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On January 29th, grab the queso or salsa and celebrate National Corn Chip Day. Recognized each year across the country, the day encourages corn chip lovers to whip up their favorite dips and toppings.

The corn chip or friotes are not to be confused with the tortilla chip. Both are made from cornmeal which is baked or fried in oil.

Differing steps for processing the corn separate the tortilla from the corn chip. The corn for a tortilla chip is soaked in a lime-water solution that breaks down the hulls. This process creates a crisper, milder chip. A corn chip is sturdier with a stronger corn flavor. Both were popular snacks originating in Mexico.

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When is National Chip and Dip Day?

Filler and Doolin

There are two men credited with patenting and marketing the corn chip in the United States. First, Isador J. Filler often ate a tostada (a hard corn tortilla with toppings) while traveling in San Antonio, Texas as a salesman. He struck on the idea of making them in rectangles and marketing them as a chip. In 1932 he patented his concept.

Around the same time, Elmer Doolin was also traveling in San Antonio and was enjoying friotes. According to the story, he paid $100 for the recipe. Experimenting in his home until he created the ideal chip, Doolin then started selling them from the back of his Model T Ford. When he began mass-producing them under the name of Frito Corn Chips, they were a hit.

In 1945, Doolin came to an agreement with Herman Lay (of potato chip fame) to distribute Doolin’s Fritos across the country. The two companies merged in 1959 after Doolin’s death.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCornChipDay

There are so many ways to celebrate National Corn Chip Day. We offer a great list to get you started:

  • Create a topping buffet with everyone’s favorite toppings. Include jalapenos, cheese, olives, queso, seasoned shredded pork, chicken or steak, onions, tomatoes, sour cream, and guac.
  • Dip it! Some of you are looking for hot and spicey while others like it light and fresh. Get the cheese dipping, layers, melty, herbaceous, flavor party started.
  • Pack them up! Sneak corn chips into your loved one’s lunch bags. Add cheese slices or a container of their favorite dip. Stick a corny note to it. You know. Something like this: Chip, chip, hooray! It’s National Corn Chip Day! (It even rhymes.) This one is a real winner: It’s nacho average holiday, #NationalCornChipDay. Now if this doesn’t just guac their world, we don’t know what will.

Olive your ideas, too! So be sure to chip in by using #NationalCornChipDay when posting to social media.

Keep exploring the day by discovering more chip and dip combinations to enjoy.


We have been celebrating National Corn Chip Day since at least 2002. However, we’ve not been able to identify the organizer of the celebration.  

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January 29th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


New York’s daily newspaper the Evening Mirror first published Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” with permission from The American Review with a glowing critic and recommendation of the American poet.


The U.S. Patent Office issues the first patent for milk jars. George Henry Lester received patent no. 199,837 for “Improvements in Milk Jars and Cans.”


Enjoying an ice cream cone got a little bit easier in 1924 when Carl R. Taylor received patent no. 445,294 from the U.S. Patent Office. Though ice cream lovers had been indulging one, two, and three scoops in a cone since at least 1896, Taylor was the first to patent a machine to roll the cone.


Morris and Eustis Frank established The Seeing Eye in Nashville, Tennessee. The training program was the first in the United States for dogs designed to provide independence, support, and dignity for people with blindness.

January 29th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

Thomas Paine – 1737

The American Founding Father authored influential essays including Common Sense and The American Crisis which helped sway Colonial support for independence.

William McKinley – 1843

The American people elected the 25th President of the United States to two terms. Spain’s interference in Cuba’s independence became a central topic of McKinley’s presidency leading to the Spanish-American War. Six months after McKinley begins his second term in 1901, Leon Czolgosz shoots the President at the Buffalo Pan American Exposition. McKinley dies of his wounds eight days later.

Norio Ohga – 1929

During his career at Sony Corporation, Ohga spurred the development of the compact disc. In 1982, Ohga became the company’s president, the same year they released the world’s first compact disc.

Linda B. Buck – 1947

The American biologist and Richard Axel earned the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work with olfactory receptors. They identified thousands of olfactory receptors in animals and humans. Their research showed that while humans only have 350 olfactory receptors, we can identify 10,000 or more smells.

Oprah Winfrey – 1954

The American talk show host and philanthropist began her career in journalism. In 1986, she launched the nationally syndicated The Oprah Winfrey Show. During her career, Winfrey has also performed in several films including The Color Purple, Beloved, and A Wrinkle in Time.