Monday, August 23, 2010
TBG Eats: Doritos "Stadium Nacho" and "Fiery Buffalo"
Current Weight: 169.4 lbs.
I am fiercely loyal to a specific salty snack food -- for awhile.
Ten years ago, I demolished box after box of Cheez-It crackers. I preferred the original flavor, but I occasionally branched out to the Jalapeño Tabasco-laced "Hot and Spicy" ones or experimented with Cheez-It combinations that sounded more delicious than they actually tasted.
Five years ago, Salt and Vinegar Lay's Potato Chips populated a good portion of our pantry. Not long before I got married, Fiancée Bootleg and I attended a wedding up in Long Beach. We sat with a couple who offered up the best "secret to a strong marriage" advice I'd heard before or since. "Make sure you have some separate interests", they said. "It'll help you to better appreciate the time you have together."
My loose interpretation: "Find junk food that your wife doesn't like." And, because of Mrs. Bootleg's Salt and Vinegar aversion, I had all these tangy Lay's all to myself.
Today, I'm in the middle of an extended Doritos run.
And, thanks to the combination of convenience store accessibility and opportunistic urban marketing, I recently stumbled upon a fully stocked end-cap of 99-cent single-serving* bags of Doritos at a liquor store not far from my barber shop.
* -- You know the size I'm talking about. I think they used to be called "Big Grab" and could easily be dissected in one of Morgan Spurlock's sanctimonious documentaries.
I picked up two bags: the "Stadium Nacho" flavor and the "Fiery Buffalo -- 2nd Degree Burn".
The Stadium Nacho Doritos are "inspired" by the release of the Madden '11 video game, but promise the oft-mocked taste of nachos one would order on the concourse of a real football game. This curious dichotomy is confusing enough on its own, but didn't the Doritos brand achieve its ubiquity with its own nacho cheese flavoring? Imagine if McDonald's added oven-baked steak fries to its menu. Who'd experiment with something new, when its eminently-established equivalent was still available? OK, well...besides me?
Actually, I liked the Stadium Nacho chips. They had a slightly creamier mouthfeel reminiscent of the "Last Call" Jalapeño Popper Doritos flavor. The corn taste in the chips was more pronounced than in the original nacho flavor, as well. There was a mild spice kick at the end of each bite that served as an effective finish. These won't replace the original, of course, but make for a fine limited-time novelty.
The Fiery Buffalo Doritos, on the other hand, appear to have been inspired by hellfire and brimstone. Frito-Lay has been insanely successful with their "Flamin' Hot" line of Cheetos and Funyuns. They even upped the ante with habañero-flavored Doritos. But, the Fiery Buffalo Doritos are almost freak-show spicy. Frito-Lay wisely went with more painful "2nd Degree Burn" sub-branding than the unnecessarily hyperbolic "3rd Degree Burn". These have no redeeming snack value. Each bag should come with a stereotypically omniscient Native American.
Grade (Stadium Nacho): 3 (out of 5)
Grade (Fiery Buffalo): -5