REVIEW: Doritos Roulette (Canada)

Doritos Roulette

This could very easily be the shortest review in the history of this site. Doritos Roulette are Nacho Cheese Doritos, with the occasional very spicy chip mixed into the bunch. The end. Mic drop.

But I guess I should probably justify my existence here and write a bit more than that. Now where’s that mic…

Not much needs to be said about Nacho Cheese Doritos. They’re the original Doritos flavour, and arguably the tastiest. If you’ve somehow never had them and need me to describe the flavour, then I’m going to assume that you stumbled onto this site by accident. Perhaps you were looking for the Impulsive Buoy, the boating website? Because I’m pretty sure if you did a Venn diagram of “people who read junk food blogs” and “people who have tried Nacho Cheese Doritos,” the two circles would be pretty much right on top of each other.

But fine, for the boat enthusiasts among you, I’ll throw you a bone: Nacho Cheese Doritos are cheesy (I know, shocker, right?) — cheddar in particular — with a salty, fake-in-the-best-way possible flavour, and enough else going on to make them irresistibly addictive. They’re a classic for a reason. They’re hard to dislike.

As for Roulette, the bag is predominantly Nacho Cheese Doritos, which are just as tasty as ever. However, about 25 percent, give or take, are a little different than your standard Nacho Cheese chip: they’re spicy. Very spicy.

Now, I’m no slouch when it comes to spice. Typically, mass-market snacks or fast food items labeled as spicy register for me as a vague tickle, the equivalent of a small kitten playfully batting at your hands. I say this not to boast, but to provide context for this statement: these are legitimately spicy. They’re certainly not the hottest thing you’ve ever had, but you’re definitely going to feel (feel feel) the heat.

If most so-called spicy items are the aforementioned kitten, this is a solid slap in the face.

Doritos Roulette Closeup

Aside from the spice, these chips look and taste just like a regular Nacho Cheese Dorito. So you really have no idea what you’re going to get until you pop it in your mouth (must… resist… “that’s what she said” joke).

It’s actually really good! The combination of regular chips and super spicy ones work surprisingly well. I don’t know if I’d want a whole bag of Doritos this spicy, but here, where you get a few regular chips to cool your mouth between the hot ones, it’s actually quite satisfying.

And of course, that’s not to mention the potential hilarity of eating these with a spice wimp and watching them squirm when they get a spicy one.

I was expecting these to be more of a novelty item than anything else, but I actually wound up enjoying them far more than I thought I would. I’m assuming these are a limited-time-only deal, but if they weren’t, I’d definitely add them to my regular Dorito rotation.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 package (80 grams) – 420 calories, 22 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0.2 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 600 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams fibre, 1 gram sugar, 6 grams protein.)

Item: Doritos Roulette (Canada)
Purchased Price: $1.49 CAN
Size: 80 gram bag
Purchased at: International News
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Classic Nacho Cheese flavour. Good balance of spicy and not-spicy chips. Entertainment value of eating them with people who can’t tolerate spice. The ability to make Passenger 57 references while you eat.
Cons: Might be too spicy for some people. Realizing that a lot of people probably won’t get that Passenger 57 reference.

REVIEW: Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 855

Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 855

What’s fun about the Doritos Jacked Test Flavors is trying to figure out what flavors they are. Looking at the ingredients list is the equivalent of shaking a Christmas present to determine what it could be.

What’s on each Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 855 chip reads like result of a McCormick spices factory being dropped on a dairy and a Chinese restaurant. There’s paprika, spices, salt, sour cream, cayenne pepper sauce, onion powder, MSG, sugar, garlic powder, butter, cheddar cheese, buttermilk, and blue cheese.

A number of those ingredients make each chip look dark red, and a bit ominous, as if Lucifer stood above them, rubbed his head really fast with his hands, and let his dandruff fall on them.

The chips have a heat that matches their color. It’s the spiciest of the three Doritos Jacked Test Flavors, but it takes a few chips before the heat builds up to its maximum. Those who have a high tolerance for spiciness will consider these chips to be all show, no whoa. They didn’t make me want to reach for any soothing liquid, but they did make me yearn for tacos.

I guess I can blame the sour cream flavor that instantly hit my mouth when I started eating the chips for my tacos jones. It stood out like clowns on stilts with yellow crushed velvet track suits, oversized sunglasses, rainbow afro wigs, and erections. I liked the tangy sour cream flavor that cut through the heat of the chip, plus I now know what it’s like to make out with a Taco Bell sour cream gun.

Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 855 Closeup

The sour cream was followed by waves of spices — paprika, cayenne, onion powder, and garlic powder. The paprika and cayenne were the most noticeable of the bunch. The sour cream and spices combination caused the chips to taste like a spicy taco supreme…no wait. A spicy burrito supreme. No, um…chili cook-off chili with sour cream on top. No. A Taco Bell Cool Ranch Spicy Chicken Doritos Locos Taco. No, um… As you can see, I’m not sure what flavor they are, but these red chips are my favorite of the three Doritos Jacked Test Flavors because of its spiciness and the bold sour cream flavor.

With that said, they are also the least intriguing of the three. The other Doritos Jacked Test Flavors have ingredients like lime juice solids, orange juice solids, cocoa powder, chocolate liquor, and brown sugar. Test Flavor 855 has components that seem like they’ve flavored many other Doritos products. I guess one could say, except my computer’s spellcheck, they are the normalest of the three.

Whatever Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 855 is, when Frito-Lay announces what flavor it is, it better have a jacked name. Might I suggest Doritos Jacked Devil’s Dandruff.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce – 140 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 855
Purchased Price: $3.79 (on sale)
Size: 10 oz bag
Purchased at: Times Supermarket
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Spices and sour cream is a tasty combination. Nice medium heat that slowly builds up. Makes me yearn for tacos. If Frito-Lay ends up calling it Doritos Jacked Devil’s Dandruff.
Cons: Looks like it’s been coated with Lucifer’s dandruff. I have no idea what flavor it is. Least intriguing Doritos Jacked Test Flavor. Heat heads won’t be impressed with the level. Definitely won’t be called it Doritos Jacked Devil’s Dandruff.

REVIEW: Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 404

Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 404

I’ve always been a huge fan of Doritos’ test flavor gimmicks. From the cheeseburgery reveal of Doritos X-13D to Doritos The Quest, which turned out to be Mountain Dew and was surprisingly good. I’m glad Doritos brought back this stunt, even if it’s for their stubborn sibling, the Jacked line.

I have to say the packaging really piques my excitement. I’m not sure if it’s the silver faux-futuristic bags that echo Fritz Lang’s Metropolis or maybe it is the words “TEST FLAVOR” themselves. Either way, the people that designed this get my high fives.

When they were first announced, it was 2007 all over for me again where losers were wearing blinged out pseudo ripped jeans, had fauxhawks, put on aggro printed t-shirts and topped off their ensemble with Von Dutch caps. And the damned music…Daughtry and Paramore were overplayed (why they were played at all, I am unsure), while all of us geeks swooned over Morgan Webb and discovered the Midnight Juggernauts.

Feverishly, I went to various Walmarts, Targets and Publixes to no avail. After a couple of weeks of looking, I gave up and decided to do something more productive and level up my monk in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.

One afternoon at lunch, I needed to buy some three ring trading card nine-pocket plastic sheets for my Wacky Packages (another reason why the ladies love me). Ironically, the Target I found them in was the one I’ve avoided because it’s near a huge university and seriously…I don’t have time for that bullshit.

There they were in neatly stacked piles. The last time I gawked stupidly at foil packaging was when a past girlfriend asked me, annoyed, what’s taking me so long to get a rubber. They were all the 404 version and although I was sad that the other two test flavors were not there, I grabbed two packages and gleefully ran out.

Upon ripping open the bag, I buried my nose into it like it was the 80’s, Miami Vice-style, and inhaled. There was a deep and earthy molasses/brown sugar scent that is immediate. It then faded into cumin-like tones with a light fake-citrus smell. I can compare the earthy wafts to a fresh out of the oven baked sweet potato if you squeezed a lemon on it.

Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 404 Closeup

The chips themselves had a burnt orange “spray tan look” that were a few shades darker enough to let you know that it meant fucking business. You could see the seasoning flecks as if your eyes had microscopic vision and the chips felt heavier.

I know it sounds crazy but I like the lighter feel of normal Doritos chips and think the more rigid Jacked chips take away from the crunch experience. However, those powdery flavor dustballs have enough heft that they shake off your hands easily.

Eating one, the smoky tortilla corn chip was the most prevalent flavor at first. Then a rich sweetness with garlicky notes washed my tongue as I chewed. There was an unidentifiable complexity in the chip that almost tasted like five spice powder. Last, a citrusy tart zing that tasted of key limes and kumquats grabbed my taste buds and doggy styled it into submission. There was also a faint tinge of heat, which was nice.

I couldn’t really say what the flavor was except that it definitely had this Asian Thai sweet chili sauce thing going on. Looking at the ingredients, I saw lime juice solids and orange juice solids, which may explain the slight tartness that sort of made my cheeks tickle.

The bold flavors joined in a symphony that demanded you pay some friggin’ attention. These chips were the aces! I was impressed and surprised that Doritos was able to bring a flavor that I had not really tasted yet or could truly compare to another flavor. In fact, my only gripe is that the chips seemed too heavy and stiff (thanks Jacked) but who cares once you get to that flavor.

If Frito-Lay wants to make any one of the three a regular flavor, they will probably pick the safest route and these will go the way G4TV did (damn you Esquire channel). If you can find Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 404, I highly recommend picking these up because I doubt they will be made again.

I have to commend Frito-Lay for really pushing the envelope on its Doritos flavors, even if it’s a limited time thing. Sure I may never get a second round of Doritos Mr. Dragon’s Fire Chips but these 404, if they become a regular offering, will satiate my wants.

(Nutrition Facts – 6 chips – 140 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Doritos Jacked Test Flavor 404
Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: 10 ounce bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: The Asian-like complex flavors that are earthy, tart and sweet. The flavor dust easily shakes off your hand. The Doritos line has brought back the test flavors gimmick. G4’s Attack of the Show!
Cons: The heavy stiff chip is not the best. It’s hard to find these in my area. Blinged out faux ripped jeans. Esquire Network’s Lucky Bastards.

REVIEW: Limited Time Only Ketchup Doritos (Canada)

Limited Time Only Ketchup Doritos (Canada)

I still remember my shock, as a kid, finding out that ketchup chips are mostly just a Canadian thing, and that they’re not readily available in the States. This information stunned me. It made me question the way I perceived the world. Ketchup chips are such a fundamental potato chip flavour; this was like being told that Americans cannot perceive the colour blue.

As far as I’m concerned, there are certain bedrock chip flavours. Salt & vinegar. Barbecue. Sour cream & onion. Ketchup. All Dressed.

Wait — you don’t have All Dressed, either?? What kind of lives have you been living? I’ll answer that one: empty lives. Empty, horrible, All-Dressed-and-ketchup-chip-less lives.

Ketchup and fries are obviously natural bedfellows. Potato chips and fries are clearly brothers in the junk food family tree (or at the very least, cousins). It follows, then, that ketchup chips are a complete no-brainer.

But ketchup Doritos? That’s different. That’s as wacky to me as it is to you. I’ve never seen anybody dip a tortilla chip into ketchup, and I hope that day never comes. It’s too horrible to fathom.

So if the ketchup/tortilla combo is gross, Ketchup Doritos must be gross too, right? Well… read on, my friend. Read on.

Before I get into this particular flavour, I will say that I think Doritos are the best store-bought tortilla chip on the market. I don’t want to get too hyperbolic, but I think they’re pretty much textural perfection; they’re the perfect combination of crispy, airy, and crunchy.

(And I really wish they’d make plain Doritos easier to find, but they’re completely unavailable in Canada, and even in the States I’m almost never able to track them down. But I digress.)

I definitely wasn’t sold on this flavour after my first bite. Doritos and ketchup is such a weird combination that it just seems wrong. At first you’re hit with that vinegary ketchup sweetness and and it seems to confirm your worst fears. It feels off-putting.

But then you have another, and another, and before you know it, you’re hooked. There’s something weirdly addictive and oddly satisfying about it. A hint can be found in the ingredients. The third ingredient of the seasoning is monosodium glutimate, a.k.a. the dreaded MSG.

I should note that the notion that MSG is more unhealthy than any other seasoning has been thoroughly debunked at this point, in case you were wondering. What MSG does do is heighten a food’s umami factor. Combined with the dehydrated tomato (another umami-packed ingredient), it gives these Doritos (and quite a few other Doritos flavours) a savoury richness that you can’t quite put your finger on, but that keeps you coming back chip after chip.

Limited Time Only Ketchup Doritos (Canada) Closeup

The seasoning isn’t quite as liberally applied as with some other flavours. This is definitely a good thing; a little bit of the puckery sweet vinegar flavouring of the ketchup goes a long way. This means that more of the chip’s corn flavour shines through, which compliments the ketchup flavour fairly well, oddly enough.

It’s not my favourite variety of Doritos ever (it still has that distinctive ketchupy taste, which is never going to be perfect on a tortilla chip), but it is way, way better than you’d think it would be. I really only needed to sample one bag for the purpose of this review, and I’m already onto my second, which tells you how much I enjoyed it (it also tells you that I’m a pig whose boundless appetite can never quite be sated… but we’ll set that aside for the moment).

(Nutrition facts – 50 grams/21 chips – 260 calories, 13 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 290 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fibre, 2 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein.)

Item: Limited Time Only Ketchup Doritos (Canada)
Purchased Price: $3.50 CAN
Size: 245 gram bag
Purchased at: Hasty Market
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Way better than you’d think it would be. Surprisingly addictive.
Cons: The very idea of it is a bit off-putting. Ketchup and tortilla chips is never not going to be a weird combination.

REVIEW: Frito-Lay Late Night American Hot Wings Doritos (Taiwan)

Frito-Lay Late Night American Hot Wings (Taiwan)

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.

Frito-Lay Late Night American Hot Wings (Taiwan) Lightning

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.

Frito-Lay Late Night American Hot Wings (Taiwan) Closeup

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.

Frito-Lay Late Night American Hot Wings (Taiwan) Back

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.