Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Late Night Cheeseburger Doritos

           Every now and then I come across something that is a remarkable feat of flavor-engineering, and I must confess that it is clear that the flavorists at Doritos HQ have really outdone themselves with the Late Night Cheeseburger Doritos.  I will be the first to admit that I have never particularly craved to eat cheeseburger-flavored chips before, but with the very first Nacho I was stunned with how startlingly well they had emulated the flavor in all of its complexity, and these chips are fun to eat simply for both their novelty and for distinguishing the various discrete flavors which have been cunningly blended together.
            Now, just so we’re all on the same page, these are your standard triangular Dorito chips with the crunchy texture and the orange-flavoring powder.  But oh, the flavors!  The strongest flavors you will get off the bat are the pickles and yellow mustard, just like you would get on a typical McDonald’s hamburger.  Now, I have never been a McDonald’s burger fan, honestly, and normally favor ketchup over mustard with no pickles as topping, but these two flavors alone brought back a rich vein of childhood Happy Meal memories. 
Second, there is a more subtle but very satisfying grilled beef flavor, which blends perfectly in with the presumed toppings of mustard and pickles.  (The package lists ‘natural beef flavoring’ as one of its ingredients, for what it’s worth.)  There is also a hint of onion in there, although the flavor is mixed in a bit with that of the mustard. 
Finally, there is your typical Doritos ‘cheddar’ flavoring present as well, which although prominent, is so ordinary compared to the other elements that it does not stand out as much.  (Ironically, while the ordinary Doritos cheddar flavor is quite tasty on its own right, I’ve never really thought of it as tasting like actual cheddar cheese, which perhaps detracts from its effectiveness in this particular case.)
            So in summary, you not only get five excellent distinct flavors in one chip, but they combine together in a manner which is remarkably effective in evoking the flavor of an actual cheeseburger, (or hamburger, at least, as the ‘cheesy’ portion is more like a typical Dorito.)  I can happily recommend these as a very pleasing novelty, my only reservation being that they emulate such a specific and peculiar concept that you may not wish to eat them on a regular basis.

Stars: 3/4
Spiciness Rating: None

-Brilliantly innovative and powerfully evocative of actual Cheesebergers
-Five interesting flavors that are fun to discover and tease apart from the rest

-Peculiar flavor combination may not be something you want to experience every day

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