Junk Food Reviews

Doritos Dinamita Mojo Criollo copy

Un calle de sabor.


Doritos Dinamita Mojo Criollo Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips

After I tried these, I had to look up “Mojo Criollo” to figure out the flavor.  I learned that Mojo Criollo is a Cuban/Puerto Rican marinade most used for pork.  It calls for “sour orange juice” (or a mix of lemon and orange juice) with garlic, oregano, cumin and some other stuff.  That explained the lemony flavor I picked up, which wasn’t bad in chip form mixed with the spices. Especially since many lemon-flavored things end up smelling/tasting like cleaning agents.  But These Dinomitas get their highest marks for their shape.  As discussed in Episode 17, that rolled up shape makes for a great crunch and nice flavor distribution.  Each bite is delightfully dense and crunchy.  Epilogue: About 30 minutes after I ate them, my tongue kinda hurt (high acidity or maybe I just have a dainty tongue?)

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The exotic South African Potato Chip outside of its natural habitat.

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The natural habitat for exotic South African Potato Chips.









Trader Joes Potato Chips with South African Seasonings

I first tried these at the end of a three day juice cleanse. Not surprisingly, after three days with no food, these chips tasted delicious.  But that’s probably not a fair review. So, I ate them for a full week and actually struggled to form a strong enough opinion for a review.  I like the taste of them, no doubt.  But I was not craving them in a “eat-the-whole-bag-in-two-days” kind of way, as I usually do.  Why?  I ultimately deduced that it is a lack of sugar that prevents these chips from being addictive.  The taste most resembles barbeque chips, but without any sweetness to offset the spice.  One could argue that this is a good thing – a tasty chip that you can pace yourself with. On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t bring these to a party since they are clearly not an easy/automatic crowd pleaser, nor are they odd enough to be a gimmicky conversation piece.



Lays 2013 Do us a Flavor Contest

Chicken and Waffles was a tasty and completely unique new flavor to be added to the pantheon of flavors. Alas, it lost to Cheesy Garlic Bread in the contest. A travesty in my mind and a sign of the electorate’s lack of forward thinking

Chicken and Waffles – Hugh’s official vote. It seems like a gimmick flavor – and it was – but of the three, was the best UNIQUE new flavor.

Cheesy Garlic Bread – its just cheese/ garlic flavor. Been done plenty.

Sirracha – Mostly just heat, not allowing for a lot of flavor to come out





Doritos 2013 Mystery Test Flavors

Doritos Test Flavor 404 had an unexpected side effect of temporarily de-aging me by about 35 years. But the cheese taste was really zesty.

Test Flavor 404 – easily the best of the three – smoky, sweet, and a note of lime at the end. (Flavor revealed: Caribbean Citrus Jerk)

Test Flavor 2653 – The hardest flavor to identify (maybe because 855 scorched my taste buds) – I looked at the ingredients for a hint and immediately figured out what I was tasting. I won’t spoil it here. That said, I liked them. (Flavor revealed: Chocolate Chipotle Bacon)

Test Flavor 855 – Spicy. I like hot things, but not chips because I have to stop eating them due to burnt mouth. (Flavor revealed: Spicy Street Taco)  





Pringles Chile Con Queso

It doesn’t matter where I place the can, its like the Pringles guy is always looking right at me.

Pringles will always hold a special place in my heart.  They are the only potato chip I know of that prioritizes organization over flavor.  Not that I dislike Pringles – but on a potato chip scale, they tend to rank low.  They are generally less greasy, which for me is not a positive if I’m reviewing based on how much I enjoy eating them. Still, Pringles Chili Con Queso gets high marks – certainly higher than the average Pringle, assuming you like jalapeno flavor.  These chips could perhaps be more aptly named “Jalapeno & Cheese.”  That said, it is the jalepeno flavor, not spiciness or heat, that is the star of the show. There is no a tongue burn factor here, so eating them by pinched stackful is easy and painless.


Combo’s Pepperoni Pizza

Disclaimer: This Pepperoni Pizza Combo was digitally retouched for aesthetic purposes.

Due to Combos’ prevalence at gas stations and airports, they rank with the Hungry Dads as a prime travel-time food. Combos aren’t a snack that we’d pick up at the grocery store and bring home. Nor would Combos be a first choice as a workday treat (a little stinky and undignified for the office?).  Nonetheless, Combos are bite sized and easy-to-eat with a unique crunch and creamy texture, offering an alternative to chips when you want to avoid mess, crumbs and grease without sacrificing flavor.  The flavor is yummy despite being inaccurate.  You won’t be fooled into thinking that you are eating a slice of Pepperoni Pizza.

Combo’s Seven Layer Dip 

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Not seven flavors. But at least three or four, which isn’t so bad.

Seven layers in one tiny combo?  The outer shell is vaguely tortilla, but has no distinction from any other combos cracker shell.  The filling starts with spiciness, but not overpowering or burning.  Then the taste goes predominantly bean, but not in a gross way.  Finally there is a “weird but impressive” note of black olive flavor at the end.




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Chocolate Chip



Lays Wavy Milk Chocolate Dipped Potato Chips Delicious? Of course.  But this is hardly a potato chip.  Tastes like a yummy piece of chocolate with a crunch in the middle  The crunch could have just as easily been Rice Crispies, pretzels, or anything else.  The chocolate was too thick, masking any sense of potato chip.  Once you realize it tastes like a hunk of chocolate, the novelty is gone.




Doritos Retro Flavors/Packaging – Salsa Rio and Sour Cream & Onion

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That old school logo brought me back to the days when I wore a jean jacket and Jay Leno served as Doritos’ pitch man.

As a sucker for food nostalgia and limited time flavors, I can’t possibly give these a bad review.  Sure, Salsa Rio didn’t taste much different than Spicy Nacho. And Sour Cream and Onion was basically a less zesty Cool Ranch flavor.  But that old school logo brought me back to the days when I wore a jean jacket and Jay Leno served as Doritos’ pitch man.  Well played Doritos. If you can win my heart, then winning over my taste buds is easy.


Hostess Chocodile Chocolate Covered Twinkies

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HD Trivia! An adult African elephant can produce up to 300 pounds of dung each day!

Twinkies went extinct in 2012 after Hostess went bankrupt, but were brought back to life a year later with much fanfare.  A new offering, the Chocodile/ Chocolate Covered Twinkie at least shows an effort for innovation in the Twinkie area.  However this didn’t feel or taste like a Twinkie.  Its hard to be sure if its a bit off due to the chocolate or the new Twinkie recipe that was revealed under new management.  Either way, the chocolate texture and quality is reminiscent of other chocolate covered snack cakes (ring dings, swiss rolls), leaving me to wonder why a Twinkie needs to be chocolate covered?  The sticky sponge cake is compromised by the chocolate. The whole thing was fairly dense in an un-Twinkie-like way.



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This is a very small pig, not a giant tub of cream cheese (unfortunately).

Philadelphia Bacon Cream Cheese

Before reviewing, I should confess that my own personal bacon flavor receptors are almost certainly out-of-whack.  Nowadays, only bacon wannabes – like turkey bacon and tofu bacon – appear on our family shopping list.  So when the label brags, “Made with Real Bacon,” I’ll have to take their word for it.   I don’t think I’ve had real bacon since that brunch on the morning after my wedding day.  Nonetheless I do think I have enough sense memory to qualify Philadelphia Bacon Cream Cheese as having a “bacon bit” flavor, as opposed to the flavor of real bacon.  If you value authentic flavor in your pork belly, then pass on this.  If a familiar, but ultimately artificial bacon flavor is okay with you (as it is with me) then you won’t be disappointed.



chip v chip (2) Jeff Foxworthy’s Southern Creations Original Grit Chips – Small challenger brand with “big” celebrity endorsement

  • Pro: Fantastic marketing copy on the bag
  • Con: No unique “grit” flavor (it’s a standard corn chip)

Doritos Dynamite – Corporate brand that co-opted tube shape from Mexican brand “Sabritas”

  • Pro: Innovative and effective tightly rolled tube shape
  • Con: Limited flavors options (only spicy)

Lays 2014 Do us a Flavor Contest Wavy Mango Salsa – We hoped and expected to like it more, but will finish the bag, of course. And the more we ate, the better they tasted. But we wouldn’t buy them again.

Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese – Of course they were good. Solid hint of bacon, but like Cheesy Garlic Bread, its not a new taste sensation at all. In Episode 5, Rod officially, voted for Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese. He was looking for a long-lasting relationship in a chip and felt it has staying power.

Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger – Hugh could not find them. He doesn’t like wasabi or ginger anyway so, its probably just as well. Cappuccino  – Hugh and Rod’s live taste test revealed a lot of crunching, notes of cinnamon, and a realization that the chips were more sweet than salty. Hugh, a coffee drinker, did not taste much coffee. Rod, not a coffee lover, tasted the coffee more distinctly. They both enjoyed Cappiccino and (unsurprisingly) declared that they would be eating the whole bag. IN the end, Hugh voted for Cappuccino as it was both unique and delicious.

7-11 Doritos Loaded

  • The Snack: Doritos Loaded (hereinafter “Loaded”) is a fried-cheese-style snack with a nacho cheese interior and a Dorito flavored breading/dusting on the exterior.
  • Avoid freshness: Don’t accept “Loaded” right from the oven/microwave.  If you can’t get the ones that were sitting under the heat lamp all day, pass on this snack.
  • Watch your tongue:  Rod’s “Loaded” were “surface of the sun hot,” and even a two-minute break in the air conditioning did not prevent a scorched mouth.  If you have to wait two minutes to eat it, then its validity as a snack is diminished.
  • Repeat customer: Considering his were warmed and congealed behind the glass upon arrival, Hugh did make a return visit to 7-11 and went for a strategic and covert second hit of “Loaded.”
  • Also of note: “Loaded” is another entry in the parade of Dorito’s branded foods such as the Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos.

Herr’s Fire Roasted Sweet Corn Potato Chips – Corn on the cob flavored potato chips.  Weird to make a potato chip taste like corn. Very successful in the flavor though. Ultimately a gimmick, not viable. But fun to try.