Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Guacamole Doritos Review

For a bit of fun, here's a Guacamole Doritos Review.

I'm a sucker for weird new flavors of things. I know they're going to be gross, but I feel honor-bound to give them a try before I dismiss them. Pizza Pringles are an excellent example. I could tell just by the graphic design of the packaging that they were going to be terrible. But I tried them anyway. They were terrible. Now I never have to eat another Pizza Pringle again, and I don't have to fear accusations of knee-jerk prejudice.

So I was walking through the grocery store, experimenting with keeping to a budget instead of impulse-buying like a madman. I had a small and very specific shopping list. But I passed one of the promotional displays at the end of an aisle, and there were these green bags of Doritos. Guacamole-flavored, and according to the picture on the bag, the chips were actually green as well.

My mind said "No, no, no!" but my body, more specifically my hand, said "Yes, yes, yes!" Unable to help myself, I put a bag of Guacamole Doritos in my cart. (In a pathetic effort to retain SOME credibility, I need to point out that I put two bags in my cart, since it was a two for the price of one sale, but then I put one back.)

I tried to ignore the bag of Guacamole Doritos for a few days, putting off the inevitable. Ominously, the bright green Dorito bag was sitting on top of the lime green Gatorade canister on my kitchen counter. Two more hideously unnatural food products have never been stacked.

When I finally decided to try these "Guacamole-flavored" Doritos, I opened the bag, and sat down at the computer. This was to give an unbiased taste-test, since mindless snacking at the computer is how I eat regular Doritos. My first impression was pleasant surprise. They really do taste like guacamole. Well, that is to say, you can recognize flavor of guacamole, and not mistake it for anything else.

Despite the unorthodox color, the chips maintain the unmistakable Dorito experience of synthetic "flavor powder" dusted onto a triangular chip. As I munched away and surfed the internet, daylight faded. When I got up in the near-darkness to use the bathroom, I switched on a light, and was genuinely horrified to see that my fingers were coated in some weird sickly-green filth. I had no idea what it was for a few seconds, which isn't as pathetic and brain-damaged as it sounds. I'm remodeling my house, so my hands are often covered with disgusting, filthy and toxic substances, and I live with constant paranoia that I'm going to forget for a moment, and pick my nose with paint stripper on my hands. So I had a momentary fear that I had just been eating finger-food for an hour with some kind of deadly green poison all over my fingers. (Methylene chloride, the active ingredient of the paint stripper I've been using, is the #1 most dangerous chemical available to consumers. Don't question me, Consumer Reports said it. Anyway, ever since I found that out, I've been living in fear.)

I quickly figured out what was up. I remembered that I'd been eating green Doritos, and instead of the familiar orange glow of nacho cheese fingers, I'd been stuck with these distressing and hideous hands. So I calmed down a bit, and washed my hands off. The greenfinger given by the new Doritos definitely seems more stubbornly adhesive than the old orangefinger.

So I give the new Guacaritos a 7 out of 10 on the bad-but-good snackfood flavor scale. Certainly not unpleasant tasting, and no worse of a flavor than nacho Doritos, which now that I think about it, are very nasty. (If real nacho cheese is the cardboard box wine of the cheese world, then simulated nacho cheese is grape flavored cough syrup.) I might bump up the rating when I decide if the idea of imbuing a chip with guacamole essence is ok, or inherently unsettling. I mean, I like peanut butter and jelly on bread, but I don't think that peanut butter and jelly flavored bread is a great idea.

I give them a 5 out of 10 on the graphic design of the packaging scale, not because the design is poorly done, but because it mimics Mountain Dew, and the whole tired out "Xtreme snacking" marketing scheme. It would have been a braver and more interesting design to actually use a pale avocado-green, and a southwestern theme.

I give them a 3 out of 10 on the junk-food-is-already-killing-me-why-does-it-also-have-to-coat-my-hands-in-gunk-that-looks-like-someone-mixed-diarrhea-and-elmers-glue scale. But I balance that out with my special, soon-to-be-patented "You are is a perverse bastard" scale, on which the weirdness of the chips, and the very nastiness and persistence of the fingerstaining has a certain cachet, and rate a 6 out of 10.

Now you are informed consumers regarding Guacamole Doritos, and can make a rational decision when confronted with this crazy new chip at the end of the aisle.