Why chips taste better at Mexican restaurants

One of life's simpler and most satisfying pleasures is digging into a bowl of freshly made tortilla chips with a side of salsa at a Mexican restaurant. According to Mental Floss, tortilla chips were likely discovered by a man named Jose Martinez from San Antonio, Texas, who invented a way to produce masa (the ingredient that's responsible for tortillas) on a large scale. When Martinez realized he had a lot of leftover masa, he figured it wouldn't hurt to cut some of it up and toast it to make fresh chips.

Tortilla chips have become so popular over the years that Texas even decided to make things official in 2003 and declared chips and salsa as the state's official snack — for real. This idea was suggested by a few elementary school students who believed that their state needed a snack to complement the state's other signature items, like its official pepper, the jalapeño; its favorite dish, chili; and the official Texas state fruit, the grapefruit.

Tortilla chips at a Mexican restaurant are often served warm and fresh

As amazing as all tortilla chips can be, no matter where you are, it's probable that some of the best ones you've ever tried have been from a Mexican restaurant. Ever wonder what's their secret to making tortilla chips taste so good? Well, as per Epicurious, what really works in a restaurant's favor is the fact that their chips are warm and toasty when they reach your table. A Reddit thread examining why store-bought chips and salsa never taste as great as ones from a Mexican restaurant claims that the tortilla chips served in restaurants are frequently homemade, with commenters saying that the chips you buy off supermarket shelves are packed with preservatives and not nearly as fresh, which does nothing for their flavor. Many suggested simply finding a local restaurant with good quality chips and buying them from there, with one commenter even suggesting that the best thing to do is just get tortillas and fry the chips yourself.

We agree that freshness and warmth is the key to nailing that restaurant quality tortilla chip flavor, and a restaurant's chips are also a great way to figure out whether it's worth your money. According to Insider, the amount of work a place puts into perfecting its basics is a great way to gauge whether it's worth your time. A good eatery will always provide you with freshly made chips instead of turning to store-bought salsa and stale, insipid chips.