Louisiana’s Unique Connection to Funyuns
Wait, what? You're telling me there's a connection between Louisiana and snack food? Why, sir I am not surprised at all. If you say that first line as if you're Foghorn Leghorn it makes the story more interesting, I say it makes it more interesting, pay attention.
But yeah, Louisiana and Funyuns share a very unique and one of a kind connection.
You know what Funyuns are, right?
Okay, that's a not normal Funyun, but you recognize the packaging and the get the idea.
Based on my powers of observation I have discovered this about Funyuns. You either love them or you do not want to be anywhere near them. The snack itself is simple enough. It's basically a corn flour and water with a few other secret ingredients mixture. When the dough is extruded under high pressure it puffs up, during that puffing process the dough is sliced into a ring shape.
From there it's on to the fryer and then a tumble with a salt and onion powder mixture. The finished Funyuns are sent to quality control, bagging and shipping, and finally to your local store for you to purchase and enjoy.
Here's the process:
The Funyuns connection to Louisiana comes long before the modern process you see above. Louisiana's connection is at the very beginning. It starts with Alexandria, Louisiana native George Bigner.
George actually grew up in Pollock, Louisiana. His college years were spent in Lafayette where he graduated from USL with a degree in Animal Husbandry. That was 1962. Bigner then attend LSU in Baton Rouge where he earned a Master's Degree in Food Science and Technology.
It was during Bigner's time with Frito Lay he created Funyuns. The product which was introduced to the public in 1969 can usually be found in the chip aisle at most markets or near the checkout line to catch the eyes of impulsive shoppers.
Statistics show that if you eat Funyuns, you eat a lot of them. Of the estimated 2.02 millions that ate Funyuns in the year 2020 they consumed eight bags worth over the course of every month. That's two bags per week. Is it healthy to eat two bags of Funyuns per week? If you want to know, click here. If you want to keep enjoying Funyuns, let's keep on scrolling.
Now, the sad part about George Wade Bigner. He recently passed away. So, our sincere condolences to his family and those who knew and loved him. I never met the man but judging by the fact his obituary mentions love of the Saints, LSU, travelling, playing golf, and I am gonna guess he loved good food too. He seems like someone that almost all of us wouldn't mind having a conversation with.
And, he gave us Funyuns, the snack that sits right in the middle of a recent survey of America's favorite snacks. They are much closer to the bottom of another list that ranks snacks based on how healthy they may or may not be in the eyes of the medical community.
So, the next time you pop open a bag of Funyuns from your favorite store or vending machine, think of George Bigner. Think of Louisiana, Think of just what the heck you're eating and enjoy.
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