REVIEW: Takis Waves Dragon Sweet Chili and Blue Heat Potato Chips

Blue 1 Lake food dye needs to be in more potato chips beyond these new Takis Waves Blue Heat. Yes, Takis Blue Heat and its color have been around for years, but despite eating all kinds of snacks for decades, this is the first time my eyeballs and mouth have experienced it. And after seeing the color in person, it makes me want to see it with more chips. Did I mention blue is my favorite color?

If you’re also unfamiliar with Blue Heat, which would be an excellent name for a Smurf fan fiction cop drama, they have an unassuming aroma, but that’s the only restrained attribute. They look like what I imagine would happen if Gargamel finally got his hands on a Smurf and used his recipe for Smurf jerky. It starts with a strong peppery flavor with a hint of lime hitting taste buds a bit later. Also, I swear there’s some soy sauce hiding among the chili peppers. It’s a tasty combo, and I understand why it’s a standard Takis variety. The packaging says these have “Extreme” heat, and while they are spicy, they’re not so hot that the flavor gets lost. My eyes are fascinated with Takis Waves Blue Heat Potato Chips, and my mouth needs something cool after trying them.

My eyes are less impressed with the new Takis Waves Dragon Sweet Chili, which come in a color we’ve often seen on cheesy or hot chips. The flavor debuted with the standard rolled Takis last year, which I enjoyed. They’re noticeably less spicy than the Blue Heat ones but are as flavorful. Here’s how I described the seasoning when I tried the rolled tortilla chip version:

Their initial flavor reminded me of Fritos Honey BBQ Flavor Twists, which is my favorite Fritos variety and not at all spicy. However, by the third chip, the taste morphed into something a bit more unique, with the garlic powder and cayenne peppers making themselves more noticeable. Throughout it all, the sweetness remained and helped cut through the spiciness.

With these potato chips, I didn’t get that initial taste that reminded me of my favorite Fritos flavor, which is understandable since these have a potato base. Instead, I immediately tasted the garlic powder, cayenne, and the seasoning’s sweetness. It too was a tasty combo.

Dragon Sweet Chili and Blue Heat are fantastic additions to the Takis Waves Potato Chip line. If you’re a fan of either or both flavors, they’re worth picking up.

DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary product samples from Takis. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 0.59 oz bags
Purchased at: Received from Takis
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Dragon Sweet Chili), 8 out of 10 (Blue Heat)
Nutrition Facts: (1 package) Dragon Sweet Chili – 90 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. Blue Heat – 90 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 8 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Doritos Baja Fiery Mango

With the introduction of these new Doritos Baja Fiery Mango Tortilla Chips, will we start seeing a new fruity Baja chip flavor every year, similar to how Mtn Dew rolls out new Baja soda varieties annually? That would be a Baja Blast if that happened, PepsiCo.

As you can guess from the name, these are spicy. However, they’re not overly spicy. Well, my mouth didn’t think so because my hands weren’t reaching out for a cool beverage to put out an intolerable burn in my mouth. However, other parts of my body were not in sync with my mouth because certain glands on my head thought otherwise, causing the pores on my forehead and the back of my neck to express their thoughts about the spiciness through perspirat…Whoop! There’s the intolerable heat in my mouth! I’ll be right back. I need something cold to drink.

While the spiciness forced me to get a glass of water, it didn’t make me forget about the slightly off-putting mango flavor when I first started eating them. There was no mistaking it was an artificial mango taste, but there was a saccharine explosion that made things too sweet. Thankfully, the heat rose up and cut through that. After a few more bites, there was a sweet and spicy balance, but every time I gave my taste buds a break, that initial flavor would make its unwanted return. When everything is balanced, the chips have a decent chile artificial mango taste, but it’s not a flavor that I’ll be yearning for.

Before these Doritos, Frito-Lay’s only offerings with mango flavor were potato chips. Both times, they seemed odd and produced varying results to my taste buds, from mediocre to bad. Maybe it’s just me, but fruit and fuego flavors make more sense on a tortilla chip than a potato chip, like with last year’s Doritos Spicy Pineapple Jalapeño.

Much like the previously mentioned fruity spicy Doritos from a year ago, these are okay, but aren’t compelling enough for me to eat again. However, if you liked Doritos Spicy Pineapple Jalapeño, you might enjoy this.

Actually, now I’m truly wondering if I really do want Doritos to offer a new Baja chip flavor every year, like how Mtn Dew rolls out new Baja soda varieties annually.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 9 oz bag
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 11 chips) 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Doritos Late Night Sizzlin’ Cheeseburger

It’s possible there are no new chip flavors left — just re-imagined, re-launched, and rekindled love for previously executed flavor blends. Regardless, I was curious enough to see what the latest Doritos had in store for us with its Late Night Sizzlin’ Cheeseburger.

There have been burger-inspired Doritos in the past, including a Late Night All Nighter Cheeseburger flavor. Recent similar flavors have only been available in the UK, like the Whopper collaboration with Doritos last year. After finding a small but steady fan contingency hyped about their return, I was ready to try these out.

They look pretty promising straight out of the bag, covered in a thin but visible layer of orange seasoning and with the distinct aroma of white onion, pickle, and burger char. It smelled like getting into a car driven by someone who recently picked up a fast food cheeseburger, and the car still smells like that burger, but it’s definitely gone now. Shoot.

The flavor is very characteristic of a burger. The strongest flavors are onion, pickle, char flavor, and the occasional hit of cheese or sweetness that makes me think of ketchup. I’ve experienced this flavor combination on other brands and chip types, and it took me a while to decide if the Doritos corn chip is the best-paired base. Ultimately, the crunchy texture adds to the experience, and it is certainly not the worst burger chip I’ve ever eaten. My only qualm is that my mouth tastes like burger burps after one serving. The aftertaste is STRONG. I had to brush my teeth 30 minutes after consuming it because I wanted the old burger to taste out. If you’re into that, maybe it’s a benefit!

Overall, this is a flavor execution classic that Doritos didn’t mess with much. They taste like a cheeseburger, deliver on that false char aftertaste, and ultimately had me craving an actual burger. I wouldn’t repurchase them, but it looks like a lot of you are thrilled about their return. Oh, one other note, the last ingredient on the ingredient line is Beef Fat. I didn’t expect that, and I don’t fully understand what it “adds” to the chip at such a low level, but there’s that.

Purchased Price: $4.49 (on sale)
Size: 9 oz bag
Purchased at: Mariano’s (Kroger)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (About 11 chips) 150 Calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 150 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s Sweet & Spicy Honey Potato Chips

Hot honey is taking over.

We’ve got hot honey chicken, hot honey pizza, hot honey pretzels, and hot honey buns. Actually, I don’t know about that one. Do hot honey buns exist? Has Little Debbie ventured into the world of hot honey buns yet? I wanna Google, “Little Debbie’s Hot Honey Buns,” but I’m afraid I’ll get put on a list.

Ya know what? I’m just gonna drop this train of thought and … oh hot honey chips! Those exist too. Herr’s makes ’em. Utz makes ’em. Pringles had some delicious hot honey crisps, so it’s no shocker that Lay’s has joined the fray with Sweet & Spicy Honey Chips.

The bag boasts, “Sweet. Spicy. Golden. Crunch,” and I’m not one to argue with a bag.

I’ll get to the first three words, but first, I wanna highlight the fourth word because the crunch might be the standout. By all accounts, they’re standard Lay’s chips, but I swear they’re crunchier. They’re not kettle, but if a chip could exist somewhere between regular and kettle, that’s these, and I love it. I don’t think it was a freshness issue. These felt like Lay’s tweaked its iconic recipe.

As for the flavor – I say this as a culinary inept American dude – I think it leans into a Chinese-inspired territory. Something about the combination of the spicy pepper and vague sweetness instantly made me think of Chinese flavors.

Even the red, scaly bag design made me think along those lines. If you told me these chips were limited edition “Year of the Dragon: Spicy Szechwan” flavored Lay’s, I wouldn’t argue.

The chips hit you with a mildly sweet honey flavor on the nose, then quickly chase that with a tolerable heat ideal for sustained snacking. I always rate spicy snacks on the “Flamin’ Hot” scale, and these probably reach about 80% of that.

I’ll say this, while they don’t exactly taste the same, all I thought about were Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos. In fact, I was bummed I wasn’t eating said Doritos, the G.D.O.A.T. Purple bag supremacy, no other flavor stacks up. Don’t @ me.

Using my confusing percentages again, I’d say the flavor here lands at about 63.7% on the Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili scale I just made up that will now be used to rate all food from now on.

Lay’s Sweet & Spicy Honey Potato Chips are solid but should’ve been sweeter. I’d actually probably like a bit more heat as well. They taste like a “lite” version of what the flavors should’ve been.

The ingredients list Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Swiss Cheese, but they aren’t cheesy. I tried to force a cheese flavor to manifest but to no avail. I still remain a little stumped by the ingredients.

So yeah, these aren’t bad. I got a little indigestion, but I loved the texture and liked the flavor. For all I know, I just had a weird bag, but they’re good overall. They’d probably go great crunched up inside a sandwich.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m… I’m gonna Google it. Curiosity killed the fat.

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: Shop Rite
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (15 Chips) 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s IHOP Rooty Tooty Fresh’ N Fruity Potato Chips

If you’re in Camp Savory Potato Chips Only and think potato chips with sweetness are an abomination, and you feel sorry for the potatoes that were used to make them, um, I’d avoid these Lay’s IHOP Rooty Tooty Fresh’ N Fruity Potato Chips. The Walmart-exclusive flavor features a seasoning that tastes like strawberry-topped pancakes with syrup and bacon.

These have a strong pancake syrup aroma that reminds me of many maple-flavored products I’ve smelled, but no fruitiness or bacon-ness wafts from these. Their pink hue makes them look like they’re coated with what I imagine Flamin’ Warm seasoning would look like. If Lay’s decides to offer cotton candy-flavored potato chips, it has the blue, um, pinkprint to make those the appropriate color.

Its flavor is surprisingly delightful and is as fun as saying, “Rooty Tooty Fresh’ N Fruity.” The strawberry flavoring, which comes from strawberry powder, stands out the most, and it also gives these a slight tanginess. Then, there’s the pancake syrup taste that provides each bite with a burst of sweetness. There’s no butteriness or anything that tastes like an actual pancake, but the syrup flavor does a great job of getting your tongue and head to think of flapjacks.

Finally, there’s the bacon. Having tried Lay’s Bacon Potato Chips, I’m familiar with the brand’s approach to the porky slices, but I don’t taste it here. However, the chips have an underlying greasiness that could be a stand-in for the breakfast meat. These also have some stevia on them, but I don’t notice any of the off flavors I’ve tasted from drinking stevia-sweetened stuff.

I really love these, but they’re a one-night snack stand. Now that I’ve tried them, if given a choice between these and Original Lay’s Potato Chips (or any other standard Lay’s flavor), I’d pick the savory one because they’re more versatile. Like with regular potato chips, we can eat them as a snack or as a side with a turkey sandwich, burger, or hot dog for a meal. But with these, I can’t imagine eating them with any of those. Maybe Lay’s wants us to eat them with breakfast sandwiches. Breakfast chips?!

Lay’s IHOP Rooty Tooty Fresh’ N Fruity Potato Chips were fun to try and a fascinating Frito-Lay food scientist flavor flex. But I wouldn’t repurchase a bag if they were a permanent flavor, as tasty as they are. However, if you’re not in Camp Savory Potato Chips Only and haven’t tried them, they are worth a try.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay*
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: eBay (Exclusive to Walmart stores)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar (including 1 gram of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.