REVIEW: Mexican Street Corn Cheetos

Mexican Street Corn Cheetos Bag

Mexican Street Corn, often referred to by its proper street name, elote, which roughly means “corn cob” in Spanish, is grilled corn covered in mayonnaise or sour cream, topped with chili powder, Cotija cheese, and lime.

Growing up in California’s Bay Area, I came across this savory delight every week, oftentimes from street vendors also peddling Chicharones de Harina, fried orange wheel chips soaked in lemon juice and Valentina hot sauce, and on a lucky day, mango adorned with a generous sprinkling of Tajín. Needless to say, these are good eats.

I’ve also come across a more modern trend where the traditional Cotija cheese that cakes the outside of the grilled corn is replaced with crunched up Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, which brings me to the natural progression and potential dream creation of Mexican Street Corn Cheetos.

The bag boldly states “TANGY – SPICY – CHEESY” on both the front and back, so before digging in, even though I’ve had actual elote, I know exactly what I’m expecting. The aroma from the slightly slime-colored but eye-catching green bag nails those three elements. I get a citrusy tang flirting with spice and a general fried smell wafting up from the uniquely yellow-tinted crunchy Cheetos.

Mexican Street Corn Cheetos Pour

The first thing I notice in the flavor is the cheese, but it’s not the typical cheddar-meets-nacho kind of artificial cheese that defines Cheetle seasoning. It’s sharper with a touch of that umami quality you get from parmesan with its earthiness and slight funk. Not only is it cheesy, but it’s also creamy, with the distinct tang of sour cream that really stands out with a hint of buttery richness as well. Cotija cheese is really similar to parmesan when dried and aged, and I’m impressed with the depth and uniqueness of this cheesy flavor that is truly as luscious as something that’s crunchy can be.

Mexican Street Corn Cheetos Closeup

The cheesiness is followed quickly by the taste of lime and rounded out by spice, but it’s far from the type of spicy usually associated with the brand. It’s a much more of an ancho chili powder taste than heat, and the flavor does a pretty good job of emulating the balance of an elote experience, which isn’t particularly hot. There are also notes of garlic and onion floating in the background.

Since the first ingredient in Cheetos is enriched corn meal, it goes without saying that the corn-flavored chips have an inherent corniness to them that permeates every bite. The only thing absent from the profile of an actual elote stick is the sweetness of fresh corn, which Trader Joe’s added to its sensational Elote Organic Corn Chip Dippers (my favorite chip of all time). But I don’t really mind that missing element here. The cheesiness’s depth and tang are impressive, and they make these Cheetos unlike any that I’ve had before.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 3.25 oz bag
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (21 pieces – 28 grams) 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Xxtra Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos

Xxtra Flamin Hot Nacho Doritos Bag

What are Xxtra Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos?

Once you go hot, you can only go up. After the successful sting of 2019’s Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos, Frito-Lay has unleashed the only logical progression, just one “X” away from forbidden adult entertainment: Xxtra Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos.

How are they?

These chips are instantly and unabashedly HOT.

Ya know how when you’re eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and the first 3-4 are just tasty and cheesy with a little spicy zing, and then all of a sudden your mouth is tingling? There’s none of that here. The heat is immediate, one chip in.

Xxtra Flamin Hot Nacho Doritos Closeup

As usual, the chips vary from SO RED to mostly red, and the seasoning level (can we call this cheetle since it originated with Chester, or is it deetle?) will ultimately determine your tongue’s fate, but even the lesser seasoned ones pack a punch.

It’s hard to describe the specific heat as anything other than “Flamin’ Hot,” but since you’re on this website, you probably have an idea of what that tastes like. It’s just kicked up on the hot chili and toned down on the cooling cheesy. The signature Nacho Cheese Doritos flavor takes a major backseat to the flames, just barely poking its head through the fire. Surprisingly the nacho aroma from the bag is pretty strong, but the taste gets swept away when eating.

Anything else you need to know?

Xxtra Flamin’ Hot Doritos not only bring instant heat, the fire lingers too. When I eat 3-5 in a row, the burn stacks in a way that causes my saliva to thicken up and pool as a defense mechanism against a potential runny nose and/or explosion. If you’re sensitive to heat, I’d steer clear away from these. Even if you aren’t, I’d have some milk or peanut butter on hand if you want to indulge in more than a serving.


I like heat. I like Doritos. And these chips delivered on their promise, but they might be a little too hot. Not that they’re too spicy to eat, but I think I prefer the 2019 version without the two X’s when it comes to scratching that Nacho Cheese Doritos itch. Growing up, I loved the Spicier Nacho variety, and there’s no denying those aren’t actually hot at all, but these Doritos are a bit too fiery for repeated snacking.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 2 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (12 chips, 28g) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lay’s Summer BLT, Chile Mango, and Wavy Jerk Chicken Potato Chips

Lay s Summer 2021 Flavors

Some industries are inherently more lighthearted than others. Not everyone can save lives every day; some people have to go to work and invent new potato chip flavors!

Okay, maybe “have to” isn’t the most accurate verbiage. But when I think of these industry professionals, specifically at Frito-Lay, my biggest hope and expectation is that somewhere within that company is a running list of EVERY variety they’ve ever commercialized. “The List” of everything from the all-star favorites like the day they stumbled upon Sour Cream & Onion perfection to the more recent cringe marketing stunts like Cappuccino…whuff.

Something about the idea of this compiled data set makes me grateful for humanity and our quirks. The latest additions to The List are the 2021 summer flavor line-up of Summer BLT, Chile Mango, and Wavy Jerk Chicken.

My first impression of this line is that the bags are gorgeous. Maybe a blend of food illustrations and actual images isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I thought they were vibrant. There were WAY more images of the ingredients on these bags than other Lay’s varieties which made me wonder if I should expect bolder flavor profiles overall.

Summer BLT

Lay s Summer BLT

I’m not sure a “summer” BLT is really a thing, but maybe this is Frito Lay’s attempt to designate between the Classic BLT chips of 2012, the BLT reboot of 2017, and this latest endeavor. Overall, I would categorize these as delicate. The flavor is light, and if I were eating anything else at the same time, I don’t think I’d taste much.

I was obviously expecting to taste bacon, but oddly there wasn’t really much of it or any smokiness. Actually, these chips tasted like mayonnaise and lettuce. There was a sweetness that might have been an attempt at tomato, but overall these were subtle and underwhelming.

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) – 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Chile Mango

Lay s Chile Mango

These were certainly not lacking in flavor. The mango comes through bright and sweet, possibly too sweet for some, but definitely on the nose. These chips are TASTY. Usually, my biggest issue with spicy fruit combos is the heavy-handed use of lime, but that’s not the case with these chips. Could they be spicier? Definitely, but overall these are a fantastic blend of sweet mango and savory spice, and I intend to crush at least half the remaining bag while sipping a margarita in the sunshine.

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 7 3/4 oz bag
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) – 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Wavy Jerk Chicken

Lay s Wavy Jerk Chicken

Last but certainly not least is the Wavy Jerk Chicken chip, and let’s just say there’s A LOT going on here. I tasted brown sugar, a floral spice, heat, savory garlic, and that smoky and brothy flavor that Lay’s has used multiple times to deliver the taste of charred chicken. They didn’t really meld together so much as each one shows up in a flash before the next comes barreling in.

The aftertaste is like I just ate jerk chicken, but I’m not sure the chips taste that way. They are full of flavor, though. Possibly so much so that I wouldn’t want to eat much more than a serving.

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 7 1/2 oz bag
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 15 chips) – 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Overall, I think these new flavors show a wide range of trendy complex flavors, but they each miss the mark by enough in their own way that I would be surprised if they stuck around longer than a single season. Not to worry, though, I’m sure Frito-Lay is already cookin’ up the next flavors to add to The List.

REVIEW: Chili Lime SunChips

Chile Lime SunChips Bag

Did you know SunChips are 30 years old? Did you know it’s supposed to be spelled “SunChips” and not “Sun Chips?” Did you even know they’re still around?

Perhaps to celebrate its birthday, the Frito-Lay brand has rolled out Chile Lime SunChips. Because let’s face it, a birthday cake flavor would be a horrible idea.

According to the packaging, the 100% whole grain snack feature a combination of red chili pepper and lime flavors. A dive into the ingredients list shows the chips are seasoned with chili powder, buttermilk, garlic powder, spices (including chili pepper), onion powder, natural flavors, paprika, vinegar, and lime juice.

Chile Lime SunChips Closeup

While they have all those ingredients, they taste like they’re seasoned with just chili powder and lime but leaning more towards the former. I’m not complaining that the chips aren’t as complex as the ingredients list makes them seem because they are enjoyable. Although, I have to admit there’s a bit of a celery-like aftertaste at times.

All the flames on the bag might be a subtle hint that these are spicy. They are, and it takes a few chips before the heat is really noticeable, but think of these being at 1/4 or 1/3 of how spicy Flamin’ Hot products are.

Speaking of which, why hasn’t Frito-Lay offered Flamin’ Hot SunChips in their own bag? It’s available as part of a spicy Frito-Lay Munchies Snack Mix that also comes with Doritos, Cheetos, and Rold Gold pretzels, but not in a standalone offering.

If you didn’t know SunChips are still around, this Chili Lime flavor would be a tasty way to reintroduce yourself to them. If you do pick it up, or whatever variety you choose, remember to wish it a Happy Birthday.

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

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 7 oz bag
Purchased at: Received from Frito-Lay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 14 chips/28 g) 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 2 grams of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Tostitos Sweet Lime and Sea Salt Tortilla Chips

Tostitos Sweet Lime and Sea Salt Chips Bag

What are Tostitos Sweet Lime and Sea Salt Tortilla Chips?

After years of simply giving us a “hint,” Frito Lay has decided to kick the lime flavor up a notch.

How are they?

Tostitos’ Hint of Lime are my favorite mass-produced tortilla chip. I eat them plain. I eat them with dips. I love em. They’re borderline perfection to me.

Guess what? Sweet Lime and Sea Salt Tostitos might actually be slightly better!?

Have you ever gotten a Hint of Lime chip that accumulated too much flavor dust? There are usually a few per bag, and it’s a nice surprise every time I get one. These are essentially that chip for an entire bag.

That might sound extreme, but don’t get too scared off by the word “sweet.” These aren’t cookies.

Tostitos Sweet Lime and Sea Salt Chips Closeup

There’s a nice balance between the sweet and salty, but they’re definitely fruitier than Hint. I honestly think they could have gotten away with just calling these “Lime and Sea Salt,” but it’s probably better that they gave everyone a heads-up.

If Hint of Lime taste like 3/4 salt and 1/4 lime, these are just that recipe flipped. You might lose a bit of that overall “salt” flavor, if that makes sense, but they’re still equally great.

Anything else you need to know?

Tostitos Sweet Lime and Sea Salt Chips Single

One of the key reasons these might have a leg up is the shape. Bite Size rounds are better chips than normal Tostitos. If I’m eating chips, I wanna be able to eat them in one bite. I’m not nibbling or breaking it beforehand. I take it as a challenge, and I feel like there’s always a risk of turning my lips into Heath Ledger Joker’s when I cram a giant triangle Tostito into my mouth.

I also find Bite Size better for dipping. Despite being smaller, they seem more structurally sound. These chips don’t even need a dip, but I tried them with salsa, and no shock, they work great.


Tostitos Sweet Lime and Sea Salt Chips

All told, Sweet Lime and Sea Salt aren’t super different from Hint of Lime, so I’m curious what Frito Lay’s long-term plans are. They seem a bit redundant, but Frito has never been afraid of redundancies. How much different is a Classic Lay’s chip and Lightly Salted?

I hope these are a mainstay, and I look forward to switching between them and Hint of Lime all summer.

Purchased Price: $3.50
Size: 11 oz bag
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, 190 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of total sugars, 1 gram of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.