Oh, Tapatio Man on the hot sauce label. We’ve been flirting with each other for years. Don’t try to deny it; every time we meet, you’re wearing your best mustard-colored jacket and jaunty red…ascot thing. Don’t even get me started on that impossibly wide sombrero that appears to have the circumference of an ancient Redwood. And above your ecstatic smile, that immaculate mustache that just screams, “Wanna ride?”
Yes, we’ve been meeting up for lunch for years now. Maybe it’s over burgers or pasta. You’ve saved countless pizza crusts from being thrown away when we had a three-way with some ranch dressing. It’s an open relationship; I’ve been with other hot sauces. But when I’m drunk and it’s 3 am, you’re always my booty call of choice.
Tapatio Man is free to see other foods, too, which is why I wasn’t offended when I found out he’s been hanging with three new Frito-Lay products: Fritos Tapatio, Doritos Tapatio and Ruffles Tapatio Limon. I’ve already checked out how Fritos and Tapatio work together, which will actually help this review, because Fritos are the only chip that went straight Tapatio on yo’ ass. The Doritos have a Nacho Cheese base, and the Ruffles get hot and heavy with Tapatio and Limon. Two accented letters in one chip name, that’s serious business. That’s c/p into a Notepad file so I don’t have to reference the char map 1700 times business.
Tapatio Man is cool, so he let me get in on this action. I can tell because he’s staring right into my eyes from the packages, giving me that smile that says…
Wait a second, what’s this?
WHO ARE YOU LOOKING AT FROM THE DORITOS PACKAGE, TAPATiO MAN? WHO ARE YOU FLASHING YOUR PEARLY WHITES AT, JUST TO THE RIGHT OF ME?!
Okay, so I still have some jealousy issues. Seriously though, what is up with that? On the original hot sauce label (yes, I actually do have a bottle of Tapatio on hand at all times, I’m not frontin’) he’s staring straight ahead, just like on the Ruffles bag. Why are his eyes askew on the Doritos bag? Printing error? Were people in the Doritos focus group intimidated by Tapatio Man’s ability to see into your soul, so they averted his eyes? I love a good food packaging mystery. Can’t dwell on it forever though; let’s take a mustache ride straight to Sabritastown.
At first glance, Tapatio Doritos look angry. Angry like, I will make you regret eating these when you wake up at 3 am and have to run to the bathroom angry. Fortunately, their bark is worse than their bite. Oh yeah, there’s some heat there, but it’s not out of control. I’ve had Doritos 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin’ Habanero, and those are hot. Tapatio Doritos bring a good amount of heat, but not enough to make steam come out of your ears. Assuming you’re a cartoon character.
You can definitely taste the nacho cheese base, which works well with the spicy heat of the Tapatio powder, which, by the way, will stain your fingers so that everyone knows you’ve been eating red-colored chips. My problem with these chips, however, is that they don’t really taste like Tapatio. I’ve never tried Flamin’ Hot Doritos, but now I wish I had, because I have a sneaking suspicion they would have tasted remarkably similar to Tapatio Doritos. They just lack that distinct flavor that I love so much in the hot sauce. They could have been called Extra Spicy Nacho Cheese and I would have nodded and said, “Yep, that’s it.”
Ruffles Tapatio Limon
Doritos just gets a picture of a bottle of Tapatio on its bag, but Ruffles gets a full makeover, running wild with blue and orange and wavy borders and everything. This may seem unusual for Ruffles, but you have to remember that the Tapatio line of chips also falls under the Sabritas line, which is what I guess you could call a subsidiary of Frito-Lay. I know, it’s confusing. Just know that Sabritas aims at the Mexican market, so they do things a little differently. The Tapatio Ruffles bag is designed just like the Sabritas Ruffles Queso bag, which you can see here, complete with words you probably don’t understand and some confusing but entertaining spy music. Dios Mio!
Ruffles Tapatio Limon’s twist is obviously the limon, which I figured meant lime (what with the slice of lime on the bag and all), but Google Translate says means lemon. Maybe they’re Sprite flavored! No wait, that’s lymon. Nevermind.
One of my favoritest snack foods is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Limon. Unfortunately, that same twang that works on the Cheetos doesn’t seem to work well on Ruffles. There seems to be a little less heat on these chips than were on the Doritos, but it’s impossible to tell if it has true Tapatio flavor because the limon is too overpowering. The citrus flavor puckered my mouth, which is fine if I’m challenging my palate by sucking on an Extreme Sour Warhead, but not when I’m eating a potato chip.
It’s difficult to rate Doritos Tapatio. On the one hand, it works perfectly well as a spicy, cheese tortilla chip. On the other hand, that heat is supposed to come in the form of Tapatio hot sauce flavoring, and I can’t really say it delivers on that point, so they technically failed, which is ultimately how I have to judge them. Ruffles Tapatio Limon are easier to pass judgment on; I had high hopes for them, but instead of a spicy Tapatio-flavored chip with a hint of limon, I got an overly citrus-flavored potato chip with a little heat on it. I don’t mind Tapatio Man hanging out with other foods, but I wish he’d pick better company.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce – Doritos Tapatio – 1 ounce, 140 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugars, 2 grams of protein, 4% vitamin A, 0% calcium, 0% vitamin C, 2% iron, 2% Thiamin, 2% vitamin B6. Ruffles Tapatio Limon – 160 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of total fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 320 milligrams of potassium, 15 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 grams of sugars, 2 grams of protein, 0% vitamin A, 0% calcium, 10% vitamin C, 2% iron, 4% Thiamin, 8% vitamin B6, 6% vitamin E, 4% niacin.)
Item: Doritos Tapatio and Ruffles Tapatio Limon
Price: $0.99 each
Size: 2 1/8 ounces (Doritos Tapatio)
Size: 1 3/4 ounces ( Ruffles Tapatio Limon)
Purchased at: Circle K
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Doritos Tapatio)
Rating: 3 out of 10 (Ruffles Tapatio Limon)
Pros: Doritos had a nice cheese/heat combination. Tapatio Man and his sexy mustard jacket. Ruffles had okay heat. Mustache rides.
Cons: Ruffles had overpowering citrus flavor. Red flavor powder staining fingers. Couldn’t detect any real Tapatio flavor. Tapatio Man making bad partnership choices.