The Guilty Pleasure: More Frito-Lay mass-produced chip goodness. Where To Get It: Your favorite grocery store. Price: About $3 What It Really Costs: Explaining the new Doritos flavor countless times.
If you tuned in last week, you found out my weakness for the snack aisle, and what happens when I avoid it for a while. Readers' Digest version: There was a chip avalanche at Chow Bella HQ. This week, there's even more strangeness from Lay's in the form of pickle-flavored potato chips. But first, it's a privilege to introduce to you the weirdest chip concept I've ever seen.
As you've no doubt heard, Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos took the world of fast food by storm. Taco Bell says they sell about a million Doritos Locos Tacos every single day. That's pretty loco, indeed. It only figures that the wildly popular tacos would make the jump back to the snack aisle from whence they came.
The idea at once makes perfect sense and is confusing as hell. A chip, based on a taco, based on a chip. The inevitable comparison is to the plot of the film Inception. To recreate the Taco Bell Experience in chip form, Frito-Lay started with the Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch flavors, and replaced half of the chips in the bag with chips flavored like a crunchy taco from Taco Bell.
Since you're probably familiar with the Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch flavors, we'll skip those for now and focus on the taco-flavored chips. The resemblance to the taste of the actual taco is almost unsettling. First you get the meaty umami-bomb seasoning, a hint of cheese, and then out of nowhere... Lettuce. You don't normally think of lettuce as having a flavor (especially the pre-shredded iceberg lettuce at Taco Bell), but there it is in the taste profile, clear as day. Combined with the other flavor of chip in the bag, it's a somewhat mind-bending munch.
Now, onto the next flavor. Lay's Dill Pickle chips aren't exactly new. They were test-marketed elsewhere some years ago, and then last summer they started to roll out across the country. I've seen them on the shelf for a while, but never had the chutzpah to pick up a bag. Since I was already trying a bazillion flavors of chips, what's one more?
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I was pleasantly surprised by the Dill Pickle chips. The best way I can describe them is that they're a good introduction to salt & vinegar chips. The acid level in the Dill Pickle flavor is toned down compared to the sharp zip of salt & vinegar chips from, say, Poore Brothers or Kettle. After the initial adicity fades, you're left with a pleasant herbaceous flavor led by, of course, dill. While Lay's Dill Pickle chips won't quite replace the pickle spear next to your sandwich, they're enjoyable enough that I may grab some for my next picnic outing.
Stay tuned when next week, I try to keep my cohorts from scarfing an entire bag of Taco Bell's next Doritos taco flavor...