Coming up with new flavors is haaaard. Just ask Doritos. Over the years, they’ve introduced us to such gems as BBQ pork rib-flavored chips, cheeseburger-flavored chips, and even jalapeño popper-flavored chips.
It may sound like I’m being disparaging, but it’s really quite the contrary. Those popper chips were part of the inspiration for Junk Food Betty, and I always get snaxcited (registered trademark on that word forthcoming) when the people at Doritos snort some flavor powder and come out with a wacky new flavor.
A few years ago, however, someone got back on their medication and came up with the grand idea to introduce a long-retired flavor: Taco Flavor Doritos. They even gave it the retro packaging treatment.
The response was immediate and controversial. That iconic bag! That flavor you remember as a child!
…Or not, on that last one. My Taco Doritos review got more comments than any other review I’ve done. It was a war between the “tastes just like I remember”s and the “tastes nothing like the original”s. It was the Hatfield and McCoy of tortilla chips.
Originally intended as a limited edition flavor, the outcry over Taco Doritos was so deafening that they almost immediately announced that it would be staying on store shelves, and to this very day you can pick up a bag (retro or current design!) and decide for yourself if you want to be nostalgic or outraged.
Realizing they were onto something, Doritos decided to reintroduce two more flavors: Sour Cream & Onion and Salsa Rio. Don’t read the first part of that post; I just realized everything I wrote above about Taco Doritos I also said in that review. I’m a one taco-trick pony.
Like their taco-flavored brother, these flavors also came out in their original retro packaging. Unlike Señor Taco, however, they truly were limited editions. They came, they went, you cried, you complained, or, if you’re me, you were generally indifferent.
If you’ve spent the last year throwing pennies into fountains wishing you had more Sour Cream & Onion Doritos, save that change and use it to buy a bag, because they’re back! Sorry, Salsa Rio fans; Doritos doesn’t think you’re good enough. Commence with the angry letter-writing.
Actually, your angry letters might be worth something, because according to Snack Chat, Frito-Lay’s blatant-marketing-disguised-as-a-blog, it’s you who brought back Sour Cream & Onion, as well as another limited edition flavor that I’ve spent the last 400 words not talking about: Jumpin’ Jack!
“WOOHOO!” I can hear some of you shouting through the Internet. “There was a flavor of Doritos called Jumpin’ Jack?” I can hear others wondering. I fall in with the latter group.
Apparently this flavor was introduced in 1990 and discontinued shortly thereafter. While I was old enough to have tried these back then, I was not quite old enough to know or care that they existed, so I once again invite you to leave a comment letting me know:
a.) how much these remind you of munching on the original chips while wearing a slap bracelet and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or
b.) how you remember eating the original while organizing your pog collection and watching Saved by the Bell, and these throwbacks taste nothing like them.
Both are welcome and appreciated.
According to the totally gnarly bag, these aren’t just Jumpin’ Jack, which is not an actual flavor, but they are pepper jack flavor, which is a whole different ball game. When I think Jack-flavored snack, I think generic cheese blandsville. But when I think pepper jack-flavored, my expectations rise. Now you’ve gotta bring the cheese and the spice, and not just in the generic way that Doritos is so very fond of. I want a sliced cheese tortilla chip party in my mouth, and if Doritos doesn’t deliver it, I’m bouncing them right the fuck out and keeping the bottle of rum they brought. BYOB ends at the front door, mofos. No refunds.
As a side note, I think we can all agree that the “Jumpin’ Jack” font is radical. Do The Bartman.
I gotta say, the flavor of these chips was not exactly jumpin’. They weren’t at all bad, or shall I say, grody, they were just sort of…generically Dorito-flavored. There was a distinct cheese taste, but I wouldn’t immediately say, “Oh, yeah, they nailed Monterey Jack!” It was milder than, say, Nacho Cheese Doritos, but it was just kind of…”well, yeah, that’s cheese dust”.
Since these are supposed to be pepper jack-flavored, the chips were smattered with little red and black flecks. Saving this from being yet another “cheese and spice” chip, the pepper flavor was very mild.
I actually appreciated this, because it made Jumpin’ Jack Doritos closer to pepper jack cheese, which is only mildly spicy and not snot-inducingly spicy. Heat lovers may object, but I really liked that the heat was mild. It complemented the cheese well.
As I mentioned earlier, I never had the opportunity to try these chips when they first came out, so I have no idea if this throwback is loyal to the original. However, I liked Limited Edition Jumpin’ Jack Doritos. I didn’t love them, but I certainly didn’t hate them. They’re a solid cheesy Dorito offering with a nice, mild heat level. If they do go away, I won’t cry like Jessie Spano on caffeine pills, but if Doritos decides to keep them on store shelves, I may pick up a bag to munch on while I watch my VHS copy of Gremlins 2: The New Batch.
Limited Edition Doritos Jumpin’ Jack Tortilla Chips
- Score: 3 out of 5 Bell Biv Devoe cassette tapes
- Price: $1.49
- Size: 3 3/8 oz. bag
- Purchased at: Circle K #2821
- Nutritional Quirks: Monterey Jack cheese is listed as an ingredient, but it’s pretty far down the list. In fact, sour cream places higher than the cheese itself.