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Dan Souza

Dan Souza

Chip Attaché

I've been developing recipes and exploring the science of cooking as a senior editor of Cook's Illustrated for a few years now. I'll be making my on-screen debut on America's Test Kitchen in 2013 and frequently eat breakfast in the shower.

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Favorite foods: Lobster rolls, ramen, chips, strawberry-rhubarb pie, ice cream, dukbokki, arugula, Thai sticky rice, and oysters.
  • Last bite on earth: Poorly prepared fugu

Where to Take a Date to Drink: 5 Romantic Spots for Cocktails in Boston

When your normal beat is geeking out on snack chips, it's a breath of fresh air (and...uh...fresh breath) to be asked to investigate romantic spots to sip cocktails. I've been living, drinking, and dating in Boston for a few years now and have gathered quite a bit of on-the-ground intel on where it's best to bring a date. Each of these cocktail destinations offers warm lighting, plenty of cozy seating for two, and most importantly, top-notch drinks. More

The Best Potato Chip You've Never Had

In the northeastern corner of South Dakota sits a small city called Clark. Amongst fertile potato fields and prized hunting grounds, there are 12 dedicated people in Clark making some of the best potato chips I've ever tasted, under a brand called Dakota Style. They've been doing God's chip work since 1985 but I tried them for the first time this past weekend. And I'm very upset about the lost time. More

Fancy Crisps from England and Ireland: Tyrrell's and Keogh's

Keogh's and Tyrrell's both provide a lot more information than your average chipmaker. Tyrrell's lists the potato variety used and the town in which is was grown. Impressed? Yeah I was too, until I looked at the back of a bag of Koegh's and saw that in addition to spud variety, they also list the field (!) in which the potatoes were grown and the employee who cooked the darn things. My three bags were cooked by Kevin, Peter, and Darren, respectively. More

4 Snack Souvenirs from South Korea

The Angry Bird chips from Korea are the kind of chip where you take your first bite and self-righteously think, "Well (ahem) I won't be eating any more of these—they're simply not flavorful enough," and then proceed to hoover half the bag. More

Chips Hack: How to Make BLT Chips

If you're like me, tasting a Lay's BLT for the first time left you reeling from a mix of raw emotions. I had questions. Should I be angry? Was it something I said? Wait, is Lay's mad at me? When my head finally stopped spinning, I took pause and reflected on all of the times that I'd hit a bump in the road or a low point and Lay's chips had been there for me. So I decided to fix them. More

How Popchips Are Made, Why They're So Popular

One brand of chip that's been rolling off friends' and friends of friends' tongues for months now is Popchips. Outside of these "pssst, you gotta check out"-recommendations, I wasn't completely oblivious to the brand, having maneuvered around their free-standing displays from time to time in order to access the Utz or snag a bag of Munchies, but now that I'm a chip czar for Serious Eats, I first do "research". More

How to Pair Soda with Cool Ranch Doritos

If you're reading this post you're probably trying to get chip-faced, and what you really need to know is which soda is going to make your Cool Ranch Doritos (CRD) taste best. Last week I ripped a page from a real wine sommelier's playbook and set about discovering just that. We went to the store and bought a lot of soda. A lot. More

Why British and Irish Crisps Are Brilliant

When it comes to potato chips, we Americans have historically held a pretty straightforward approach: take various chip dips (nacho cheese, Ranch, sour cream and onion, etc.) and turn them into chip-coating powders. However, there's also a strong case for the British approach. And here's where we discover the true brilliance of British crisps: the flavors are so savory and unctuous that after getting chip-faced on a whole bag, you might actually convince yourself that you ate real food. More

Chip-Faced: The (Faulty) Geometry of Pringles

Eating Pringles as a kid was the best. But many years ago, something changed. It wasn't a dreaded recipe adjustment or that my own tastes matured (lord knows they didn't), but rather that I simply outgrew Pringles...literally. For decades now I've been unable to fit my hand inside the tube. And I know I'm not the only one with this problem given that the diameter of the opening is a piddly 2 ¾ inches. More

Why Nacho Cheese Doritos Taste Like Heaven

I don't love Nacho Cheese Doritos because my late grandfather used to sneak them to me under the pew during tedious Sunday sermons (he didn't). And I don't crave their cheesy crunch because my grade school crush, Bridget McElroy, sported an ever present orange film of "cheese" under her fingernails (thoughshe probably did). They taste like heaven because their creator, Frito-Lay, designs them to. Today we're focusing on the science behind that cheesy seasoning. More

Back Of The House: The Life of a Cook's Illustrated Test Cook

@binaG - Thanks for the feedback. We generally call for weight measures on ingredients that are notoriously hard to measure accurately by volume. Hopefully as more of our readers get accustomed to weight measures we can incorporate them more.

@MrHolliday, johnbeaty and jim s - All I can do is assure you that we really are a dedicated group of cook's trying to make the best recipes we can. Appreciate the feedback.

@Humbucker - It IS pork belly! My recipe for Slow-roasted Crispy Skinned Pork Belly will be published in the late Fall. One of my favorites.

Back Of The House: The Life of a Cook's Illustrated Test Cook


@A Serial Cereal Eater - Awesome! I am doing twice as many episodes next year so stay tuned.

@Kenji - I am not one bit surprised. I'd love to know how many cookie failures are due entirely to mismeasurement of flour. I'd bet it's a big number.

@SaqibSaab - God I love chips.

We Try the New Lay's Chips Flavors: Sriracha, Chicken & Waffles, Cheesy Garlic Bread

@serendipitouslyNG - I found mine at the JP Stop & Shop but haven't looked much elsewhere.

We Try the New Lay's Chips Flavors: Sriracha, Chicken & Waffles, Cheesy Garlic Bread

@burger365 & @catea - Completely agree, a non-nutritive varnish could work wonders. And we all its a nice thing to have around for sledding.

@alliaphagist - I too expected C&W to be pretty polarizing (and it looks like it is!)

@All - Stay tuned for my interview with Chef Symon about the process behind selecting these chips as finalists!

How I Got Chip-Faced in 2012

@cpkeo1 - Unfortunately the only stores that stock them at the moment are all located in NY (Fairway’s, Dean & De Luca, and Union Market). Supposedly there are some independent stores carrying them in Mass, but I couldn't find a list of them anywhere. I got mine online: www.foodireland.com.

We Smuggle in (and Taste) Burger King's Whopper Chips

@undtiny - Wow, I had no idea. I'm about to put some serious chip money down on Amazon. Thanks for the lead.

@Rodzilla - I wasn't, unfortunately.
In my chip-faced haze I was attempting to say that Burger King obviously uses some kind of proprietary seasoning to turn what might otherwise be a normal burger patty into the entity we know and taste as a Whopper. Can't be too hard to instead apply that action to a chip.

@nalega - No animal product is explicitly listed, but there's MSG and "flavorings," which leaves a lot to the imagination. Here's the full ingredient list with my expert translations:

Ingredients
Sal yodada - iodized salt
saborizantes - flavorings
glutamato monosodico - duh
azucar - sugar
solidos de leche - milk solids
almidon modificado - modified starch
acido citrico - citric acid
amarillo ocaso FCF - sunset yellow or yellow no. 6
achiote - achiote/annato, natural source of red food color
tartrazina - tartrazine, a yellow food coloring
caramelo clase IV - caramel coloring

@tinyninjas, @MichaelGA & @jebruns - I've given it some thought and that might just be too much Whopper flavor for a normal strength human. Maybe we start with animal trials.

We Try the New Ruffles Ultimate Chips 'For Men'

@crispyduck13 - I completely agree. This train of comment thought cracked me up. Thanks, all.

@Kenji - They both indeed contain real meat and proudly feature a USDA stamp. The beef and cheese contains "beef brisket" which somehow contains 9 more ingredients than the bacon. I think I've been making brisket all wrong.

@redfish - I got it: Each bag contains a small shard of glass--the lucky winner/bleeder can post a pic of the cut to the Ruffles Facebook site to gain entry into a giveaway for an iPhone 4 with a broken headphone jack.

@XXDavidsonXX - The gloppiness took me by surprise and then I just went with the moment.

The Domino's Ultimate Delivery Machine Project

Tricycle. Everyone knows it's gonna be a tricycle.

How to Pair Soda with Cool Ranch Doritos

@PommeDG - Pedantic but important. Good takeaway.

@Starfoxx28 - They do contain buttermilk (18th ingredient) but that's not the point--I'm talking about the buttermilk-like flavor and acidity. Apologies for the nausea, but love is love. Here's an interesting read on MSG from The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2005/jul/10/foodanddrink.features3). Stay tuned for more "natural" offerings, they are a'coming.

@Pagan - After reading the Wikipedia article about Irn-Bru I have no idea how it would pair with CRD, but I sure want to try it. I've never seen it stateside, but perhaps I can mail order it (thanks Serious Eats) for a round 2 tasting. Good call on the Browns, it was cream soda (tasting notes: much like eating a caramel with the chips. Major flavor affect was the corn became more prominent). No strawberry. Dr. Pepper was actually really interesting. Rebeccah and I both found it gave the CRD a wheaty flavor, almost like wheat Chex cereal. Interesting but not particularly positive.

World's First Pizza Guitar

You're doing god's work here.

How to Pair Soda with Cool Ranch Doritos

@scalfin - I wondered that too and was disappointed that I couldn't easily get my hands on it locally. Perhaps for a round 2.

@Amandarama - Good call. Thank god I'm not a soda or root columnist.

@Unsilent - Yes! I love Cel-Ray. Again, perhaps a round 2.

@Wes Henry - It wasn't a landslide, but we found that Pepsi brought out a strange fruitiness in the chip that we didn't dig. I think even tasting just the sodas side by side you get that Coke is a more savory beast than Pepsi. That really came to the forefront.

@FatBaztard - I gave myself time to recover, and Rebeccah never burped because she's proper like that.

@Todlessness - This is going to blow your mind but I've never heard of nor had Cactus Cooler. A California-only beverage?

Why British and Irish Crisps Are Brilliant

@sobriquet - I do love the paprika chips, and am now psyched to get my hands on some jamon crisps!

@markemorse - Excellent call. I can assure you Cajun Squirrel will get its 15 minutes on Chip-Faced. Perhaps a side-by-side with the real thing...

@Charlotte Julienne - What's the name of the shop? I'd love to check it out next time I'm out that way.

@All - I'm trying to round up a short list of the world's priciest chips for a future post. If you have suggestions to check out, I'd love to hear them.

Chip-Faced: The (Faulty) Geometry of Pringles

@thingstea - It's both. They were created as more uniform alternative and marketed that way to housewives in the early '70s. But by the time I was watching ads and eating chips (the '80s), it was all about how fun they were to eat (which is still is to this day).

@cooking42 - I'm upset about that too. If I ever get that machine working...

@Dennis Lee - Just a few of the strenuous requirements of a chip columnist.

@All the beard lovers - That's my roommate, I'll pass along the message.

Why Nacho Cheese Doritos Taste Like Heaven

@everyone.who.posted Thanks for the great feedback! I looking forward to getting chip-faced with all of you.

Snapshots from Hong Kong and Mainland China: The Best Things I Ate

I want to go to there. Liz Bomze you make me hungry.

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