippo’s.

The region is also home to putting chili on spaghetti noodles.


But that delicacy held nothing to Grippo’s.

They are the Old Dutch of that region. Cheap and found at nearly every gathering. I imagine people who grew up with them available don’t understand what they have.

It is my perfect potato chip.


It’s the shiny metallic bag with the weird kid on it, the chip that fueled my four years of college and about 20 lbs of me. It’s the chip that got me out on a rainy evening to drive to a gas station, which led me to driving what was likely a drug addict to her dealer and then her home (long story, College, amirite?).

If I could Scrooge McDuck a swim through these chips I would die happy.


I don’t know how to properly describe the experience to the uninitiated. They are super crumbly potato chips – it’s rare to get one that isn’t broken – so they dissolve quickly upon consumption and never bite back like tortilla chips can. You know how Doritos chips can be hit or miss regarding the “cheese” powder coating? Not Grippo’s.


The bbq flavor is generously layered on every chip with dust that I would inhale if legal. You can’t open a bag without a good lungful of that wonderful aroma. As for the taste, it’s got a sweetness that comes at the price of the perfect amount of heat that keeps you eating without overpowering over time.

Becky first heard of them the very first week she met me, and I had recently bought a box of bags and shipped them to me for the first time ever.

I’m surprised she stuck around after seeing my bbq flavored powdered potato chip shame. She even bought me a shipment of a box filled with snack sized bags once in an effort to control the beast.

That failed. She knew it, and is so awesome about it. I found a life companion that bought me 6 BOXES of these chips for my birthday. And the thing about the boxes is they aren’t air tight, so the expiration date on them is July 15. (In Becky’s defense, she didn’t realize the boxes would be basically a garbage bag filled with chips closed with a twist tie.)


Other chips may have expiration dates, but come on, those are just suggestions and will most likely be with us during the Zombie attack.Those chips will be fine long after we’re gone. Grippo’s though, have a hard out. The due date truly means the end.

Meaning I got 6 weeks to chow down on these bad boys. Thing is, I don’t really need other food, so I think I can do it!


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3 thoughts on “Ode to Grippo’s

  1. Knowing that you come from ND, have you ever been to a place in Grand Forks called “The Red Pepper” home of the famous grinder? OMG my mouth is watering just thinking about this hole-in-the-wall. So good!!!

    1. I haven’t had the pleasure. I feel lucky that I can have my craving shipped to me. Becky’s not so lucky with her longings for her favorite cannoli from Boston.

      1. Yes, that is a good thing. Apparently they’ll also ship the Red Pepper Grinder fixings to you as well. I feel for Becky, that’s unfortunate to have an unsated desire for so long.

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