Well, it’s New Year’s Eve, and you know what that means! Yes, you will go to a party, get drunk, and act retarded, possibly kissing someone you barely know and then crying on his shoulder about how Jake was the best and you don’t understand why he suddenly won’t return your phone calls and then blaaaaargh all over his shoes.

Or perhaps you’ll ring in the new year a little more quietly, taking inventory of your bunker’s contents for the dozenth time, making sure every shotgun, bottle of water and Tactical Sammich is in place for the coming zombie infestation/financial and governmental collapse/Mayan calender apocalypse.

In reality, unless you’re a hermit or incarcerated, at some point during the holiday season you’ll be going to a party, voluntarily or involuntarily. Whether it’s a workplace potluck, a New Year’s bash, or a get-together to watch Favorite Football Team play against Rival Football Team, there’s one thing that’s going to be present:

Chips!

Yes, that’s right, chips. During the holiday season, they are quietly ubiquitous, usually sitting near some salsa or onion dip, waiting for you to mindlessly shove into your mouth as you make awkward small talk with that guy whose name you can’t remember or yell impotently at some dude in tights running up and down a length of grass. You may not think of chips as a holiday food, but they’re always there. Waiting. Watching.

Okay, so they’re not really watching. (It’s the salsa that you should be worrying about.)

Chips love to party so much that Tostitos is the official sponsor of the Fiesta Bowl, one of the bigger…bowls that goes on during this…bowl season. I’ll be honest with you, my knowledge of football bowls begins and ends with the male side of my family watching them on tv. I don’t even know why they’re called bowls. But hey, chips go in bowls, so that works…right?

This whole weak chip-and-bowl setup would not have happened except for something I half-heard on my local news this morning. I had to rewind just to make sure I’d heard correctly. The plastic-looking anchorwoman mentioned something about the Chip Drop coming back. I eagerly waited for her to expound, but no further information was given.

What the fuck is a Chip Drop?

Thanks to the Internet, I now know the answer to that question and I am so glad that I do, because it is fucking awesome and ridiculous at the same time. The aforementioned Fiesta Bowl takes place around where I live, and apparently there’s a little tradition known as the Chip Drop of which I was previously unaware. Let’s let the local news website explain:

“The last Chip Drop was in 1998 when Tostitos was the party’s title sponsor. A massive tortilla chip was dropped from a crane into an even larger jar of salsa.

The chip is a triangular, 4-by-4 foot piece of metal covered in small mirrors to represent salt. It will be suspended from a truss system above the video structure and dropped about 15 feet. High intensity beams will shoot from the chip to add flash, complementing the block party’s midnight fireworks show.”

Holy balls, you guys. Fuck watching some stupid disco ball drop in Times Square on your television. Those of us in the Valley of the Sun get the opportunity to watch a giant metal tortilla chip covered in salt mirrors. And the chip shoots high intensity beams. It’s not often there’s something to gloat about from where I live, but the Chip Drop just kicked the ass of all y’alls New Year’s traditions.

What does all this have to do with what I’m reviewing? Well, I’m about to have my own personal Chip Drop with this bag of Mission Sweet Sugar & Cinnamon White Corn Tortilla Chips.

Far be it from me to criticize a chip company for trying to go all holiday on our asses. I mean, Mission could have just stopped at offering red-and-green food-colored tortilla chips, but they weren’t done there. They wanted to make a tortilla chip with some serious holiday zazz. I keep saying “holiday” instead of “Christmas”, because I discovered these too late to review before that particular event, but hey. You know you’re still drinking eggnog. There’s still a tree in the corner of your living room, rapidly dropping needles and becoming more and more of a fire hazard. Give Mission a chance.

I say that with a bit of trepidation on my own part, because, well, tortilla chips and sugar and cinnamon don’t sound like flavors that would jive to me. Tortilla chips go with cheese, salsa, guacamole…but cinnamon and sugar? I know a lot of people like the combination of sweet and savory, but this one didn’t sound like a good match.

Upon opening the bag, however, I started to change my mind. I was immediately hit with the comforting and nostalgic odor of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Cinnamon Toast Crunch rocks.

And, amazingly, so do Mission Sweet Sugar & Cinnamon White Corn Tortilla Chips! Honestly, they taste like thinner versions of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch, with just a hint of tortilla at the end. In fact, I’d say these have an even stronger sugar and cinnamon presence. Almost every chip was heavily coated with both sugar and spice, making me feel like I was reaching into a cereal box and not a bag of chips.

I think Mission’s winning secret here is using white corn tortilla chips, which let the sugar and cinnamon dominate while leaving just a tiny bit of tortilla on the back end. I also think making the chips thinner made the tortilla flavor less prominent.

Because I have some sort of compulsion about chips and dip, I immediately wondered what would make a good dip for these chips. After almost going with Funfetti frosting because I will use any flimsy excuse to eat Funfetti frosting despite being a grown woman, I went with Duncan Hines Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting. Delicious.

When I initially bought Mission Sweet Sugar & Cinnamon White Corn Tortilla Chips, I figured they would be totally disgusting, but make for a fun holiday review. Merry Christmas, my taste buds are suffering for your entertainment! I should know by now not to judge a chip by its cover. These chips totally rock; unfortunately, they’re a limited seasonal flavor, so you’ll just have to go back to being that person that eats Cinnamon Toast Crunch straight out of the box the rest of the year.

My only problem with these chips is that I could never blow through a whole bag, just because they are so sweet. Others with a sweet tooth more prominent than mine will probably fare better, but I couldn’t eat more than a handful or so at a time before I went into sugar overload. Also, if you’re a fan of dipping like myself, I wholly recommend a whipped frosting with a vanilla or cream cheese flavor, but any frosting thicker than that and you’re going to get serious chip breakage, as these are thinner-than-average tortilla chips.

I hope you all have a Happy New Year’s! And don’t worry about Jake; he’s a total jerk and you deserve better.

Mission Sweet Sugar & Cinnamon White Corn Tortilla Chips

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 totally frickin’ awesome Chip Drops
  • Price: $3.29
  • Size: 12 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Fry’s Foods
  • Nutritional Quirks: First ingredient listed is “ground corn treated with lime”. Thankfully, no lime flavor was detected upon consumption.