Feb 172019

Mainstream snack chips that claim to be hot haven’t been genuinely hot for very long. Mind, I do enjoy the flavors. I love Golden Flake’s Hot potato chips, and I think jalapeno Cheetos are awesome. But there just hasn’t been any adrenaline.

Doritos had a roulette gimmick a couple of years ago, in which each bag of hot Doritos contained one that was considerably hotter than the rest. I remember being able to tell which chip it was, but it still wasn’t much of a ride. Are new Flamin’ Hot Doritos any more formidable?

Well, they certainly are red.

They smell like Doritos, but there’s a little kick in the whiff too, which is readily apparent when you open the bag.

So how are they? Well, they’re Doritos, so they can only be so bad, yes? Indeed, they taste good, with the cheese flavor remaining well within the long-established gustatory expectations you have.

The heat comes on about halfway through the second chip, and hangs around for a few minutes after the last one. Call it on the warm side for a mainstream product, but it’s no challenge whatsoever for a chilehead. I didn’t note any cumulative effect.

The ingredient panel offers a typically lengthy mixture of stuff you recognize as edible interspersed with ominous-sounding chemicals—a whole, nutritionally sound food Doritos are not—but offers no hint as to the origin of the heat. The oh-so-descriptive “spices” is probably how it’s listed. My guess is that it’s red pepper.

Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos are not bad, but so far, chips and other snack foods with significant heat are still exclusively boutique (read: much more expensive) products.


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