This article was sparked by a heated (and I mean HEATED) debate late one night when a friend of mine asked someone if they wanted a chip while he was holding a bag of Cheetos. Cheetos are not chips.
That is my opinion (it is also a fact), so I had to defend myself and took to the internet to back me up. This search led me to the #1 Google result which took me to this page in Reddit. Below is a direct quote:
"Puffs are when the said compressed meal has air shot into it or pressure is suddenly changed in the chamber they're in, thus puffing them up."
This is the cornerstone of my argument. Chips are usually flat, compressed discs of meal or potato and are fried or baked. What makes a Cheeto different is the fact that they are 3D. If you hold a chip up, there is a thin side and a flat side. A Cheeto has a 3D shape all around and sets it apart from what we call a chip.
Next, we need to address those that use the argument that they are in the chip aisle. Yes, they are in the chip aisle but so are pretzels. Now, are pretzels chips? No. Pretzel is a type of bread, whether they are hard, soft, or in a bun form, it is a type of bread. The pretzels found in the chip aisle are hard and baked to be that way making them a bread product and not a chip. It is simply in the chip aisle because it is a snack food, like chips.
The Reddit article is not much help beyond the initial question and the first response post because it is just a bunch of Americans fighting the British about their use of the word 'crisp'. What we really needed was the part where it says that Cheetos are a puff. A puff means that the product has had air shot into it to give it the body and shape of a 'puff'. The 3D nature of this food makes it a puff and not a chip.
This just leaves us with a couple of questions that have yet to be scientifically backed. Is cereal a soup? Are animal crackers a cookie or a cracker? Is ketchup technically a smoothie?