Canadian Salty: Ketchup Chips

April 18, 2008 at 12:01 am 24 comments

As we all know, a sugary snack is not the only snacking option. Sometimes instead of sweetness a hungry person feels in the mood for something salty. One of the most popular salty snacks is the potato chip.

(Who is this fine looking fella? Why, it’s Slim Chipley, just stopping by Canadian Fermentation to say ‘hello’.)

Chips come in a variety of flavours. The basic option is the ‘regular’ variety, which is a thin slab of potato fried or baked, and then salted with the salt of a thousand Salt Lakes. Regular chips are good, but not great. Most people who eat potato chips will eat regular chips, so it’s a good option to have available at parties, club meetings and satanic rituals.

(Ketchup chips usually come in red coloured packaging, connoting that ketchup chips are evil)

One flavouring of chip that you can’t find in America, but is readily available in Canada is the ketchup potato chip. This is a very Canadian treat. I can only surmise that the reason it isn’t sold in America is due to the undistinguished palate of the average American potato chip eater.

Now, you might be thinking something like, ‘Why can’t I just take a bottle of ketchup and a bag of regular chips and mix them together and make my own ketchup chips?”

The quick answer is, “You can!”

A slightly longer answer is, “It’s just not the same.”

Ketchup chips manufactured by snack-food conglomerates have a ketchupy flavour that isn’t exactly the same as the taste of ketchup from a bottle. Manufactured ketchup potato chips are very tasty in that addicting can’t-just-have-one-must-eat-the-whole-bag-or-I-might-die type of way.

Another reason not to make your own ketchup chips is to avoid excessive mess. If you pour a bottle of ketchup over regular potato chips you end up with a soggy mass of ketchup covered chips that you might as well eat with a spoon rather than your fingers.

Manufactured ketchup chips are easily accessible to the casual snacker and can be picked up between the fingers and the thumb with only minor mess considerations.

(This is what store-bought ketchup chips look like.)

(This is what happens when you make your own ketchup chips)

You can eat manufactured ketchup chips with equal ease whether you are jogging or sitting on your couch watching T.V. If you make your own ketchup chips it is not wise to go jogging with them, although you can eat them while watching T.V.

Summary: Ketchup chips, for good or for evil, are a naturally occurring Canadian snack that cannot be found in the United States. You can pour a bottle of ketchup over your regular chips, but you’ll end up looking like an idiot. Americans can buy ketchup chips in Canada and bring them back into America to snack upon or sell on the black market. Canadians can buy ketchup chips, much like they can buy weed or hookers, and eat or use them legally – at least in parts of Canada.

Enjoy your ketchup chips.


Entry filed under: Canadian/American relations, culture, humour, Uncategorized, You Know You're Canadian When.... Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. BrentD  |  April 19, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Those are some tough chips, they sliced you open like a wet paper towel.

  • 2. C. Fraser  |  April 19, 2008 at 3:30 am

    When I went to the hospital and I told the doctor what happened, she laughed at me.

  • 3. equaltojake  |  April 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    The picture of homemade ketchup chips is almost enough to make me stop eating potato chips. Almost.

  • 4. C. Fraser  |  April 21, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    heheh. If there is one lesson to take from this post, it’s to never make your own ketchup chips.

  • 5. dani  |  June 29, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    were can you buy ketcup chips from

  • 6. C. Fraser  |  June 30, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    You should be able to buy ketchup chips from any grocery or variety store in Canada. I imagine there are some places in the U.S that sell them, but I never came across any. As for the rest of the world, I’m not sure if they have ketchup chips or not.

  • 7. Aaron  |  July 8, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Check out my article on Ketchup Flavored Potato Chips I wrote last summer.

  • 8. C. Fraser  |  July 8, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Good article, Aaron. Thanks for sharing the link.

  • 9. Sun Warrior  |  July 14, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Those Herr’s chips you picture are from Pennsylvania, at least they are manufactured there, and shipped to Canada.

    I guess you have to be brought up on ketchup chips to appreciate it. I don’t think we should expand the ketchup chip market into the U.S. Look what happened to the NHL when it did!

    And now our beloved Robertson screwdriver is being picked up by the Americans.

    With such technology, we just don’t know what the Americans will do with it. Imagine if they start tinkering to get Red Robertson ketchup chips, ruining the purity of both???

    Can we handle that as a nation?

  • 10. Sun Warrior  |  July 14, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I’m sorry, but I’m now thinking about Herr’s.

    Believe it or not, my wife bought our first bag a few weeks ago. With Heinz catsup (American spelling) on it, it seemed like a good selling point.

    But the chips are very heavy tasting on the ketchup. It seems an apostasy to chemicalize Heinz, don’t you think?

    Which is odd, because their beer is so light… but I guess they thought the Canadians would like heavy ketchup taste, like their beer.

    Avoid buying Herr’s. Shut down the market for them right now! Potato Chip Imperialism must be resisted!

  • 11. C. Fraser  |  July 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    “I don’t think we should expand the ketchup chip market into the U.S. Look what happened to the NHL when it did!”

    LOL. Excellent point, SW. It’s true, we can’t trust our Canadian icons to the American commercial machine.

    There is some good American beer, though. Unfortunately we just don’t get to buy it up here.

  • 12. Anonymous  |  June 12, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    but why is there not ketchup chips in the states?!

    • 13. C. Fraser  |  June 14, 2009 at 6:38 pm

      That’s a really good question. My only guess is that there just isn’t a market for it in the U.S.

  • 14. Clifford Noble  |  June 17, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I live in the US. My boss is Canadian. She always brings ketchup chips back, and everyone in the office loves them.
    That leads me to believe that it is not because of an undistinguished palate.
    I’m gonna say our marketing “geniuses” determined from a poll of 300 people that our country would not eat ketchup chips. The poll probably took place in Mustardville Arkansas.

  • 15. C. Fraser  |  June 18, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Clifford. The “undistinguished palate” was just a friendly poke in the ribs to our southern neighbours. I imagine you’re probably right, though. Damn those Mustardvillians and their lack of ketchup appreciation!

    • 16. Jordi  |  January 5, 2010 at 8:07 pm

      I’m from Northern Florida and I LOVE ketchup chips ;__;

  • 17. cindisa and thaila andorie and shania and rashawna  |  July 27, 2009 at 1:17 am

    i so love kethup chip i think my auntie april knows how but in are store we have ketchup chips?<33

  • 18. addie  |  January 4, 2010 at 12:22 am

    I LOVE Ketchup chips and why do americans call it catsup?

  • 19. Zach  |  May 8, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    My mom went to the store this morning and saw ketchup chips! Unfortunately, she did not buy them. 😦 (I’m not sure which brand they were, though, but still, they were ketchup chips).

    To some of the commenters: Americans never spell ketchup as “catsup”. If they do, they’re almost always trying to stand out and evince a feeling of supposed superiority. “Catsup”, I believe, is more common in the UK.

  • 20. GameSquire  |  December 21, 2010 at 2:37 am

    It sounded strange when I first heard that Ketchup chips wasn’t sold in the US. I thought I was in The Twilight Zone or something. lol

    I’ve seen that you can buy a lot of Canadian Snacks on ebay, reasonably priced. IE, Smarties, Coffee Crisp, as well as Ketchup Chips. I prefer the Old Dutch brand of Ketchup Chips myself.

  • 21. kathy widmayer  |  January 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I’d like to purchase a case of ketsup chips as a gift. How do I find the info to do that. PLEASE help me It’s for my Granddaughter. HER REQUEST!!

  • 22. Anonymous  |  July 16, 2015 at 3:21 am


  • 23. Anonymous  |  July 16, 2015 at 3:22 am


  • 24. Anonymous  |  January 13, 2016 at 12:45 am

    “Canadians can buy ketchup chips, much like they can buy weed or hookers, and eat or use them legally – at least in parts of Canada.”

    wait you can eat hookers in Canada!??!??!?!?


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