I read the other day that Cape Cod Potato Chips were turning 30 this July, and almost immediately, I found myself craving potato chips. Just call me Pavlov’s dog.
I grew up going to Cape Cod every summer with my family, and for the longest time, Cape Cod Potato Chips were something we ate down there, or back home while remembering our vacations – and I assumed it was only a local thing. I don’t know when it clicked that this brand has a wider appeal, but it was well before my favorite exchange from last summer’s True Blood:
Sookie: Sorry. I’m usually good at placing people’s accents, but yours I can’t get a handle on. Where are you from?
Maryann: Cape Cod. Best potato chips in the world.
I nearly doubled over laughing when I heard that. Either that writer was from Massachusetts, or these chips have a wider audience.
I’ve been to the factory a few times, and my nephew and nieces now think a summer isn’t complete without a visit. Frankly, there’s not much to see – much less than other factories that have made it almost a tourist attraction – but if you’re in the neighborhood of Hyannis, it’s worth a stop. The “tour” won’t take more than 10 minutes, and you can try a few of the newer flavors at the small shop at the end. Last summer, I bought this canvas tote that is now my favorite shopping bag, and someone comments on it every time I carry it. Oh, and the best part of seeing the factory? The air around it smells heavenly from the frying potatoes. At least, it’s nice when you visit – I’m not sure I’d want to come home smelling like that every day.
My favorite of the Cape Cod line of potato chips (actually, my favorite potato chip anywhere) is the Robust Russet (it used to be called the Dark Russet, which made a little more sense). The chips almost look burned, but they’re not, it’s just the sugars in the particular type of potato. They’re a touch sweet, and plenty salty, and I love the ones that have curled up on themselves in the frying process.
I usually eat my Dark Russets by themselves, but this craving called for dip.
Cilantro Lime Dip
2 cups Greek yogurt (fat-free is fine)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 lime, juiced and zested (use 2 if they’re small)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 scallions, greens only, chopped
Combine yogurt, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, and scallions in a bowl and mix to combine. Add cayenne and salt to taste. Refrigerate for at least one hour for flavors to meld.