Funyuns are a chip brand invented in 1969 by a Frito-Lay employee. That employee’s name? George Bigner. They are meant to be like onion rings with their flavoring and shape. The flavor comes from a salt and onion mix that they pour onto the chip.
Funyuns were named by Jim Albright, a professor at the University of North Texas. Funyuns were originally going to be called OnYums, but that was already a copywrited product of Rudolph Foods.
Frito-Lay chip bags used to have a “window” on the bags so you could see the food inside. Funyuns were the last chip of Frito-Lay that gave up the window. This happened in 2005.
Funyuns also had five different flavors. Original, Wasabi, Flamin’ Hot, Chile & Limón, and Steakhouse Onion. Wasabi was only a Funyun flavor from 2001 to 2002, and Steakhouse Onion was created in 2015 and was only discontinued this year. But the other three flavors are still here today!
Funyuns are made mostly from cornmeal, and then put into their ring shape from an extrusion process. As mentioned earlier, the flavor comes from a salt and onion flavor mix.
And last, a fun fact! In Brazil, Funyuns are called “Cebolitos”.