Does anyone out there remember this commercial?

And of course, there was this variant, from when they introduced barbecue flavored Tato Skins as well.

I remember the chips rather fondly, as they were favorites of mine growing up. However, I noticed over the years that they had become increasingly scarce. In fact, Tato Skins seem downright non-existent.

Armed with the knowledge that some brands of food and beverage are discontinued in some parts of the country, even the world, while they will remain in others, I began my search. With any luck, I could find a place which still had the tasty snack treat, and be able to get some shipped my way.

As it turns out, Tato Skins are not a product of Keebler, which itself became a part of the Kellogg company in 2001, but rather owe their inception to the Wabash Foods company in Bluffton, Indiana.

Now, I had previously come upon what I thought was a similar snack chip in T.G.I.Friday’s Potato Skins. While amazingly similar, if not identical, I had thought that they were but a mere knockoff. The biggest problem was that they were available in but one flavor: cheddar & bacon. No “sour cream & chives,” no “tasty baked potato,” and not even the latter barbecue flavor. And the “steak & potato” flavor which came about at some point? Forget it.

But, as it turns out, Keebler had passed the brand on to the Poore Brothers at a point undetermined. And as it turns out, they had a line of T.G.I.Friday’s snack chips which they incorporated Tato Skins into. So, the T.G.I.Friday’s chips are the real deal– they are the missing Tato Skins.

Fortunately for me, those are readily available here. Though I do wish they had more flavors.

I can credit Wikipedia for bringing this mystery together, but my next one won’t be so easy: what the heck happened to Pizzarias? Unlike Tato Skins, they have no such entry, nor have I seen any copycats around.

Have a clue? Drop it off in the comments!

–LBD “Nytetrayn”

  • Horzzo

    Ten years later and the TGIF variety are still the only option. I find them at the Dollar Tree in just one flavor Jalepeno Cheddar. They taste good with much aid in the form of MSG but they just arent the tame as Tato’s. Tato Skins had something of an earthy flavor. Like you were getting the skins right out of the ground. It’s better to Tato’ed and lost to have never Tato’ed at all.