Crisps are traditionally a potato based snack, though they may also be available as products derived from corn and, more rarely, other root vegetables. They are sold in small packets that hold enough to eat. These days the trend is for the packets to be made of foil, rather than the more old fashioned plastic alternative.

Funnily enough, they are called crisps because of their crisp nature. This is derived from their thinness and dryness.

The word used by the British for potato chips. It is quite a bit more logical to call thin wafers of fried potato crisps in my opinion. When I think of a chip it is a chunk of something. Like a wood chip. And so I am waging a one-man campaign to get it into general usage in America by replacing potato chip with crisp in my vocabulary. Along with other words.

"Potato crisps" is the legally proper term in the United States of America for thin, flat, round potato-based snacks that are not made chiefly of sliced potatoes. For example, Procter & Gamble's Pringles are made of potato flakes that are molded to a uniform shape, and so are legally distinct from potato chips. Other snacks that must be called potato crisps due to their manufacturing process include:

  1. Munchos
  2. Baked Lay's
  3. Lay's Stax

Because these products largely resemble their sliced counterparts, most Americans still call them "potato chips" anyway. The FDA forbids the use of the words "potato chips" on crisps' advertisements and packaging, so Frito-Lay and Procter & Gamble tend to prefer more abstract terms like snack food instead.

Even in their low-fat "baked" varieties, flat crispy corn-based snacks are always called "chips" (as in tortilla chips) in the U.S.

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