They’ve been rumored for years, and they have finally hit stores nationwide: The Doritos Locos Tacos. A mashup of the goodness of one of the most popular snack foods of all time, with a late-night drive-thru staple, Taco Bell’s new menu addition is expected to sell 60 million a week. That’s a lotta runs to the border…
Not just a typical Taco Bell shell dusted with the familiar orange Doritos seasoning (that was actually tested at the beginning and failed miserably), this is a special, custom produced, shell that is 100% Doritos through and through, a process that was incredibly difficult to pull off. Steve Gomez, food scientist for Taco Bell, told me, “Taking something that was always made to be a flat triangle, and turning it into a curved shell that could withstand cracking and breaking was very challenging.”
But they got it done. And with all this hype over the product development and launch, the really important question is: How does it taste? Taco Bell flew me out to their national headquarters in Irvine, CA a couple of weeks ago week to be among the first to try the new Doritos Locos Tacos. And here’s what I thought: Surprisingly delicious.
I’ve always been a fan of Doritos, but not an eat-a-whole-bag-in-one-sitting guy. So my expectation was that the flavoring would be too overpowering, too much of a good thing. I was wrong. It was one of those taste experiences where you wonder why this wasn’t done on day one, at the invention of the taco. The nacho cheese adds a flavor kick that delivers a whole new dimension of taste.
And even though I first thought the nacho-ness would be too much, I ended up eating three. And judging from the reactions of the roomful of other writers invited to the tasting, the “billions sold” expectation from the Taco Bell execs will probably be dead on.
True Doritos fans will be happy to hear two things: 1. The shell leaves a good amount of familiar orange dust on your fingers. (Apparently a must-have for early taste testers.) And, 2. A Cool Ranch flavored shell is already in the works, has been tested, and will be launching soon. Can a Doritos Nachos Bellgrande be far behind? Probably not.