Living in an area where there’s access to good quality, authentic tortilla chips and Mexican products at most of my regular grocery stores, I have a local brand I regularly keep in my house. But you know what? Sometimes you just want Tostitos. They’re the tortilla chips I grew up on, they’re available everywhere, and they’re perfectly salty and delicious.
I have friends who can’t understand why I’d ever go to Taco Bell when there are so many great Mexican restaurants around. My answer is simple: I love them both, and stop being pretentious. Taco Bell isn’t trying to trick me into thinking it’s a Mexican restaurant, and these new Tostitos Mexican Style Three Cheese chips don’t have to do anything to win me over besides taste good. The cheeses present here are Cheddar, Parmesan, and Cotija, and they’re a winning combination.
These gently cheese-powdered little rounds have the appearance of lightly seasoned Cool Ranch Doritos, and they eat like Doritos too. Checking the ingredients, they share a handful of similarities (like buttermilk, tomato powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cheddar) with some of the classic Doritos flavors, and that’s a solid starting point. Where they differ are the parmesan and cotija. These flavors really come through and take the chip in a different direction. Without being overwhelming, they definitely have the essence of aged cheeses. They’re salty, a little tangy, sharp, and kind of earthy. I applaud Tostitos for going for a “Mexican style” flavor profile that doesn’t end up being just some sort of pepper and artificial lime.
The package proclaims that they’re “GREAT FOR DIPPING,” and while you could dip them, I found their bite-size nature to be on the small side for that, and they have enough flavor on their own that they’re enjoyable to eat without a need for accompaniments. I tried these with a (definitely not authentic to anywhere) cheese sauce, salsa, and guacamole. In the first two cases, I felt like I was doing the chip a disservice. Don’t worry. I made amends by eating another 17 chips plain. The only one that made sense as a pairing was the more mild guacamole. They’re plenty sturdy enough for dipping but covering one in something else takes away from the chip itself. When you snack on them alone, they’re more complex and have a surprising depth.
If Frito-Lay put these Tostitos Mexican Style Three Cheese chips in small bags and included them in its multi-packs, I think it would make a lot of lunch boxes happy. I won’t be surprised if we see more cotija chips from the company in the future because, with these delightful chips, it has proven it can capture that flavor.
Purchased Price: $2.99 Size: 11 oz bag Purchased at: Mariano’s Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (About 20 chips) 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of total sugars, and 2 grams of protein.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Following up on last year’s super delicious Hint of Spicy Queso and the just-okay Hint of Guacamole, the latest crispy circle from Tostitos drops the “Hint” and brings the heat with habanero-flavored bite-size rounds.
How are they?
Continuing along the path of Spicy Queso’s cheesy footsteps, these Habanero rounds are excellent. The immediate comparison that jumped at me is Salsa Verde Doritos. They have the same authentic and richly deep pepper taste as that Doritos variety, but with a sweeter and more tomato-y flavor that gives them their own unique presence in the Frito-Lay spicy chip hierarchy. It’s that extra layer of acidity, like the difference between white rice and orange Mexican rice, that really makes the flavor stand out.
Anything else you need to know?
For a chip claiming to be habanero-flavored, they aren’t nearly as hot as I was expecting, but that doesn’t take away from how delicious they are. Their heat is a far cry from the brand’s Flamin’ Hot staple, but I find it even more impressive that they taste great and peppery in a way that isn’t just heat.
If you’re looking to set your mouth on fire in the way eating a raw habanero would, this may let you down, but I’m hooked. I’ll take flavor over fire any day and these still have just enough heat to make my tongue tingle with an authentic peppery sweetness that makes them undeniable.
Purchased Price: $3.50 (on sale) Size: 11 oz bag Purchased at: Target Rating: 9 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (20 chips/28 grams) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, 2 grams of protein.
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.
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 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.
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.
Poor Tostitos. They’re like the pink Corvette of the Barbie world: oh, sure, little girls play with the Corvette all the time, but only when Barbie’s having a Thelma & Louise-esque adventure with her best friend Teresa or Barbie, Trichelle, Chandra, and Zahara (what is with these names?) are going on a shopping trip. Otherwise, the Corvette stays parked off to the side, lonely and forgotten. The only little girls who play with the Corvette alone are the ones that may grow up wearing flannel shirts and favoring mullets.
The point I’m trying to make here is that, while other Frito-Lay products like Doritos and Cheetos get flavor makeovers approximately once every six seconds, Tostitos remains stalwart in its commitment to be just a tortilla chip, a vessel for you to dunk into the ten different varieties of Tostitos-branded dips. Oh sure, there’s some variety â€“ you can get them round, multigrain, even with a hint of jalapeÃ±o or lime, but Tostitos will never coat your fingers with a thick layer of flavor dust.
However, Tostitos will be naked no more, thanks to their new line of Artisan Recipes. Somebody’s little brother stole the pink Corvette, and now it’s in a demolition derby with a Tonka backhoe and a monster truck named “The Crusher.” Good luck to you, pink Barbie Corvette.
Oh, right, we’re talking about chips, not reliving my childhood. The Artisan Recipes line only has two flavors for now: Fire-Roasted Chipotle and Roasted Garlic & Black Bean. I am assuming, depending on their level of success, that more flavors will be forthcoming.
I’ll let Frito-Lay’s press release do the explaining: “Tostitos Artisan Recipes offers tortilla chip fans an exciting new twist on this popular snack. Each flavor is made from high-quality whole-white corn and real ingredients like black beans, garlic and chipotle peppers that are baked in before cooking for a truly one-of-a-kind flavor.”
Ohhh, I get it now! The twist here is that the flavors are baked in. Tostitos is crashing the flavor party with an innovative idea â€“ flavorful chips without the messy fingers. Chips for grown-ups! Or, at least, chips for grown-ups who have enough dignity not to suck the inches of flavor dust off their fingers in public. I don’t fall into that category, but I’ll give these chips a try anyways.
Let’s start with the good: Artisan Recipe Tostitos have a great texture. They are thinner and more delicate than regular Tostitos, with a nice, light crunch as you chew them. The tortilla taste is also very pleasant; they taste a lot like regular Tostitos, but with more of a pronounced grain flavor. This is because, unlike regular Tostitos (I consider Restaurant Style to be the de facto standard Tostitos), Artisan Recipes have eight more grains besides the standard whole white corn. Some of those grains include whole rye, barley, and triticale. I had to look up exactly what triticale is. Apparently science wanted to make wheat and rye have a baby, and triticale was the result. I don’t know why this was something that needed to happen, but regardless, it did, and now it’s in my stomach.
All these grains smashed together make a tasty chip, but that’s also a problem â€“ where’s the chipotle? I had to get through chip number three before I could taste a bit of spice and feel any heat building up on the back of my tongue. I kept waiting for the smoky pepper flavor of chipotle to emerge, but it never did. Just a bit of spice and that little touch of heat at the end.
Artisan Recipes’ whole schtick is that the flavor is baked in, but there’s still flavor dust on the chips. It’s definitely more subtle than, say, a Nacho Cheese Dorito, but my fingers definitely had little red flecks on them along with the salt. I can’t call Tostitos a liar, because they never say outright that all the flavor is “baked in”, but they do fail to mention that it’s getting a little support from flavor dust. And yet, even with the backup, the chipotle flavor fails to come through, which is disappointing.
Roasted Garlic & Black Bean
Predictably, these have the same nice, delicate texture of the Fire-Roasted Chipotle, but unfortunately, they also have the same affliction: lack-of-flavoritis. Those big flecks must be the black bean that’s baked in, but in the ingredients list, they are dried black beans. How could that possibly bring in any flavor?
As for the roasted garlic, I managed to find approximately one out of every four chips that tasted like garlic powder. On some of these chips, you can actually see a faint orange powder, which is curious. In fact, maybe my mouth is just inventing flavors at this point in a desperate attempt at tasting something, but I got more of a really subtle cheese taste on the chips that didn’t taste like garlic powder. Even though I had to work to find the faintly garlic-flavored chips, when I did get one, I really enjoyed it.
I had high hopes for Artisan Recipes Tostitos. I was hoping to get some rich flavor from baked-in, authentic ingredients. And, honestly, if they hadn’t had such descriptive, delicious-sounding names, I would have given them high marks for being a light tortilla chip with a good crunch. I risk losing my Processed Foods Only membership card by saying this, but I found the addition of eight extra grains made for a more flavorful tortilla chip. Unfortunately, the chipotle lacked smokiness and had only a mild heat in regards to flavor, the black beans were sadly absent, and the garlic was hit-and-miss. That said, the subtlety of these flavors would add a little extra depth when dunked into a Tostitos-branded dip, but they shot themselves in the foot and made the chips too fragile to support most dips. Tostitos Artisan Recipes are great chips in both texture and tortilla/grain flavor, but don’t expect your taste buds to be lovingly caressed by chipotle, garlic, or black beans.
(Nutrition Facts â€“ 1 ounce â€“ Fire-Roasted Chipotle – 150 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 4.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of sugars, 2 grams of protein, 2% calcium, 2% iron, 2% thiamin, 2% riboflavin, 2% niacin, 2% vitamin B6, 6% phosphorus, 6% magnesium and 2% zinc. Roasted Garlic & Black Bean – 150 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 4.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugars, 2 grams of protein, 2% calcium, 2% iron, 2% thiamin, 8% riboflavin, 4% niacin, 4% vitamin B6, 4% phosphorus, 4% magnesium and 2% zinc.)
Item: Tostitos Artisan Recipes Tortilla Chips (Fire-Roasted Chipotle and Roasted Garlic & Black Bean) Price: $3.49 and $2.49 (on sale, regularly $3.99) Size: 9 Â¾ oz. bags Purchased at: Fry’s Foods and Safeway Rating: 5 out of 10 (Fire-Roasted Chipotle) Rating: 6 out of 10 (Roasted Garlic & Black Bean) Pros: Good tortilla chip texture. Re-creating Thelma & Louise with Barbies. Lots of healthy, tasty grains. Demolition derbies. Garlic flavor on some chips was delicious. Chipotle delivered a little heat. Cons: Chips didn’t live up to baked-in flavor promise. Little brothers stealing your Barbie Corvettes. Lack of smoky flavor in Fire-Roasted Chipotle. “Trichelle.” No black bean flavor.