*A scene from Doritos headquarters*
“Okay, boys. After years of dark magic, Ouija boards, and one ill-fated incident involving a cheese-toothpaste hybrid, we’ve finally crafted the perfect recipe for appealing to the “Xtreme” chip market:
Bacon – the cornerstone of annoying Internet food memes
Cheddar – the preferred finger coating of Cheetos-loving gamers everywhere
Ranch – because nothing evokes the rough-and-tumble, Chuck Norris-esque aesthetic of cow ranchers like ranch dressing”
And with that, Bacon Cheddar Ranch Doritos Jacked 3D (I need a breather just writing that name) were born. If the Powerpuff Girls were made from Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice, then these must be the Powerpuff Girls’ 25-year-old brother who plays World of Warcraft in their parents’ basement.
But I won’t judge these on the stereotypical nature of their ingredients alone. Opening the bag and huffing deeply, a corn scent predominates, with a little edgy cheesiness that tickles my nostrils.
Like a paleontologist discovering the elusive Doritosaurus, I extract one of the bizarrely shaped artifacts. It looks like a symbol straight out of the Stonecutters Clan.
Upon my first munch of the thick, crunchy pyramid, I’m first hit with a strong corn flavor. But this corn is glazed with a savory cheesiness that quickly ramps up into the recognizable, biting sharpness that is typical of cheddar snacks.
And that’s it.
Wait, what? That can’t be. As it stands, these are Phantom Menace levels of disappointment. Maybe they should rename them “ChedDar Jar Binks Doritos.”
I continue frantically shoveling corn triangles into my mouth hoping for a more intense experience, and slowly but surely, I get it.
As my mouth swells with the amalgamated ball of chewed, cheesy corn (yeah, this sounds really gross, but don’t lie: you know exactly the feeling), I notice a smoky finish to the cheddar cheese. It reminds me of the toasty, salty, and paprika-y flavor you get at the end of a barbecue chip.
I’m guessing this is the “bacon,” and it’s so subtle that you’d think a bacon fairy casually sprinkled her little pixie dust of bacon bits over the bag. I call her Oinkerbell.
I’m having trouble detecting any ranch, though. The closest thing is the aftertaste left by the 3D-oritos (a much better name, in my opinion). I’m not the best at estimation, but for about 2 geologic eons after eating them, my throat was plastered with a peppered, garlic tomato flavor. I’m not sure if this is “ranch,” but it is enough to leave me hoping for an actual bottle of cheese-toothpaste to rid my breath of this oily flashback.
All in all, these were “so-so,” at best. I love the texture, extreme width, and fun shape (they look like someone set the font on their chip word processor to “Wingdings”) of the Doritos, but the tame cheese flavor isn’t memorable enough to prompt another buy. It’s just a kitchen-sink combination of old flavors that isn’t focused enough on a single one. You’d be better off buying Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch to get a more distinct and focused palate experience.
Unless, of course, you’re an archeologist looking for a thematically appropriate snack to bring to the company “Quetzalcoatl Barbecue,” in which case these hieroglyphs are a good, mindless nosh for summer.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I only have a few more months to perfect my ChedDar Jar Binks cosplay. George Lucas will be proud!
(Nutrition Facts – 13 pieces – 150 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein..)
Item: Bacon Cheddar Ranch Doritos Jacked 3D
Purchased Price: $3.29
Size: 11.5 oz bag
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Corn is made better with cheddar. Snacks shaped like RPG runes. Imagining a Doritosaurus/Jurassic World crossover.
Cons: Corn isn’t made that much better with cheddar. Scarcity of bacon flavor. Surplus of bacon memes. Not getting a kick out of ranch. Probably getting kicked out of Skywalker Ranch.