A glossary of terms commonly found―but rarely explained―on potato-chip bags.

By Kate Merker
Updated July 27, 2005
Mystic Kettle Cooked A classic kettle-cooked chip: crunchy and a bit greasy but good. To buy: utzsnacks.com. Rusty's Island Hand Made Maui Style "They pack tons of potato punch," one tester said. But the most remarkable thing about these little chips is their hefty crunch. To buy: rustyschips.com. Terra Blues These stood out for more than just their (natural) bold blue color. Testers commented on the "great potato flavor," which came through thanks to the "minimal amount of salt." To buy: at grocery stores. Utz Classic Russets Gourmet Dark Testers liked that these chips were noticeably darker in color and more robust-tasting than most. The combination of russet potatoes and peanut oil results in a rich flavor with a slightly sweet aftertaste. To buy: utzsnacks.com.
Kana Okada
  • Classic or original potato chips: The chips are moved through a fryer on a conveyor belt.
  • Kettle-cooked chips: The snacks are made in small batches without a conveyor belt.
  • Handmade or hand-cooked chips: No automated machinery is used to peel, slice, or fry the potatoes.
  • Baked chips: Cooked in an oven rather than fried in oil, they contain less fat and fewer calories than fried chips.
  • Crisps: These are made from potatoes that have been dehydrated, flaked, rehydrated, and pressed into uniform shapes. Pringles and Lays Stax are crisps.
  • Natural potato chips: According to the Food and Drug Administration, natural potato chips cannot contain artificial flavorings, colors, or preservatives.
  • Light chips: The product contains half the fat of, or one-third fewer calories than, regular chips.
  • Reduced-fat chips: Contain at least 25 percent fewer calories than the standard product.