The Guilty Pleasure: Doritos Jacked and Flamas tortilla chips Where To Get It: Your favorite grocery store. Price: About $3 What It Really Costs: Red fingers from inhaling an entire bag of Flamas chips.
I'm finally at the bottom of the huge bags of chips I brought back from the grocery store. This week, I rip open the bags of Frito-Lay's attempt to make the Manliest Chips Ever, Doritos Jacked. According to the product literature, each chip is 40 percent bigger than a regular Doritos chip and thicker for extra crunch.
I'm not sure how super-sizing the chip automatically makes the chip more manly. I guess it works in the same way that a raised Ford F-250 is more manly than a Toyota Tacoma: If it makes you feel better, more power to you, but everyone else thinks you're overcompensatings for certain shortcomings. The big chips are kind of ridiculous. They're so big that you can't really fit them in your mouth, so you have to break them in half before you eat them. What's the point?
That said, I did enjoy the extra crunch brought by the thicker chip. I imagine the extra tensile strength will make these fantastic dipping chips. Alas, no guacamole was in sight during taste testing. If you try it, write in, and let me know how it goes, Okay?
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I tried out two flavors: Spicy Chipotle BBQ, and Enchilada Supreme. First up were the BBQ. Barbecue-flavored chips are fairly common, but they're always barbecue potato chips. As far as barbecue chips go, the flavoring on these was just . . . weird. There was no sense of balance to them. They had a decent spice kick (although any smoke from the advertised chipotle was nonexistent), but then after that, it was almost candy-sweet, off-puttingly so. A scan of the ingredient list revealed the culprit: Sucralose. That's right, they're putting Splenda on these chips. I'll pass, thank you very much. Next up were the Enchilada Supreme. At first, I figured these would be just an amped-up version of the iconic Nacho Cheese flavor. At first blush, my hypothesis held true. They had that umami-bomb Doritos flavor, accompanied by a little chile heat. Their true character only came out after munching several chips. After about the third chip, I was treated to a little flavor alchemy. All of a sudden in my mouth there was the taste of red chile sauce and melted yellow cheese, uncannily like an honest-to-goodness cheese enchilada. I'd love to see how these go when dipped into sour cream or guacamole.
Rounding out our chip roundup is Doritos Flamas. It's a flavor created for Hispanic markets and is only now making its way into mainstream grocery stores. The bag promises chile and lime, and it delivers handsomely on both. They're spicier than most spicy chips, but not overwhelmingly so (I'm a confessed spice freak; your mileage may vary). The lime is just right, with just enough citric tang to cut the salt and spice. I have to be careful buying bags of these; it's all too easy to devour the entire bag in one frenzied sitting. At least I'm in good company. While we were sitting around trying these at Chow Bella HQ, once the bag made its way to Minerva of our Minervaland column, it was almost impossible to retrieve. These are definitely worth picking up for your next gathering.
If you're already a fan of the Flamas, I have some good news for you: Taco Bell is going to make it the next flavor of their wildly popular Doritos Locos Tacos. I can't wait.