Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Product Review: Doritos Salsa Río

Doritos has certainly embraced the fact that tortilla chips have their origin in Mesoamerican culture, particularly Mexican culture. Two of the flavors they always keep on the shelf, acknowledge this: Spicy Nacho and Salsa Verde. They've also had other impermanent flavors in the same theme: Taco flavor [1], Tapatío flavor [2], and even one named Flamas (which isn't a real Spanish word, but is meant to look like one).[3] Besides the nods in the names, tortilla chips are prepared via a process known as nixtamalization [4], which was developed in what is now Guatemala before 1000 BC. It involves boiling the corn (maize) with lime (the chemical, not the fruit) and ash and then hulling it.[5] At this point the processed corn can be consumed (e.g. the hominy in pozole [6]), or it can be ground into cornmeal to be used for dough. Unlike many processing methods, nixtamalization actually improves nutrient availability.

My verdict: These chips had a fresh salsa [7] flavor to them, but weren't as spicy as the regularly-available Spicy Nacho or Salsa Verde Doritos. And they certainly didn't pack the punch that Doritos Flamas did. The lack of spiciness didn't bother me and the flavor was pretty good, so I liked these chips. It's too bad they won't be around forever.


[1] Read my review here.

[2] Read my review here.

[3] Read my review here.

[4] Our word nixtamalization comes from the Spanish nixtamalización, which is itself derived from the Nahuatl words nextli "ashes" and tamalli "unformed corn dough".

[5] See

[6] See my recipe for pozole here.

[7] Some might take issue with my saying that heavily processed corn chips dusted with flavor powder taste like fresh salsa. But they taste more like the made-five-minutes-ago salsas I had during my time in México than any store-bought or restaurant salsa I've had in the United States.

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