When it comes to Doritos flavors, I’m not a purist and I don’t feel any sense of obligation to respect the classics. Nacho cheese is a quality standard, and as much as it pains me to admit it, Cool Ranch is fine, just fine. But, is the Dorito that was invented in 1986 really still the best flavor? Can nacho cheese still reign supreme after decades on shelves? Respectfully, in my personal opinion, no way in hell, dude.
Sensible experimentation has vaulted new Doritos flavors ahead of the mainstays. Case in point: Tapatío Doritos, which ranked near the top of our roundup of the best Doritos flavors. The Doritos maintain their cheesy integrity, but the Tapatio flavor brings such a wonderful, tangy heat that they’ve become my personal favorite flavor of Doritos. It’s also Rhett’s favorite Doritos flavor too, and a favorite at the Sporked office. Salsa Verde Doritos are another worthy example. This bag of corn chips brings a delicious combo of jalapeño, MSG, onion, garlic, tomato powder, and, get this, chicken flavoring. The result? Tasty, complex chips that, if you ask me, inarguably have more flavor than Nacho Cheese Doritos.
So what other brave, new Doritos flavors might upstage the classics? We took suggestions on Twitter from Mythical Beasts, and I also pitched a few myself. Here’s what we came up with.
- Blue Cheese
This came from @playboistefan on Twitter. Now, Doritos used to make these Flavor Collisions chips that were essentially two chip flavors in the same bag. While they were all discontinued, one standout among fans were the Hot Wings and Blue Cheese variety. Good idea, although, it’s really hard to get that Buffalo wing flavor into a snack (unless you’re Snyder’s). However, Blue Cheese Doritos have never been sold solo, and it stands to reason that they could work on their own. Blue cheese is delightfully funky and creamy, and I think combining the flavors of the chips and the cheese could create an awesome, creamed corn-tasting chip.
- Aji Amarillo Doritos
When you’re talking about new Doritos flavors, it’s important to consider what’s going on in the culinary zeitgeist, and the Peruvian aji amarillo pepper is having a moment. It’s fresh, zesty, spicy, and fruity. The pepper is incredibly complex, and they actually sell aji amarillo powder online. I actually made this flavor to try with Rhett & Link (with the guidance of one Nicole Enayati), and I was thrilled with the results. The aji amarillo pepper, which is paramount to Peruvian cuisine, has a wonderfully mellow heat with sweet undertones. I think aji amarillos are going to start showing up in more snacks as chefs use it more and the pepper gets more visibility. Plus, spicy Doritos just work (again, see Tapatío).
- Enhanced Ranch
A great new Dorito flavor and also a good vocal exercise, Enhanced Ranch takes Cool Ranch to new heights. It is the opinion of the court that Doritos Cool Ranch could stand to taste more like actual ranch. I’d like to get Mythical Chef Josh’s opinion on this: But, the ingredients don’t list any parsley or dill, so I wonder if there’s any herbs at all in the Cool Ranch formula. Doritos experimented with a Tangy Ranch flavor before, which was the same ranch flavor mixed with some additional sour cream. I think they should do something similar, but instead add more herbs and sour cream to the already classic Cool Ranch flavor and see if it hits. Also, as Link pointed out, Enhanced Ranch is just too much fun to say. It’s all about branding.
- Baked Beans
This came from @steakhouseARC on Twitter, I have to say I’m sort of unclear on what canned bean Doritos look or taste like in practice. Now, I’ve had bean chips, so maybe there’s some way to mix beans into the chips themselves. A corn and bean hybrid, if you will. To nail a tasty baked bean, though, you need some extra flavor. The best baked beans have a sweet and savory aesthetic. If there’s a way to successfully distill that flavor down into a brand new Doritos flavor, then I’m all for it. Nothing would be more on brand for Mythical.