Sometimes on the road of life we use food to mark the milestones along the way. Jolly Ranchers remind me of playing arcade games at the corner store when I was a kid. Limp, crinkle cut French fries remind me of attending my sister’s softball games in my early teens. Sour Apple Pucker reminds me of being a camp counselor in college. Swordfish reminds me of my honeymoon.
When these Doritos arrived in the mail, I had an immediate flashback to my youth and a long forgotten memory. I must have been ten or eleven. I was a big professional wrestling fan. I was watching WCW, maybe even the NWA back then, and I saw a wrestler who had a sort of zig-zaggy, lightning bolt line shaved into his head. It zig-zagged at the side of his head, then continued as a straight line around the back, and zig-zagged on the other side. Temple to temple.
I thought it was awesome. And I somehow convinced my mom to take me to the haircuttery to get something comparable. This must have set a precedent because in a related incident, during an Olympic year, I shaved a big USA into the back of my head. (Gotta support those gymnasts and divers somehow.) I guess my mom didn’t care how bizarre I wanted to look provided I did it at the beginning of the summer so it would grow out before school started.
So anyway, I went to the hairs place and asked the completely clueless older woman that worked there if she could do this for me. I remember there being a lot of back and forth and her not really understanding what I wanted. But we forged ahead anyway.
I did not get the cool around the head lightning line that I wanted. I got two shaved patches on either side of my head that were shaped exactly like these Doritos. They didn’t connect at all. And they were quite large. I think having to take my glasses off during said haircut contributed to my allowing the mis-shaving to take place. But it was fine. I’m sure I lost interest two seconds later. I had etched my individuality upon my skull. That’s all that mattered.
Was it like when famous drummers have pictures of themselves banging on pots and pans when they were toddlers? Did those lightning bolts presage my life as a blogger. I’m going to say yes they did. Which means this review is 23 years in the making.
These American Hot Wings Doritos are from Taiwan. While “American Hot Wings” is a very vague and ultimately meaningless term, the picture on the bag seems to suggest Buffalo wings, so that’s the flavor standard from which I’ll be working.
The nose grope of the bag is dominated by chili powder with notes of Ramen noodles.
The flavor of each chip seems to suggest that “American Hot Wings” really just means chili powder. There are hints of garlic present, but chili powder is in the driver’s seat. Chicken powder is listed last on the ingredients list, like an afterthought to uphold the flavor theme. Which makes sense because it’s nowhere to be found on the chips.
These are also surprisingly sweet, and the “Hot” is anything but. It’s a mild tingling at best, and then, only after several handfuls.
Doritos from Asia have a different structure than their American counterparts, and I don’t just mean the awesome and unexplainable lightning shape of these chips. I’ve always found them to be denser and more corn-dominated. The flavor powder on these chips is quickly subsumed by the corn chip itself. In the end you’re left with a tingling tongue tasting mostly of corn and chili powder. In that order.
These American Hot Wings Doritos are about as far from Buffalo wings (or any sauced wing) as you can get, but they’re still pretty good. They’re not very interesting, but the sweetness and the chili powder work well together. I happily finished the bag.
You know, I’m starting to think that prophetic haircut from twenty years ago wasn’t such a big deal after all. If it didn’t point to these Doritos, then what was it pointing to?
Geez. What a letdown.
(Nutrition Facts – 25 grams – 130 calories, 6.5 grams of fat, 3.3 grams of saturated fat, 142 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.8 grams of protein.)
Item: Frito-Lay Late Night American Hot Wings Doritos (Taiwan)
Purchased Price: ???
Size: 65 grams
Purchased at: Somewhere on Guam
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Sweet chili powder is not so bad. Lightning-shaped chips!
Cons: Lack of flavor accuracy. The bag is more interesting than the chips. Corny. Unfulfilled prophecy.