If you’ve set foot in a grocery store during the past three years, you’ve probably noticed the recent surge in old-school snacks making a reappearance years after being unceremoniously dumped from the junk food aisle. Why? Because retro sells, and Gen-X nostalgia can be taken to the bank. Ka-ching.
These new limited edition Taco flavour Doritos are a prime example, though their mysterious rebirth has me asking questions – uncomfortable questions. Why were they killed off in the first place? Did consumers’ tastes evolve? Were they the weakest selling member of the Doritos family? Were they pushed aside by younger, sexier flavours like Cool Ranch?
The answer to all these questions is, without a doubt, that I think too goddamned much.
Wiki-facts: The Doritos entry on Wikipedia says that Taco was the first Doritos flavour, and was introduced in 1968. As I wasn’t alive at the time of the original’s launch, I can’t vouch for the authenticity of this replica. But I’m curious to see if the flavour brings back memories of rumpus-room birthday parties.
The Pitch: “Retro look, timeless flavour!” It instructs bag-readers to go to doritos.ca for more info, but the Taco flavour isn’t listed on the products page. It is, however, mentioned on the Doritos Canada Facebook page, but there’s not much more info there, either. There’s a product page on the U.S. Frito Lay site, but it doesn’t say much of anything. Seriously, why is it so hard to track down info on these? They’re chips, not a military experiment.
The Look: Old-school bag design, with an old-timey logo and a geometrically perfect sombrero. The colour motif is orange, brown and a dull golden yellow. Looks like it could have been purchased at a 1970s gas station. Will turn heads at a party.
The Taste: Cheesy, creamy taco mix. By modern Doritos standards, these are blaaaaand. There’s not nearly as much flavour as you’d expect there to be, even though the chips are well coated in seasoning. On the plus side, add some melted cheddar, salsa and pickled jalapenos, and they’d make a decent plate of nachos.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: About $3.50 to $4 for a 260 gram bag at Safeway in Calgary, depending on sales and such.
Value for cash money: Not bad.
Availability: Widespread, though the bag says they’re a limited-edition thing. I’ve seen these chips displayed prominently at grocery stores for much of January.
Nutrition?: Per 19 chips (50 grams): 260 calories, 13 grams of fat, 300 mg of sodium, 2 grams of fibre, 3 grams of protein. Also, 4 % daily value of both iron and calcium.
Ingredients list marketing bafflegab: “Selected corn.” If you’re using it, of course it’s been selected. Sigh.
The verdict: Maybe they’re just not as good as I remember them being. Retro snack treat heartbreak.