REVIEW: Doritos 3D Crunch

Doritos 3D Crunch Bags

2020 is finally over, and I’m here to say, “Out with the old, and in with the… older?”

Yeah, that’s right, we’re starting 2021 off with an Ecto Cooler-level nostalgia bomb. Doritos 3D’s are back, ushering us into the new and, hopefully, better year.

Who hasn’t yearned for these little puffed up triangle balls? They haven’t been on supermarket shelves in well over a decade, unless you live in Mexico. I loved them so much as a kid that I’ve often thought about buying bags on eBay for the price of a steak dinner.

I had given up hope of a revival until recently when I had an inkling. Call me Nosh-stradamus because as soon as Frito-Lay released Poppables (which rule if you aren’t aware), I had a feeling it was a test run for the inevitable Doritos 3D reboot.

I guess I was right because Doritos 3D’s are back and rebranded as Doritos 3D Crunch.

Gone are the days of Nacho Cheese, Zesty Ranch, and Jalapeno Cheddar. Instead, the new iteration comes in two flavors – Chili Cheese Nacho and Spicy Ranch.

So, I’m just gonna cut to the chase and tell ya these are allllmost as good as I remember.

Doritos 3D Crunch Chili Cheese Nacho

If you’ve ever had Chili Cheese Fritos, you know what to expect from Doritos 3D Crunch Chili Cheese Nacho. The scent and flavor coating were almost identical to me. I love Chili Cheese Fritos, so that was just fine, although the Nacho kinda gets lost in the shuffle. Not sure how you can release a Doritos product with “Nacho” in the name and not tap into that iconic flavor we all know and love, but these still hit the spot.

Doritos 3D Crunch Spicy Ranch

Which leads nicely into my review of Spicy Ranch. Have you ever had Spicy Jalapeno Fritos? Well, these taste very similar to those. The heat level is right on par, clocking in right around your typical jalapeno-flavored chip, but below Frito-Lay’s Flamin’ Hot line of excessively red snacks. The Cool Ranch works better here than the Nacho, pairing well with the jalapeno kick, but again, I coulda used more of it. It comes in with a bang, but gets swallowed up quickly. These are Cool Ranch, but in 2021 we’re used to Cooler Ranch!

I really liked both varieties, but still walked away slightly bummed that the two flavors didn’t pop as much as I’d hoped. I kinda wish they just released the old reliable Nacho Cheese and Cooler Ranch first instead of basically making super-hybrids of the original three 3D’s varieties. I’m sure these will sell enough to warrant more flavors, so we may still see the OGs in 3D.

As for the texture, I definitely understand the “Crunch” addition to the name. These are closer to Bugles than I remembered them being. I could be wrong, but I feel like the shape is even closer to a Bugle these days. I thought they were a bit rounder and airier back in the day.

Doritos 3D Crunch are fully enclosed, slightly crunchier versions of Bugles featuring Fritos flavors. I’d sign up for that on paper, wouldn’t you?

Doritos 3D Crunch Spill

I wanna nitpick and say I pretty much hate the bag artwork, but these were still a welcome sight. I missed 3D’s, and I had no problem polishing off the small bags I got. In reality, I’d probably give Spicy Ranch a slight nod, but since these both tasted good and boosted my spirits, it’s a dead heat.

You owe it to yourself to snag both as soon as you see ’em. Best of luck to everyone in the new year!

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of this product. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 2 oz. bags
Purchased at: Received from Doritos
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 27 pieces) Chili Cheese Nacho – 130 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, 2 grams of protein. Spicy Ranch – 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Ruffles Double Crunch Honey Mustard Potato Chips

Ruffles Double Crunch Honey Mustard Potato Chips Bag

What are Ruffles Double Crunch Honey Mustard Potato Chips?

Ruffles adds to its extra crunchy repertoire a sweet and tangy honey mustard flavor.

How are they?

A fellow snack-lover recently told me that the only thing greater than the variety of potato chip flavors is the speed at which we consumers demand them. I would have to add that the only thing faster than our demand rate is the speed at which we buy. This commentary is not based in economics or science, but rather my speedometer reading as I rushed to the store in search of this product, which combines my loves of sweet, salty, and savory all in one bite.

Ruffles Double Crunch Honey Mustard Potato Chips Plated

These Ruffles perfectly recreate what I consider to be the ideal honey mustard profile: the tang of dark mustard balanced with bright, sweet honey. Faint hints of paprika and horseradish flavors contribute some spice without resulting in a building heat sensation. Although their bright yellow color would suggest otherwise, the chips are not overly-coated with seasoning. At first, I wanted a touch more mustard flavor, but now I think any more seasoning would risk overwhelming the chip, which is more delicate than its hardy pretzel cousin.

Although other varieties exist, I had never tried a Double Crunch product before, and now I am never going back. Similar to a kettle-cooked chip, the crunch of the deep, chevron-angled grooves is intensely satisfying. Along with big flavor and crunch, these Ruffles deliver a big chip; several were the size of my admittedly elfin palm.

Ruffles Double Crunch Honey Mustard Potato Chips Super Closeup

In short, these chips are tasty and addictive. A family member (a Sensible Eater who measures out salad dressing by the teaspoonful) and I demolished the bag in under 24 hours.

Anything else you need to know?

A Google search informed me that Ruffles released an Ultimate Tangy Honey Mustard flavor in 2013. Although I never had the opportunity to try them, the product images and ingredient list appear nearly identical to the Double Crunch variety. If you remember and pine for that product like a long-lost lover, the Double Crunch Ruffles may fill the hole in your chip-loving heart.

Conclusion:

Honey mustard fans of the world will happily set pretzels aside for this flavorful and addictive Double Crunch product.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 7 3/4 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 28g/about 10 chips) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Ruffles Baked Flamin’ Hot Potato Crisps

Ruffles Baked Flamin Hot Potato Crisps Bag

Frito-Lay’s Ruffles Baked is like Val Kilmer Batman. They’re both okay, but it hard to get excited when I know there are tastier options out there. Original Ruffles is like George Clooney Batman because both are hard to resist snacks. Nom nom nom. NOM.

If Ruffles Baked is like Val Kilmer Batman, then adding Flamin’ Hot seasoning to the potato crisps is like the addition of nipples on the Batsuit in Batman Forever. Both make things spicy.

I’ll admit I don’t regularly buy snacks from Frito-Lay’s Baked line, but I’m not dissatisfied when I do. But any Baked version of a Frito-Lay chip lacks the one thing fried chips have — addictiveness.

Okay, maybe addiction is too much on one side of the spectrum because I would not do unmentionable things to get my hands on a bag of Ruffles.

But, if a Ruffles Baked bag is placed in front of me, I’ll gladly munch on it. However, there’s an excellent chance there will still be some left. With, let’s say, a bag of regular Ruffles, there’s a 100 percent chance I will demolish that bag’s contents unless it’s taken away from me by force or if my doctor happens to be in the same room and he gives me a disapproving look.

Ruffles Baked Flamin Hot Potato Crisps Closeup

With that said, the familiar, slightly cheesy, and spicy Flamin’ Hot seasoning instantly makes these potato crisps my favorite variety in the Baked line that I’ve had so far, which I will admit is not many. Maybe four or five? And that doesn’t include the Cheetos Baked Flamin’ Hot.

But, even though these Ruffles are nicely coated in the red seasoning, it doesn’t completely hide the baked potato crisps’ flavor, which I’ve always thought tastes more like a cracker than a potato chip.

Ruffles Baked Flamin Hot Potato Crisps Closerup

Nevertheless, these crisps are hard to put down thanks to the flavor and heat from the red seasoning. But, oddly, I didn’t feel the need to put them down to drink something because, and maybe this is just my imagination, these don’t seem to be as spicy as regular Ruffles Flamin’ Hot or Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos.

While I very much enjoyed Baked Ruffles Flamin’ Hot, I can understand why others might not feel the same way because of the underlying crisp’s flavor. But, if you’re okay with Frito-Lay’s Baked line, which I imagine is a lot of people because it’s been around for years, then this is definitely worth a try.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 6 1/4 oz bag
Purchased at: Received from Frito-Lay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (28 grams/about 11 crisps) 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips

Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips Bag

What are Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips?

The next evolution of Frito-Lay’s “Hint of” Tostitos is good ol’ guac.

How are they?

Tostitos Hint of Guacamole pack a big flavor for a chip that only promises a little. They’re essentially “Hint of Doritos,” and for that reason, I loved them.

There’s a fresh avocado taste despite no avocado in the ingredient list, which was a bit weird. I guess that’s an expense thing? Either way, the taste came through.

Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips Bowl

There’s a nice “hint of” heat that I was able to decipher, and then confirm, as jalapeno. The flavor reminded me a bit of Jalapeno Fritos, which I can absolutely demolish in one or two sittings.

I also noticed a – I guess the name really fits – a “hint of” cheese, which the ingredients confirmed as cheddar and Swiss. I wasn’t expecting that, but it definitely enhanced the overall flavor.

These have all the elements of a great guacamole. Except for peas, which everyone knows is the key ingredient to a great guacamole dip. (Relax internet, I’m just kidding… although I would try that with zero remorse.)

Anything else you need to know?

Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips Closeup

Tostitos Hint of Lime might be my favorite tortilla chip, but the size and shape are annoying. You can easily break them into pieces, but let’s be real, we all try to shove the entire massive triangle into our mouths in one bite.

Hint of Guac are the ideal size. I don’t dip flavored chips, so I want them to be snackable, and I gotta give Frito-Lay credit for opting to make these “bite sized rounds.”

As I mentioned above, some chips are so caked in flavor, they might as well be guacamole-flavored Doritos – a variety I know exists, but has somehow eluded me my entire life. Maybe if enough people like these, Frito-Lay will take the hint and make those a year-round release.

Conclusion:

Tostitos Hint of Guacamole Tortilla Chips Bag Bowl

Despite the mild spice and an overload of sodium, I found these deliciously snackable.

I think I’ve had most of the “Hint of” line, and would probably slot these just under Lime. I’d actually really like to try mixing these, Queso, and Lime together for a big “Hint of” Mexican dinner flavored mix. Someone test that out and get back to me.

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: 12 oz
Purchased at: Acme
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (20 Chips) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 150 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese Cups

Cheetos Mac  N Cheese Cups

I’m as angry red as the Flamin’ Hot version of Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese (there are also Bold & Cheesy and Cheesy Jalapeno varieties).

For years, I’ve been longing for Cheetos-flavored seasoning to be bottled so that we all can sprinkle some Cheetle on whatever our taste buds desire. But here we are with a Cheetos-flavored powdery substance, but it’s not bottled. Instead, I have to mix it with cooked noodles and water to make mac ’n cheese in a cup.

WHY CAN’T WE HAVE NICE THINGS, LIKE BOTTLED CHEETOS SEASONING!

(Oh, Cheetle is the official term for what we’ve all called Cheeto Dust. Since Cheetos sent me these, I thought I’d be courteous and use the correct terminology.)

Can you imagine topping pasta with Cheetos seasoning instead of grated parmesan cheese? Or maybe put it on McDonald’s French fries, scrambled eggs, potato chips, hash browns, chili, anything from Taco Bell, anything made by Chef Boyardee, a Costco hot dog, Costco pizza, Costco rotisserie chicken, the frozen cauliflower crust pizza I always pick up from Costco…

Sorry, as you can see, I’ve imagined a life with Cheetos seasoning for a long time, and I often shop at Costco.

Cheetos Mac ’N Cheese is available in these single-serve cups, but they’re also sold as box dinners that involve doing more than adding water and mixing.

Cheetos Bold  Cheesy Mac  N Cheese Cups

The Bold & Cheesy variety is pretty much the adjective-heavy way of saying original Cheetos flavor. Does it taste like the beloved snack? It does, but it’s a bit unsatisfying to get the famous cheesiness this way. I’ll explain more after I go through all the varieties. But this one is my favorite of the three.

Cheetos Cheesy Jalapeno Mac  N Cheese

Cheesy Jalapeno is a Cheetos variety I’ve eaten twice, but I can’t remember the last time I had it or how it tastes. So I don’t know if this mac ’n cheese’s flavor comes close to it. It has a strong jalapeno scent and taste that’s slightly more potent than the cheese. It’s also a tad spicy, but not as much as the Flamin’ Hot one. As I ate it, I kept thinking chile con queso.

Cheetos Flamin Hot Mac  N Cheese

As for the Flamin’ Hot Mac ’N Cheese, it was, unfortunately, disappointing. It made me sweat a little, but I don’t know if it was the hot noodles or Flamin’ Hot seasoning that caused it. Also, it started off tasty, but about halfway through the cup, it became a bit bland, and the spiciness kind of fizzled. Also, and this might be just me, the angry red/Swedish Fish/B-movie blood color is a little off-putting.

The Bold & Cheesy and Cheesy Jalapeno varieties are decent, but with all three, it’s like I’m eating a cheesy Cup Noodles instead of mac ’n cheese. Look, I’ve had Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Cups, so I kind of expected the slightly watery texture of the sauce. But I feel like something that’s Cheetos flavored deserves better because most variations of the snack are addictive and hard to put down. I can’t say the same about these.

Cheetos Flamin Hot Mac  N Cheese Powder

They could be improved, though. Most of the appeal for Cheetos is its cheesiness, but there’s also the crunch factor, which these lack. Yes, we could add some of the crunchy snack ourselves, but it would be easier for Frito-Lay to include some crushed Cheetos that we could use like bread crumbs to top the mac ‘n cheese. I’m pretty sure the folks there have no problem getting access to tons of the stuff.

As I mentioned earlier, Cheetos Mac ’N Cheese is also available in boxes that call for butter and milk to prepare them, which seems like you’ll get a better end result. So I’d recommend purchasing those instead of these single-serve cups.

DISCLOSURE: I received free samples of the product. (Thanks, Cheetos!) Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 2.32 oz cup (Bold & Cheesy), 2.25 oz cup (Cheesy Jalapeno), 2.11 oz cup (Flamin’ Hot)
Purchased at: Received from Cheetos
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Bold & Cheesy), 6 out of 10 (Cheesy Jalapeno), 4 out of 10 (Flamin’ Hot)
Nutrition Facts: (1 package) Bold & Cheesy – 240 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 690 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein. Cheesy Jalapeno

REVIEW: Lay’s Sea Salt & Vinegar Poppables

Lay s Salt  Vinegar Poppables

To determine whether you’ll love Lay’s Sea Salt & Vinegar Poppables, you have to ask yourself three simple questions.

  1. Do you like salt and vinegar potato chips?
  2. Do you enjoy the crispy texture of Lay’s Poppables?
  3. If it was discontinued, would you send a tear-jerking email to Frito-Lay about how there’s now a hole in your heart that could only be filled with Lay’s Salt & Vinegar Poppables?

If you said “yes” to all three questions, I now pronounce you husband and life snack or wife and life snack. You may now eat your life snack.

Well, actually, if you said “yes” to the first two questions, then you’ll probably end up enjoying this salty and tangy version of the airy potato snack. It has the same flavor you’d taste with Lay’s original and Kettle Cooked Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips, and the same satisfying crispiness as all the other Lay’s Poppables.

It’s exactly what I expected, and I LOVED them.

Yes, past tense.

That deep affection from eating the first few handfuls blinded me from realizing something disheartening about Poppables — there’s not much of it in the bag.

When I mindlessly eat regular or Kettle Cooked salt and vinegar potato chips, which happens more often than I’d like to admit, I can look into the bag after munching for a while and see that I’ve put a noticeable dent into what’s there. But there’s still a lot left.

Lay s Salt  Vinegar Poppables 1

With these Poppables, I did the same mindless eating, and when I checked to see how much was left, I was shocked that three-fourths of the bag was gone.

I guess I never paid attention to how much is stuffed inside. A regular bag of Kettle Cooked has eight ounces, and standard Lay’s has 7.75. Poppables has just five.

So that made me ask myself, “How much do I like Poppables’ crispiness?” Is it enough for me to overlook the fact that I can get more salty and tangy munching satisfaction with its crunchier chip cousins?

I took a hard look at myself in a mirror and thought I didn’t truly LOVE Lay’s Sea Salt & Vinegar Poppables. I really like them, and I’d take them over any other Poppables variety, but if they ever go away, I won’t be writing a sad email to Frito-Lay. I’ll move on and chomp Lay’s Kettle Cooked Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips.

Purchased Price: $5.89*
Size: 5 oz. bag
Purchased at: Times Supermarket
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 28 pieces) 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.