Cape Cod Chips are ubiquitous among snackers for their old-fashioned, kettle-cooked crunch and spot-on seasoning. Folks from eastern Canada all the way down the eastern seaboard crave the product for a host of reasons: for some, it reminds them of a summer spent near the beach or at house parties. Others grew up with it packed in their school lunches. Some people just like the red-and-white lighthouse which adorns the packaging.
Cape Cod Chips hand-stirs their potatoes while they fry in shallow oil vats rather than the typical industrial method, which involves the slices travelling through oil tubs on conveyor belts. As a result, the chips come out crunchier and, it is believed, with less residual fat.
No matter your gustatory preference, Cape Cod Chips has something to go with your sandwiches, soups, salads and straight-up hankerings.
Where to Buy Cape Cod Chips
As mentioned above, the Hyannis-based company sells from Canada to the Mid-Atlantic. Most of their sales center in the Mid-to-Eastern Massachusetts area, but they can be found as far West as New York.
Look for Cape Cod Chips in grocery, gas station and package stores. They have a nifty chip finder so you don’t have to go hunting.
Cape Cod Chips Flavors
There’s truly a chip for every taste in the company’s catalogue. Here’s a breakdown of their products.
Original Potato Chips – The classic which everyone knows and loves, also comes in Sea Salt & Vinegar, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno, Sweet Mesquite Barbecue and Aged White Cheddar and Sour Cream
Reduced Fat Chips – Kettle-cooked to naturally reduce fat, these come in all of the above flavors except Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno.
Waffle Cut Chips – A thick, heartier texture and taste define this variety, which comes in Sea Salt, Buffalo Cheddar and Barbecue Ranch varieties.
Dipping Shells – The tortilla-chip style dipping chips come in Ancient Grain, Blue Corn Multigrain and Four Bean.
Popcorn – Cape Cod Chips also makes popcorn, with most varieties having only 35 to 40 grams of fat per cup. Popcorn flavors include White Cheddar, Kettle Corn, Sea Salt and Salted Caramel
Limited Batch – The company cycles through special flavors that they only make so much of – one recent flavor, Chipotle Barbecue, had smoked peppers, tomato, onion and garlic seasoning.
Cape Cod Chips Factory Tours
The Cape Cod Chips factory at 100 Breeds Hill Road in Hyannis brings in over 250,000 visitors each year, qualifying it as one of the top tourist destinations in the area.
The guided tours are worth their salt. They bring hungry crowds from the conveyor belt which brings in the potato loads, to the vat of oil where workers hand-stir the chips while they fry, and the giant tumblers which coat the final product in seasoning. Here’s a taste of what you’re in for if you go.
Free self-guided tours are available which take about 15 minutes to complete.
Cape Cod Chips History
Cape Cod Chips is currently a subsidiary of the same company which makes Snyder’s Pretzels, although it still retains a sense of independence tied heavily to its location and history.
The company got its start in the late 1970s, when founders Lynn and Steve became interested in making food products with little processing.
According to a report in the New York Times, Steve bought an industrial chip slicer without any knowledge of commercial food manufacturing and only a week-long course on chip making to go on.
Their storefront officially opened on July 4th, 1980. When Lance Inc. bought the company in 1999, annual sales had reached $30 million.
On one of Lil Wayne’s mixtapes, “Sorry 4 the Wait 2,” the song “No Haters” references Cape Cod in the lyrics “pockets lookin’ like the Blob, chips like Cape Cod.”