THIS SNACK ROCKS: All-Nighter Cheeseburger Doritos
I talk a lot about Doritos here, so much so that I sometimes wonder whether I might have formed an irrational attachment to the brand. I mean, it’s true that in my early teen years there was no better snack to accompany the reading of my Forgotten Realms books — and indeed, there are pages in them tinged orange to this very day — but I chalk that up more to youthful excess than anything. When you’re fifteen years old, there are few acts more dreadful and yet pleasing than to finish a bag of Doritos by yourself, whatever the horrific digestive consequences that may follow.
No, the reason that these particular chips capture so much of my attention is their absolutely exemplary use of flavor science. Frito-Lay has wisely chosen Doritos as their carnival of flavor-scientific freaks, owing either to the experimental nature of their customer, or perhaps the sheer thrill of adopting a product strategy designed specifically to blow the minds of stoners everywhere.
How else do you explain a company who dedicated an entire marketing campaign around having their consumers identify that they’d produced a chip that tastes like Mountain Dew? Where can one go next, after such a decisive atrocity?
Why, you tip your hand that much more completely, and just go right ahead and start turning your snack into a bagged version of late-night pothead cuisine: Tacos at Midnight, Late Night Jalapeno Popper, and the All-Nighter Cheeseburger.
You will observe the little notation there on the front of the bag, sharing that it contains flavors both natural and artificial. This is, perhaps, a reflection of raw optimism than any kind of true disclosure.
What you have to understand is this: Once you have eaten three of these chips, you will have the undeniable flavor in your mouth of a cheap, greasy cheeseburger with mustard and ketchup. You will feel everything about the experience of a midnight slider except the actual burger itself, including the sense of creeping remorse and the terrible compulsion to keep eating. It is remarkable and awesome, but it is anything but natural.
Flavor science has come a long way, I think we can all agree. There was a time in my life where “grape” was anything that was colored intensely purple and sugared only slightly more heavily than “cherry”, which was itself a glowing hellish red that carried a strange cough-syrupy flavor to it. To come from those roots to an era when I can eat one kind of junk food that tastes exactly like ANOTHER KIND of junk food… well, it just reminds me how lucky I am to live in the future.
How to Outsmart Housebreakers: Land your flying BBQ car on them as they gesture frantically below you
You can keep your flying cars, in other words: I have chips that taste like cheeseburgers.
Now, I know that you’re likely already headed out to the store to buy some of these. Possibly you’re just in the process of crossing this off the list of THINGS MIKE SAID I SHOULD DO (AND AM HELPLESS TO RESIST), and don’t let me stop you in following what comes naturally. But there’s a slightly darker side to this product, and it’s important that I share it with you before you discover it yourself.
Remember how I said Doritos carry with them an overpowering obligation to eat the entire bag in a single sitting? When they taste like Doritos, that’s (borderline) fine… but try eating an entire bag of cheeseburgers.
Or, to put it differently, try eating one gigantic inexpensive late-night cheeseburger slowly over the course of maybe an hour. There is a reason that burgers are the size that they are, and it’s because there is a limit to the human capacity for self-injury. Fifteen minutes of greasy, salty badness? A-OK. But ten times that amount, spread out over the course of watching, say, The Wolfman and wondering why nobody told you how awful it was?
That’s going to burn you out, I don’t care what your enthusiasm for cheeseburgers may be. Jughead Jones would shoot himself in the face, is what I’m saying to you. The potential here for overdose is very real, and you do not want to find yourself in a place where the very thought of anything cheeseburger-flavored is nauseating.
Jughead: Can you really hate yourself more than you hate him?
Make no mistake, though: Late Night All Nighter Cheeseburger Doritos are a friggin’ miracle. They are a not-great-for-you snack food that uncannily masquerades as an-even-worse-for-you snack food, so well executed that you will find yourself eating more just to be reminded how eerily close they managed to get the flavor.
For its almost-creepy accuracy, and nearly dangerous level of snackability, All Nighter Cheeseburger Doritos are A SNACK THAT ROCKS. It might not be a flavor that you’ll crave, but it’s one that you absolutely have to try. To deny yourself chips that taste like cheeseburgers is like denying yourself portable phones that have the internet on them: a betrayal of the future that hurts only you.