Doritos has been going off the rails for years now, from their “X-13D Flavor Experiment” to “The Quest” to their recent “Late Night” line. The Flavor Department (I’d like to think such a thing exists) has been given carte blanche to create whatever gimmick they conjure up in their fevered delusions, and that is why we have things like Doritos Flavor Shots.
I have chosen Atomic Chile Limon, but you can also treat your taste buds to Blazin’ Buffalo Rush. The complicated process, as illustrated on the back of the bag, is as follows:
- Open the bag.
- Take out the “flavor shot”, which is a little packet that looks just like the packet on the front of the bag, except it comes in a little clear wrapper that makes you think you’re pulling a toy out of a cereal box, except instead of being covered in sugar, it’s covered in nacho cheese flavoring, and instead of being a toy, it’s a packet of atomic flavor.
- Open the packet (the clear packet protecting the flavor packet actually opens quite easily, which I found surprising; I expected an epic five-minute battle culminating in a pair of scissors) and sprinkle the impossibly neon orange powder inside into your bag of chips. This is described on the bag as “unleashing flavor”.
- Experience the “FULL FLAVOR FORCE!”
The base chips, as proclaimed on the bag, are indeed identical to Doritos’s nacho cheese flavored chips, so if you drop the flavor packet on the floor of your car, at least you’ve got nacho cheese as a backup. I unleashed the flavor and shook the bag for a few seconds to ensure as even a distribution of the powder as possible. I then made the mistake of opening the bag and sticking my nose in it, which was kind of like snorting a line of chili powder. After I could think again, I figured this was a positive sign; at least the chile part of the chile limon was present.
The first chip I picked looked like it had about half the powder from the flavor packet on it, which I had figured would happen, seeing as how I am a human being lazily shaking a bag of chips for a few seconds and not a giant metal cylinder constantly rotating a batch of corn chips while a line of nozzles evenly sprays flavoring on them for what I’m sure is a well-researched period of time. Which started to get me kind of irritated. You know, Doritos, I’m not paying you for atomic chips so that I can then do all the work. I don’t go to a restaurant so that I then have to cook my own food, and I don’t buy a bag of chips so that I have to add my own flavoring. I buy a bag of chips because I’m a lazy fuck who can barely muster up the strength to open the bag itself, let alone struggle with a double-wrapped packet of neon orange powder.
Inappropriate anger over chip gimmicks aside, the first chip’s flavor was actually rather mild. Between the blast of pain my nose received and the thick coating of powder on the chip, I was expecting the FULL FLAVOR FORCE! that was promised to me on the bag. Instead, I got the flavor of a nacho cheese Dorito, with a hint of chile flavor and some spice on the back end. Not very atomic. However, I ate a few more to give them a chance and finally came upon one that delivered. The only hint of limon I detected in the first couple of chips was probably only in my imagination, but this was was fairly bursting with what I can only describe as artificially flavored margarita mix with some chili powder mixed in. The lime-ish flavor recedes, but as you eat more chips, the spice starts to build in your mouth not unpleasantly. I wouldn’t call it fiery hot, but if you’re a giant sissy, you might find yourself fanning your own mouth and reaching for a glass of milk.
Resentment over having to do all the flavor work aside, I probably won’t be buying another bag of Doritos Nacho Cheese Flavor Shots Atomic Chile Limon chips again. I’m just not that fond of chips that taste like a non-alcoholic, spicy margarita. It almost makes me think of lime Lifesavers, which I believe no longer exist, which makes me feel old. Not to mention, I do not believe chips should taste like fruit-flavored candy. The strikes are piling up against you, Doritos.
In conclusion, if you like fruity chips, or you like the idea of violently shaking a bag of chips until it is nothing but crumbs, these Flavor Shots may be for you. If you like the latter but aren’t too crazy about the former, you could always try the other Flavor Shots flavor, Blazin’ Buffalo Rush. I will say this for them, though – out of all the Doritos flavors I’ve tried over the years, I’ve never encountered any that taste like a spicy margarita. Points for uniqueness. Well, maybe not points. Point. Half a point.
- Score: 2 out of 5 hamburgers
- Price: $1.29
- Size: 2 1/5 oz. bag
- Purchased at: Circle K
- Nutritional Quirks: The flavor packet adds 25% more sodium to the chips.