Wednesday, March 7, 2012

TBG Eats: Doritos Dinamita Nacho Picoso & Chile Limón

Current Weight: 171.0 lbs.

Over the next 24 hours, you are going to be inundated with tweets, news and reviews for Taco Bell's soon-to-debut
Doritos Locos Tacos. It is inevitable. It will be inescapable. And, since Doritos are my eight-year-old son's favorite snack chip; I'm already anticipating his participation in his first hype-filled fast food "event".* However, the kind-of-contrived union between Doritos and Taco Bell isn't the only faux Mexican roll out from our friends at Frito-Lay.

* -- MY first fast food "event" was in the fall of 1985. McDonald's introduced a "lettuce and tomato" hamburger -- the McDLT -- to their ubiquitous menu of off-flavored meat and famously overrated fries. The obese, pre-teen version of me had previously been a Quarter Pounder with Cheese loyalist. But, I fell the catchy ad campaign and allowed myself to stray. A fat kid, his allowance and McDonald's access that was five minutes away. Around the same time, the Pizzazz Pizza debuted at Taco Bell (10 minutes away!)

This past weekend, I discovered Doritos Dinamita chips during my weekly post-haircut junk food foraging at the gas station/convenience store adjacent to my barbershop.

I presume every review of this product must include a condescendingly-delivered translation of Dinamita, so here goes: for those of you wondering, Dinamita is "dynamite" in Spanish. And, I can only imagine how much funnier reruns of a
certain 1970s sitcom would be with the addition of the SAP button.

Dinamitas are the familiar Doritos triangles rolled -- think taquitos -- into the shape of a common explosive. To the naked eye, they're more "firecracker" than "dynamite", but I'm guessing "Doritos Petardo" didn't test as well in the focus groups.

Doritos Dinamita comes in two flavors: Nacho Picoso and Chile Limón.

I really enjoyed the subtle heat and better balance of flavors of the Nacho Picoso. The front of the bag identifies jalapeño as the taste they were targeting and -- like the pepper -- the spices here are mild and not overpowering. There's the tiniest hint of cheesy-creaminess on the back end of each bite that reminded me of one of my favorite recent
Doritos flavors.

Admittedly, it's a bit silly to throw around edible adjectives such as "nuanced" to describe salty empty calories, but compared to the Chile Limón flavor, Nacho Picoso is positively complex.

Visually, the brick-red color of the Chile Limón chips is actually appealing. Just on looks, these could stand alone under a "Firecracker" sub-brand, if Frito-Lay ever wanted to put someone in a decision-making capacity who just so happened to earn his marketing degree from San Diego State University.

The taste, unfortunately, was an overly-assertive mix of spice and citrus. The idea that Hispanic-inspired food -- or its junk food facsimiles -- has to be obnoxiously hot is an ill-formed archetype not far removed from the Frito Bandito. Similarly, lemon and lime are best used sparingly in any dish, save for pies of the key lime and lemon meringue persuasion.

It takes a few bites to get used to the texture of Doritos Dinamita. They're firm and a bit stiff on the teeth, initially. If the seasonings had been dialed back a bit on the Chile Limón flavor, the texture might've been my only nit to pick. Now, I can only hope that Chile Limón's reputation doesn't sully the good name of Nacho Picoso.

Grade (Nacho Picoso): 4 (out of 5)

Grade (Chile Limón): 1 (out of 5)


SHough610 said...

I remember falling in love with the last call jalapeño chips based on your review and eating them weekly. In related news, I weighed over 300 pounds at the time

Anonymous said...

l0l these chips recently hit my wal-mart here in south Texas (yep im hispanic) let me tell you the chile-limon are FKING GREAT.

They compete with my other favorite brand TAKIS Fuego. If you aren't hispanic/mexican I doubt you will like them though, because they do have a VERY strong flavor, which is why I love them. They taste EXACTLY like takis fuego, but the thing is...every once in a while, a bag of takis has less powder/flavor than the other bags. These seem to be very consistant and if these catch on, they will be very succesful here.

Skip Serpico said...

I'm pretty sure that Doritos is just capitalizing on the Takis fad.

I can't wait to find these and just so I can build a review around the idea that that Frito Lay is more interested in tapping the Latino demographic than the GOP.

nottom said...

Dude, the chile limon chips are awesome. I brought a bag into work and pretty much everyone really liked them. Granted if you don't like spicy stuff, they could be a bit much but I really like that some of the big names in snack food are trying to push the boundaries with heat. These certainly aren't "obnoxiously hot" like Blair's Death chips or even last year's 3rd Degree Burn Doritos and while the lime flavor can be a bit in your face, I think it works well with the level of heat.

Daniel said...

Mate, how do you compare the 3rd degree burn Doritos and the Blair's Death Chips? I've tried the 3rd degree burn but I haven tried the Blair's.. Are the Blair's hotter?

Anonymous said...

If you've ever been to Mexico and boughten a bag of regular nacho cheese Doritos, you know that its the same flavor as nacho picoso.Which is awesome cuz now I dont have to wait till I go to Mexico to get a bag of these awesome chips

Unknown said...

I love these chips!! Went to ampm seen the bag bought them,tried them and fell in love! perfect spiceness and just the right amounted lemon..... Yummy. I like spicy foods and these r the perfect snack
Please don't discontinue these..Gracias :p

Anonymous said...

I am latino and just wanted to say that I love the chile limon...most mexicans love the flavor of lime and chile so for our taste buds its just right... I could see how other ppl might not like it so much but if you are mexican then these taste just right....