Guilty Pleasures

Taco Bell's New Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos: Third Time's a Charm

The Guilty Pleasure: Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos. Where To Get It: Taco Bell, locations nationwide. The Price: $1.39 for regular, $1.69 for supreme. What It Really Costs: Orange fingers.

By now, even the most casual observer of fast food trends has witnessed the rampant popularity of Doritos Locos Tacos at Taco Bell. Since its introduction last year, Taco Bell has sold over half a billion of the seasoned-shell tacos. Now, a third flavor joins the DLT stable along with Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch: Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos.

Ever since shortly after Cool Ranch DLTs were released earlier this year, word on the street has been that the next flavor was going to be my favorite Doritos flavor, Flamas. If you haven't tried Doritos Flamas yet, you're in for a treat. The assertive chili-lime flavor isn't like any other chip out there. How good are they? Our resident authentic Mexican food expert Minerva Orduño Rincón tried them; I think she inhaled nearly half the bag. Her fingers were stained Technicolor red from the seasoning.

See also: Doritos Jacked and Doritos Flamas: Chow Bella Taste Test

Last week, Taco Bell revealed that the new Doritos Locos Tacos flavor would be (drum roll please) Fiery. Wait, what? No Flamas as everyone guessed? It turns out that the Fiery DLT is a close interpretation of Doritos Flamas. First, the seasonings were adjusted to pair better with Taco Bell's offerings. Second, regional testing revealed that some parts of the country pronounced Flamas "flame-ass" rather than the Spanish "flah-mahs", so the name was Americanized.

I've eagerly awaited the new DLT since I heard about the Flamas tie-in. It officially rolls out on Thursday. They're in sneak preview mode right now; they have them, but won't say anything about them unless you ask specifically.

Friends, this DLT is the best one yet. The chile-lime flavor makes its presence known much better than either the Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch tacos. There's some definite chile kick; my lips were starting to tingle after the second taco. I think that the main adjustment from Flamas to Fiery is that there's more lime in the Fiery. I'm already hooked on Taco Bell-exclusive Mountain Dew Baja Blast; the Fiery tacos pair with it like steak and cabernet sauvignon.

One of the tacos I ate did have the distinct flavor of stale chips. I'm not sure whether this is a result of the seasoning bringing out an off flavor, or if the taco shell was in fact stale. I'll have to try a different location to make sure.

As with the other two DLTs, you can get Fiery tacos in regular or supreme varieties. Both have their distinct charms. The base model has emphasis on the Fiery seasoning, almost to the point that you can't taste anything else. Since I'm a big fan of Doritos Flamas, I can't say I mind one bit. The sour cream in the supreme version tames the Fiery seasoning at first. But then, a little alchemy happens. The aftertaste combines the sour cream and Fiery shell, giving a flavor profile that strongly resembles decent, respectable Mexican food. Adding a packet of their Hot sauce was icing on the cake. My solution: Have one of each.

I'm sure the Taco Bell marketing machine is already gearing up for the eventual fourth Doritos Locos Tacos flavor. I'm crossing my fingers that this time, they go for Salsa Verde.

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JK Grence
Contact: JK Grence