Into the fryer
Pringles are not baked. They are fried. And they're fried in a specially made apparatus.
Each dough-val is placed inside a mold called "a saddle," and then run through hot frying oil, giving the crisps their distinct, stackable shape and golden-brown hue. In the big factory, robots fry dozens of the crisps at a time. I was doing them by hand, plunging a saddle-on-a-stick into a vat of oil.
After drowning each crisp for about 15 seconds, I opened a clasp and a warm, perfectly formed Pringle popped out. The edges of each dough-val curved into a hyperbolic paraboloid. You might know it as "that Pringles shape."
I tasted those fresh, piping-hot hyperbolic paraboloids. The sensation of a heated Pringle, literally seconds removed from fry oil, reminded me of state-fair food -- crispy, buttery, dripping with savory flavor.
"For the Original, all we add is salt," Nakashima said, trying one himself with a satisfying crunch. "The rest of the flavors are a little more complicated."