Friday, January 14, 2011

Funky Food Friday: Are Original Taco Doritos back?


Back story: On my pop-culture blog, Pop Culture Junk Mail, I often post about lost products from my childhood -- which pretty directly led to this blog, and our upcoming book, "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?" (Due out June 7!)


One of the lost items that earned the MOST comments even months after I would post about it is Original Taco Doritos.


Original Taco was the second Doritos flavor, coming out in 1967, after plain corn and even before Nacho Cheese. It was sadly yanked from the market, and while Frito-Lay has come up with numerous other Taco varieties, devotees claim the formula is never the same.


I'm willing to bet that the formula is still not the same, but a few weeks ago, a reader alerted us to the fact that he spotted a very old-fashioned looking Original Taco Doritos bag in the store. And now I found it in mine!

I didn't buy it (am regretting that now, as it doesn't seem to be in every store), but I took the photo you see here. That design just strikes a retro note with me. I even remember the silly little sombrero, and they sure don't use that color scheme any more. It's worlds away from this shiny, slashy-and-flashy design.)



This press release
claims it's the original seasoning blend and that it will be available through the Super Bowl.


Do you remember the Original Taco flavor? Have you tried the Taco variants over the years? Have you seen this one in your stores? Is it the same or similar to what you remember? Do share!

23 comments:

Bob said...

I found them for a week or so at one store and I have not been able to find them since.

I think they are very close in flavor to the original Taco Flavor Doritos. I don't think they are as heavily coated, but that may be due to better technology.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the old familiar flavor is there, but not as heavy as it is in my memory. This may be good, as I sorta like tasting the corn in my Dorito for a change--not sure yet. They didn't overwhelm me on first taste, but I might bite again if they're on sale in the future.

Anonymous said...

I found them! I stretched the budget enough to get a bag because I just couldn't resist. Totally worth it! They taste exactly as I remember. Yum!

Matt said...

I've been desperately trying to find this in the Phoenix area - no luck yet!

It's funny that the press release says "we retired Doritos Taco when many of the brand’s fans opted for bigger, bolder and more savory flavors" when the replacement taco flavors have been, if anything, wimpier and sweeter tasting.

Anonymous said...

On second tasting, I can't shake the persistent impression of cheese that I don't recall being there before, and that I don't care for. This is definitely not a return to the "original"...sigh.

Dimestore Lipstick said...

Found them just yesterday at Sam's Club. I nearly swooned! And I got to enjoy them with a real glass bottle of Coke made with sugar, for a true retro experience.

I agree with Bob, above--very close in flavor to the original, but not as strong. Or maybe that's the difference between tastebuds, age 10 and tastebuds, age 47?

Dimestore Lipstick said...

Oh, and the back of my bag seems to indicate them coming back soon in the modern-design packaging. For keepsies, I hope!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I caught that slight "cheesy" flavor which I don't really remember cos I hate the nacho kind. Found 3 bags only & bought all 3.

Anonymous said...

These are NOT... repeat... are NOT the original flavor. A somewhat close attempt, but not 'IT'. Dang, is there no one alive at frito lay that remembers the original recipe ?? It's got some weird, not taco, after taste. (cheese? as others has mentioned.) They used to have a RICH, spicy, smoky, (i'd add) tangy, taco flavor and med-BROWN color, .... and in each bag you always got some chips that were sometimes heavily loaded with the taco coating. These,... are not those original chips. The bag design may be the same, but these are not the same chips. I'm disappointed, but at least they attempted. Happy about that, at least.
Maybe all the machinery is coated with years of Nacho flavoring and why we get this strange nacho aftertaste that doesn't really work.

Anonymous said...

... and btw,... there's tons of bags at my local RALPH's market in So. Cal. -- so I guess some Ralphs are carrying them, so you could ask your local store to get some, if you're in Cali.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of the earlier comments that it IS the original Taco flavor, but the chips have less seasoning. I can remember having "Taco fingers" after eating them back in the day, and I really wish they would have used more seasoning in these new chips.

The back of my bags also indicate that Taco flavor will be coming out soon in regular bags, rather than the retro-styled ones. I really hope this is true!

I see so much demand for Taco flavor on blogs like this and other sites around the web.. still can't understand why they discontinued it in the first place!

I hate Cool Ranch flavor with the heat of a thousand white-hot suns.

Anonymous said...

These are NOT the original Taco flavor we are looking for! Sour Cream and Blue Cheese (or any cheese for that matter) were not part of the 70s Taco recipe. This is the '80s Taco Bell recipe which led to their demise in the first place as they tried to make these taste like every other flavor on the market. Disappointing!

Jeff said...

It is possible they are using a different oil now. I worked for Eagle Snacks and we used a variety of different oils from cottonseed oil to canola oil. They may have used corn oil or another vegetable oil back in the day.
I was actually really excited to see the Taco Flavor make a return. It has probably been over 30 years since I last tasted a TACO Dorito. A friend a work had a bag and I had to ask for one, and it did bring me some nice childhood flashbacks! It was close-enough.
Funny how certain smells and tastes can have such a strong effect after our memories have faded over time.

The Dumpster said...

I did not catch that the taco flavor was back until today when I saw a mini-bag touting that the original flavor is back. I could not get into the bag fast enough and like others I agree that they still have not recreated the flavor. At first I was thinking that so much time had passed that maybe I could not be sure about the flavor but eating more chips made me certain that the flavor was just not there as it seemed that after a few chips the flavor almost disappeared.

Others mentioned the heavier seasonings and that did spark the same memory with me, finding a big chunk of just the seasoning was always great :)

I think the recipe may truly be lost if this is supposed to be "The Original Taco" flavor we all crave.

Anonymous said...

I never forgot the original Taco Doritos and was so excited when I saw them in the store a couple of weeks ago! Finally, I was going to enjoy that flavor I still remembered from my childhood. WRONG! What a disappointment! They tasted slightly like Cool Ranch to me, which I don't like, combined with a slight Nacho flavor??? They're so so, but I won't be buying them again. I didn't even finish the bag. It's obvious the original recipe is gone and they're just trying to recreate it. They probably think most people won't notice the difference and maybe they're right.

Anonymous said...

Tucson here! I saw them in Fry's - couldn't miss the retro packaging! I bought some today at Walmart. I have to agree with many others - they just don't seem to be as bold (which I found very disappointing).

Anonymous said...

Found the elusive Taco Doritos in grab bag size at the Dollar Tree store in Florida on April 15, 2011.

Found the full size Taco Doritos in retro 80's style packaging at Publix in Florida on April 22, 2011. Back of the package shows that modern packaging is coming soon in the same style of all other current Doritos products.

Wish they'd keep the retro package...stands out nicely on the store shelf.

Anonymous said...

Saw them in Fry's in Phoenix area. Taste the same to me. Love em. Missed em.

Anonymous said...

Vons in SoCal carries them. I bought a bag3 days ago and polished it of in 3 sittings, by myself. The flavor seems the same to me, just a little less intense, and I agree with a previous comment that I remember having taco fingers back in the day, not so much now.

Karl said...

I am eating them right now. There are not chips with the strong coating that we remember from our youth. There are some chips that have a fair amount of coating on them. However, what we loved were those chips that were almost entirely brown with coating, and hence uber tasty. Those no longer exist. That said, the coating seems to be the same flavor as when I was a child. Irregular coating, like when we were kids, would be helpful, so that some chips would be faintly flavored and others strongly...like when we were kids.

Anonymous said...

Hello All: These are NOT the same as Original Taco from the 1970's. These 2011 Taco chips are nothing but a "SHADOW" of what they were in the 1970's. They have cheese, bleu cheese, sour cream, milk ingredients that the original formula did not have. These are BOGUS taco chips that taste awful--like a pitiful cheap low quality combination of nacho cheese and ranch....And no,its NOT just that your tastebuds have "matured"...these chips are a LIE when Frito Lay calls them original...I called Frito Lay 50 times..they admitted they cannot get the same spices they had in the 1970's...again, this is a lie by Frito Lay...they are taking advantage by trying to pass off a cheaper, lower quality chip at a high price!!

pSyCho jOe said...

The real difference is MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) and Petroleum-based color dyes including but not limited to Red 40 and Yellow 5; among the highest in food product circulation. The original recipe probably did not have such man-made ingredients; the best recipes are the simplest and based on the most fundamental ingredients. Unfortunately, the original recipe has probably been ceased since anyone could replicate their flavor using intuition or YouTube. I boycott any product with MSG because it has a neuro-chemical effect that causes us to eat on average 30% more than we normally would, and for me personally, the over-consumption of MSG Doritos cause me to experience headaches and sometimes migraines. Excluding MSG and High Fructose Corn Syrup products from my diet has improved my symptoms completely. Bring back the original recipe, Doritos; fear not the wrath of the Intellectual Property Licensing expiration date!

Anonymous said...

Not the same as "original taco flavor produced from 1967 to 1979". These 2011 taco chips are a bogus lie. They have cheese, milk, and sour cream ingredients (cheaper for Frito Lay to use than tons of real spices that the originals had). Originals were best chip on planet. These current taco chips are worthless.
Ever since Frito went to Taco Bell flavor in early 1980's...the taco chips have never been the same. Bag may be retro, but chips inside are a bland, cheap imitation of the original. Current chips smell and taste like spoiled sour cream.AND IT IS NOT THAT THEY ARE USING DIFFERENT OIL....AND NOT THAT TASTE BUDS HAVE MATURED...I agree with others here that these 2011 chips (also 1980 thru today, 2014) are NOT THE SAME AS THE 1967 ORIGINALS!! ONLY WAY FRITO WILL GET THIS THRU THEIR HEADS IS IF ENOUGH PEOPLE CALL THEM AND COMPLAIN!!!