Is there any snack more magical, more delicious, more tantalizing then a bag of nacho cheese Doritos? How could there be? Those beautiful little cheesy triangles of goodness are essentially one of the greatest things ever made. In terms of food that taste good, Doritos rank somewhere between hot wings and filet mignon. They’re crunchy, dusty, and come in a variety of amazing flavors. Not only that, but Doritos are sold all over the world. Their popularity is staggering, and for good reason! Everyone wants to eat them! When there’s a bag of Doritos being passed around at a party, you’d have to be crazy to turn them down. After all, what if you want some later, and then they’re all gone? By the way, that’s definitely what will happen, because people who are smarter than you will have jumped at the opportunity to have some. So come on, don’t be a dummy! Eat the Doritos when you have the opportunity. That being said, everyone has a favourite Doritos flavour. There are those who love the classic nacho cheese, and then there is the cool ranch camp. No matter which one you belong to, though, it’s good to know that Doritos will always be there for you. Doritos are not only amazing, wonderful, and delicious, they also have a storied history. The tale of how Doritos came to be, why they’re so good, and where they will be going in the future is astounding, and has some really great twists and turns. So sit down, grab a bag of those tasty triangles, and marvel at the top ten untold truths about Doritos.
10. Doritos were created at Disneyland
Where else could Doritos come from except the most magical place on Earth? That’s right, those delicious little flavor dusted corn chips were actually invented at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. See, there was a restaurant at Disneyland called Casa De Fritos, and it sold Tex Mex food to its hungry patrons in between their rides on roller coasters (hopefully they waited a little while before hitting up the rides again). Obviously when serving Tex Mex food, there are going to be a lot of tortillas involved, and not all of them got used up in a day. So, when a sales rep saw some of the workers throwing away the unused tortillas, he wisely told them “hey, don’t throw those away. Cut them up, fry them, and make them into corn chips.” That’s exactly what they did, and the chips were a huge hit. People seemed to love them so much, that they caught the attention of Arch West, a Frito-Lay marketing executive. West saw the potential for selling these delicious corn chips nationwide, and pitched the idea to Frito-Lay. Obviously the rest is history, as Doritos soon became a cornerstone for the company. However, that was only the beginning of the story. There was still a lot more history ahead for Doritos.
9. The first flavor was “Toasted Corn”
These days, we’re spoiled by how many delicious flavours of Doritos are available in the marketplace. Do you prefer nacho cheese, or cool ranch? Maybe you’re a maverick who goes for the sweet chili heat, or jalapeno cheddar flavours. Maybe you like to be bold and go for the spicy nacho flavor, amping up the heat on the classic nacho cheese? Either way you slice it, you’re going to be getting the flavour you want, and licking that delicious dorito dust off your fingers (we’ll get to that dust a little later on). However, what you may not know about Doritos is that they did not begin their life as a flavoured corn chip, but rather a regular, old, plain corn chip. The very first flavour of dorito was, in fact, toasted corn, a flavour that still exists today. Is it really fair to be calling it a flavour though? There’s really nothing to them, just the fact that they are plain corn chips. However, it has been noted by people who have eaten the toasted corn Doritos that they are in fact pretty tasty when paired with a nice salsa or guacamole, and that their structural integrity makes them perfect for a nice nacho plate. Overall, you could do a lot worse on corn chips than buying a bag of the plain, toasted corn Doritos, and at least that flavour is not the only one available like it was back in the day. Eventually, though, Doritos came up with a new flavour, but it’s not the one you’re thinking of.
8. The second flavor was “Taco”
We all know that nacho cheese Doritos are pretty much the standard flavour. They’re just the right blend of salty, cheesy, and tangy, and they can satisfy even the most picky snackers. However, the flavour we all know and love is not the first Doritos flavour to have come from the company. As we said before, toasted corn was the very first, but once the executives at Frito Lay moved into flavour territory for their new product, they came up with their very first, dusted Dorito: taco. That’s right, the taco flavour Doritos were actually the preceding flavour to nacho cheese, and for a time they were the only dorito flavour available aside from the toasted corn. Those who remember the original taco flavour know that it was something really special, a truly fantastic experience that opened people’s eyes to the idea of a flavoured corn chip. No longer were they relegated to sour cream and onion potato chips, or soft, airy cheese puffs. No, people could now have it all, the crispiness of a corn chip and the spicy, seasoned, delicious flavor of a taco all in one. It was a magical time to be alive. Even though the taco flavour disappeared for a while, it has since been brought back in full force, even packed in bags that resemble the nostalgic food packaging of yesteryear.
7. A secret flavor was revealed to be “Mountain Dew”
How crazy can Doritos get? Well, just when you think they’ve gone off the rails with their flavours, they come at you with something that is absolutely mind boggling, and maybe, some would say, completely ill advised. See, all the way back in 2008, Doritos had a promotion that they called “The Quest.” It was a journey to figure out what the mystery flavour was, what it meant for the future, and what kind of treasures it would hold. Okay, so it wasn’t all of that, it was just a contest to figure out what the mystery flavour was. Did people enjoy the flavour? It didn’t seem like it. Once the identity of the flavour was revealed, it was apparent why that was: the mystery flavour turned out to be none other than Mountain Dew. Yes, you read that correctly: Mountain Dew flavoured Doritos. We’ll give you a moment to stop gagging before you read further. Why this was thought to be a good idea is probably beyond anyone’s understanding, but it happened. The chips were described by some as having a sickly sweet flavour that didn’t jive well with the idea of eating corn chips. Luckily the whole thing was really just a publicity stunt at the end of the day, and the Mountain Dew flavoured Doritos were eventually gone forever. Unlike some other awesome flavours that have come out over the years (late night jalapeno popper anyone?), people were glad to see this one go, and hopefully it never makes a return.
6. Doritos got a huge overhaul in 1994
The Doritos we all know and love weren’t always how people knew them. That’s right, at one point Doritos were very, very different from what we know and love today. See, the original chips were slightly smaller and had pointier corners. What was it like to eat a thicker, sharper Dorito? We’ll never know, because in 1994, the chip underwent a major design change, one that was called the costliest re-design in Frito-Lay history. So what were the big changes made to the chips? Well, for starters, the chips were made thinner, giving them more surface area. While you might think this is a cheat, a way for the chip company to somehow make the chips less satisfying by eliminating some of the thickness, the chips were actually made 20% larger due to this, giving them more surface area. What does more surface area mean? It means you get more space for that delicious flavour dust to cling to. The Doritos were also given more rounded corners, a change that hopefully reduced the amount of times people got stabbed in the gums by the chips overall. The rounded corners were also added because a lot of times the corners would just break off, leaving a huge pile of crumbs in the bottom of the bag. Overall these were good changes, and they led to the Doritos we know and love today.
5. The powder is actually unnecessary
Let’s talk about one of the most magical parts of Doritos: that sweet, savoury, delicious powder. You know it, you love it, you probably lick it off of your fingers. You might have even wiped it on your shirt once or twice (which you hopefully then put in the laundry. Don’t be gross). It’s one of the most indelible parts of the chip overall. People wouldn’t even consider thinking about Doritos without giving some thought to the flavour dust that generously coats each, crispy, crunchy delicious corn chip. However, the truth behind the flavour dust is actually strange and may be unsettling: it’s not necessary. That’s right, the dust we all know and love is just an extra component that the chips don’t require. The flavour is actually cooked right into the chips themselves, so we could all have cleaner fingers if the dust wasn’t there. So what gives? Why keep dusting the Doritos anyway? Well, it has more to do with the psychology of the snack than anything. People have come to expect that Doritos will be coated with flavour dust. If you were eating a bag of Doritos, and there was no dust on the chips, even if the flavour was there, it’s likely that you wouldn’t perceive them to be as tasty. We’ve come to expect the dust getting on our fingers and coating our lips as essential parts of eating Doritos, which is why the dust us here to stay, even though it is totally extraneous at this point.
4. The creator of Doritos was buried with the snack
As far as the saints of snacking are concerned, there is one among them who stands out: Arch West. The man gave the world Doritos, and for that, he will always be fondly remembered. West passed away at the age of 97, having lived a full life. He was a successful businessman in the arena of snacking, having worked closely with the founder of Pace foods. In fact, it was West’s idea to stock Pace salsa with the tortilla chips, a move that greatly increased the sales of Pace salsa. West was around long enough to try most of the new Doritos flavours (although he spit out the last flavour he tried, late night cheeseburger), and it must have been rewarding for him to see one of his first innovations become so famous. When West died, his funeral featured a very special tribute to his legacy: his family sprinkled Doritos over his casket as it was lowered into the ground, so that West would be buried with his snacking legacy. The flavour of Dorito that was chosen was toasted corn, the very first Dorito flavour. This was a fitting tribute to a man who worked so hard to make modern snacking what it is today. West was a World War II veteran and had also volunteered for disaster relief in 1990.
3. Doritos weren’t available in New Zealand until 2010
New Zealand is a pretty awesome place: not only did it give the world Peter Jackson and the Flight of the Conchords, but it is also a beautiful country, full of rolling green hills, mountains, and ocean views. However, for a long time there was one thing missing from the small, island nation, that might have made it just a little bit sad for any visiting North American tourists: there were no Doritos. Well, there were no Doritos until 2010 that is. Imagine it: you travel all the way around the world because you want to see the historical sights (and, let’s face it, where they filmed The Lord of the Rings), only to find that when you disembark the plane and feel a little bit snacky, that there are no Doritos in sight. You ask someone, “hey where can I find some Doritos?” And they look at you, puzzled, and ask, “what are those?” It would be like living in a nightmare. Luckily, everyone’s favourite snack has found its way to New Zealand, and you can even find different flavours there like cheese supreme, salsa, and flame grilled BBQ. Truly, there is now no reason to skip that vacation. After all, wouldn’t anyone jump at the chance to try some international Doritos flavours? We think so. Besides, New Zealand is a beautiful country with great people, and now you can enjoy it all with a bag of Doritos in your hand.
2. A Doritos ad was sent into space
Who says that the people of Earth should be the only ones allowed to enjoy the bold, delicious taste of Doritos? After all, there’s no real answer that definitively states whether there is or isn’t intelligent life out there in space, but if there was, don’t you think that they would also want to get in on this Doritos action? Of course they would, and we definitely wouldn’t want to make them mad by denying them their right to the tasty, delicious snacks that we so adore. Plus, they’ve probably already seen an ad for Doritos, and might even be planning an interstellar trip just to get their hands on some. See, in 2008, the above Doritos ad was sent to a solar system in Ursa major. The system is 42 light years away, so we might not know if any aliens want to come here and try Doritos for themselves for a hundred years. However, the signal is out there, floating through space, and its possible that it might get intercepted by some other alien race. Okay, that’s pretty unlikely, but it’s fun to believe, right? The ad was sent into space from a transmitter in the Arctic Circle, and Doritos was kind enough to make a donation to the research agency that allowed them to transmit the commercial. Is this the future of advertising? We’ll have to wait and see how many other companies decide they want extraterrestrial life to know about their products.
1. They’re scientifically formulated to make you want more
Have you ever been eating a bag of Doritos, thinking you’ll save some of them for later, but then you look down and they’re all gone? It’s a sad feeling, but usually strange too, because what you feel is disappointment at there not being more Doritos, but what you don’t feel is full or satisfied. Is that because Doritos are so delicious that you of course would just keep eating them forever? Maybe, but there’s actually a scientific reason why you can’t seem to get enough Doritos: because that is how they’re formulated. Every aspect of Doritos has been scientifically studied, tested, and administrated in order to keep you eating them. That includes the use of specific ingredients that make you want to keep eating like garlic powder and Romano cheese. It also includes two of the most important flavour components for making anything addictive: salt and MSG. Combine those with the tantalizing orange colour, the perfect amount of fat, and the fact that the taste is just forgettable enough that it keeps you wanting more, and you have a snack that is literally impossible to resist eating. Forget trying to eat just one Lays potato chip, there’s no way on Earth anyone could eat just one Dorito. That’s just science at work.