In honor of the Super Bowl, which has become an excuse for junk-food decadence unrivaled since Roman times -- we're going to eat 1.25 billion wings this Sunday! Have you heard of this thing called the meat stadium? -- this week the Smithsonian's food blog traced the history of the Frito pie, all the way back to San Antonio, Texas, in 1932, when a man named C.E. Doolin hocked his mother's wedding ring to buy a corn-chip setup from a snack seller named Gustavo Olquin.
It's odd to think of Fritos as a handmade product, but that's the equipment Doolin bought from Olquin. He soon mechanized the process and started selling fritos as "krisp tender golden bits of goodness." As his ads used to proclaim, "They're good for breakfast, lunch, snack-time and dinner." Doolin's mother developed a recipe for a Frito fruit cake, and it wasn't long before his wife came up with Frito pie. Incidentally, the Doolins were strict vegetarians who avoided salt, so they'd only eat Fritos off the assembly line.