Earlier today the pride of the Boh’s and O’s blog was called into question by several coworkers at my office. I stated that any true Baltimorean could easily discern an Utz potato chip from one of its pathetic competitors. If you’re reading this and are thinking to yourself either ‘What’s an Utz chip?’ or ‘They’re just like any other potato chip!’ please stop reading now and don’t return to this blog as you have clearly failed one of the more important tests of claiming this city as your true home. Almost on the level of Natty Boh being the official beer of Baltimore, if you find yourself at a grocery or convenience store there is only one brand of potato chip that is an acceptable choice: Utz. Even though they are manufactured in Pennsylvania, they have an adopted home to the South in the Land of Pleasant Living.
I shouldn’t have to explain the merits of Utz chips to anyone reading this post so I’ll continue with the story…I was called foolish for thinking I could tell the difference between Utz and any other chip. As I lifelong Baltimorean I knew this would be one of the more simple tasks I would be asked to complete today. The Utz potato chip is one of the true tastes of Baltimore, along with Natty Boh, Old Bay, Berger cookies, etc that anyone within the 410 area code should be able to easily recognize from that of a disgusting wannabe.
A Pepsi challenge-like contest was arranged at lunch time. With my eyes blindfolded I was presented 3 types of plain potato chips. As soon as I bit into chip #1 I knew what I had eaten was not an Utz chip. “Too baked” I exclaimed as it was too crispy to be an Utz. Chip #2 was an improvement, but this was still not an Utz chip. As chip #3 entered my mouth a calming sensation flowed through my body. The chip was softer than the others, but not too flaky, coating my entire tongue with a perfect balance of salt and oil. “This,” I pronounced to the group, “is the way a chip should be made.”
My coworkers were fascinated by my sensitive palette, but, as I told them, this was nothing to be impressed by as I was simply doing justice to the city I was raised in and to the superior choices Baltimoreans have been making for generations. Baltimore is the one market in the country where Lays is not the #1 selling potato chip and I couldn’t be happier about it. Of course cities like Boston and Pittsburgh are willing to settle for mediocre snack foods, but in our city that type of crappy, fall apart all over your hands, type of chip just won’t cut it.
For those out there too nervous to defend the honor of the city, please learn from this event and take with you the knowledge that is is how a true Baltimorean shows respect to his city.