Author’s note: Frito lay asked that I review these chips. They provided the chips, but no other compensation was given. Enjoy!
Not too long ago, I received a request from Frito-Lay to review some of their new chips that will be hitting the market this month. Naturally, I’m always curious to know what’s new so I accepted and a few days later, courtesy of Frito-Lay, a box arrived at my door with three bags of their new flavors.
It was hard to contain my delight when I opened the box and found that the new flavor was none other but Tapatio. Tapatio and I have a deep-rooted partnership. You can read about it here. I’m sure that the Chip Gods were smiling when Frito-Lay and Tapatio hot sauce formed this partnership.
One at a time, I pulled out each new, shiny bag of chips. Doritos, Fritos, and Ruffles. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven, especially seeing that the Ruffles had lime mixed in. Tapatio and lime are one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations—nearly impossible to resist.
It was tough not to rip open a bag immediately and just stuff my face, but I wanted to share my excitement with someone else—the guy who introduced me to Tapatio—none other than my own hermano. So, with great hesitation, I placed the bags above my refrigerator (had to protect them from the kids, you know) and waited for a couple days so that SkinnyD and I could get together and experience the madness together.
Those were a long two days, but it finally arrived. We met up at his house and commenced our review. We recorded it on video, but due to some techincal difficulties in editing, it might not get posted. BUT! I’ve still taken the time to write out what I thought as we tested each new chip.
Let’s begin by introducing our contenders.
Contender numero uno: Tapatio Doritos tortilla chips.
Contender numero dos: Tapatio Fritos corn chips.
Contender numero tres: Tapatio & Limon Ruffles potato chips (for those of you who are unsure, limon is Spanish for lime).
If you’re in a hurry, you can skip to my final ratings, but I encourage you to read on so you know why they received the score they did.
Each chip and flavor was judged on 1) smell, 2) initial taste reaction, 3) authenticity, and 4) enjoyment over time. I also tried to compare them to other flavors of the same type of chip.
Smell and Initial Taste Impressions
Of course, no chip I’ve ever had makes your breath smell like roses, but we figured we’d give these ones a smell test just for the heck of it, afterall, most of us are attracted to things (and people!) who smell nice.
As I opened the Tapatio-flavored Doritos tortilla chip bag and took a deep smell, my nostrils filled with Tapatio-scented powder, absolutely delightful, though I must admit it was almost overwhelming.
Not able to resist much longer, I reached into the bag, grabbed a chip, and popped it into my open mouth. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Hesitate. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Hesitate. These chips were hot! My mouth immediately felt the heat of Tapatio, especially on my sensitive tongue. To make it better, they were also delicious. Oh yes. Hot and delicious. They definitely passed the initial taste impression.
They seemed to have the perfect amount of powder lacing each chip, so like all other Doritos, you’ll have plenty of powder to lick off your fingers when done, making it all the more enjoyable. They are, in my opinion, the hottest Doritos on the market—and they’re yummy.
Excited that the Doritos had been such a delight, I moved on to the Fritos. I love BBQ Fritos, so I was excited to know that they finally had another flavor. I opened the bag and took a whiff. If I were to judge by the smell alone, I would have put the chips back—they were far from pleasant smelling—a strange mix of cooking oil and spice. However, I’ve always been told not to judge a book by its cover, so with minor trepidation, I reached in and pinching a chip between my forefinger and thumb, drew it out of the bag.
Once again, I popped it into my mouth and begin to chew. At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of the chip. As SkinnyD observed in the video, it tasted like a whole lot of corn chip and not so much of Tapatio. Besides the seemingly unbalanced mixture of Tapatio corn chip, something else was a little off. What was it? Unsure, I grabbed another chip… and that’s when I realized something tasted just slightly sour on the chip, but it wasn’t lime (remember, the Fritos do not have lime), it was something else. Perhaps it was the salt they use on the corn chip itself. Whatever it was, it threw the flavor off a smidge, which in my opinion lowered it’s rating.
I did, however, enjoy the second chip more. I just don’t think the flavor was at all what I was expecting. I do think that if they ran out of the BBQ ones, I would have a hard time deciding between buying these ones and the originals.
Tapatio and Limon (Lime) Ruffles
After a few drinks of water I was ready for the Ruffles. Might I just add, that I love that Ruffles have ridges. I love ridges. Okay, moving on. SkinnyD opened this bag. Holding the bag out to me, I sniffed it up. Delicous. Among the three different chips that we were testing, these by far had the best smell. It’s the blessed combo of Tapatio and lime that does it.
The initial taste was just as delightful, if not more so. As I chewed the chips, thoughts of burning butterflies and squeezed limes danced through my head. No, not really, but the flavor was indeed tangy with an unexpected twist of awesome. At first, the delicious Tapatio flavor soaks into your mouth, then the refreshing taste of lime sweeps takes over, followed by the kick of Tapatio—to say the least, it was ambrosial—quite a delight.
We decided to taste the new Frito-Lay flavors to what the plain version of those chips would taste like dipped in actual Tapatio sauce.
We grabbed some plain tortilla chips and emptying some Tapatio into a bowl, began to dip. I couldn’t believe I’d never thought of doing this before. The flavor was awesome! I was especially impressed with how authentic the Tapatios Doritos were comparatively. Frito-Lay had done a very fine job of matching the heat with the actual Tapatio hot sauce, straight out of the bottle.
I had a particular interest in trying plain Fritos dipped in Tapatio. I wanted to know where that interesting acidic flavor came from, and if it was part of the actual Tapatio flavoring they used on the Fritos or if it was on the actual Frito chip. (More on that in just a second.)
It turns out that a plain Frito chip is absolutely divine dipped in Tapatio hot sauce—a true party snack. Mmmm, mmmm. The actual flavor of the Tapatio Frito chips was not quite on target though. They have a great combination of flavor when dipped separately, but together, it wasn’t as much of a party. Still good, but not as good.
I tasted the plain Frito chip alone and did not taste the acidic flavor of the new Tapatio Fritos. I then tasted Tapatio alone and realized the acidic flavor was actually from the Tapatio sauce they used. I could taste it in the plain Tapatio. It’s strange how that specific aspect of the hot sauce is largely accentuated in the new bag.
Tapatio and Limon Ruffles
Because the other two had been so awesome, I was sure the regular Ruffles dipped into a Tapatio and lime mixture would be even more awesome. We mixed some lime juice into our Tapatio hot sauce bowl so we had a good balance of flavor, and then we let the dipping commence.
As I ate the Tapatio-dipped Ruffles potato chip, I found it to be alarming. It was not very good at all. Apparently, the mastermind behind the Ruffles and Tapatio/lime mixture was a genius. He took a combination that when mixed in the raw with a regular potato chip isn’t good and made into something is absolutely fantastic.
For the record, I do not recommend dipping plain Ruffles into a Tapatio and lime sauce mixture. Stick with the professionally mixed bag. It’s absolutely phenomenal.
That being said, I think they got the flavor nearly exact. The Tapatio and lime mixture on the chip was very well balanced and tasted almost exactly the same as the pure Tapatio and lime mixture we created in the bowl.
Enjoyment over Time
In the end, I found that they were all quite enjoyable. In fact, I enjoyed all of them the more I ate them. I actually, and rather surprisingly, finished off the Fritos first. Even though I enjoyed their flavor the least of the three, I found their crunch irresistible. The spiral shaped, thick chip made a gratifying crunch with each bite that made eating them fun and for me, enjoyable to the last bite.
The Doritos were quite nice from start to finish. The more I ate, the hotter my mouth became. It was fun to push myself to the limit with them. The Ruffles were awesome and their flavor was very delicious from start to finish.
To sum it up, the Doritos and Ruffles remained as enjoyable at the end as they were with the first bite. The Fritos were more enjoyable to me the more I ate them.
It’s always sad when a bag of chips reaches its end, and although not as good as a whole chip, it’s fun to tip the bag upside-down and slide the dregs from the bottom of the bag into my mouth. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the dregs for any of these bags enjoyable. The dregs were a flavor overload, too little chip and too much Tapatio powder.
Each rating is out of 10, 10 being the highest.
Enjoyment over Time
Compared to other flavors of the same chip
Whether or not the Chip Gods are smiling at this Frito-Lay/Tapatio hot sauce partnership, it doesn’t matter; I am smiling. I think that Frito-Lay has created a winning flavor combination, especially with the Ruffles line.
If you’re not into hot sauces and giving your tongue a tangy, zesty kick in the buds, you probably won’t like these. For those of you who enjoy trying new things and enjoy a spicy chip or salsa, I would definitely give these a try, I’m sure I will be buying them. To me, the Doritos were the hottest, followed by the Ruffles, and then the Fritos.
For those of you who aren’t too adventurous but still want to give them a try, I would start wit the Tapatio and Limon Ruffles. The flavor is probably the least foreign on an un-conditioned tongue, as much of your Mexican food is prepared with a tinge of lime.
I imagine they’ll probably be more heavily marketed toward a Hispanic market where hot foods are regularly eaten. In fact, the Frito-Lay brand on the bags is Sabritas, which is Frito-Lay’s Spanish name.
So, watch for these flavors on your shelves this month. (Small bags are $0.99 and large bags will be $2.99.) After you give them a try, I invite you to come back here to The Cooking Dish and leave your thoughts in the comments.
Thanks for reading. Do you have any questions, comments, or just want to share a thought? Go for it in the comment section below.