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.


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  • Tim

    I have tried, and enjoyed, cheeseburger Doritos. But I will do so only once. More than that and I will no longer enjoy either Doritos and cheeseburgers.

  • Anne

    Personally, the Taco ones are my go-to when I want junk. Doritos (original, only) with french onion dip were my teen addiction. Now, I’ve expanded, hehe. OH and if you have the Lay’s Kettle Chips Sea Salt and Black Pepper where you are? Try them with cottage cheese (if you like cottage cheese). Its just a wonderful treat. And? I can only do a small amount, so its self-limiting in a good way!

    • Mike

      Yeah, I gotta tell you — I think I could only do a small amount of any chips dipped in cottage cheese, but you can be secure in the knowledge that somewhere Tina is already planning to try it.

      I DO want to try that Taco flavor, though. If it’s as eerily accurate as the cheeseburger, my brain may explode in joy.

  • eatingclubvancouver_js

    I’ve convinced myself that Frito-Lay is out to get me, which is how I’m weaning myself off their diabolical snacks (Doritos and Hoops). I noticed that when I eat a lot of Doritos and Hoops, I tend to get the itchies, an allergic reaction. Itchies after munchies is not a good time.

  • TS of eatingclub vancouver

    It’s not just cheeseburger-flavored, it’s LATE NIGHT ALL NIGHTER cheeseburger-flavored! The folks at Doritos do seem to have a certain evil genius. I’m still debating whether or not to get these. I wonder of they’re even available here in in Vancouver. Hope so? Or not?

  • Kate

    You should eat these with some Andy Capp fries and dill pickle potato chips to complete the meal.

  • Roger A. Blizzard

    Sadly, most of you probably never had the opportunity to try the King of all Chips…(drum roll, please)…Sour Cream and Onion Flavored Doritos.

    Unfortunately for all of you junk food lover’s, these chips were only around for a short period of time and apparently were very regional. These were around in the 1970’s for about 5 years and they were the absolute best potato chip I have ever eaten. Interestingly, they just sort of disappeared. I read a thread a few years ago about them but basically, no one at Frito-Lay seems to have a reasonable explanation as to what happened to them or why they were discontinued. At one point, Frito Lay even denied that they had ever existed.

    Don’t confuse these with the Doritos that came out in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. The Sonic Sour Cream and Doritos Extreme versions are absolute wimps compared to the 1970’s version. And ironically, there is a lot of speculation that these pale imitators were attempts by Frito-Lay to recreate the original formula that appears to have been lost.

    They came in a green bag and these babies were absolutely caked with seasonings. They were really, REALLY strong and had a fantastic onion flavor. We used to buy two or three bags a week.

    Sadly, you can’t get the chip anymore, but the memory lives on.

  • eileen

    good god, those things are AWFUL. they first marketed them here as something in the area of “mystery flavor #378” and had a name contest or something, and we made the mistake of buying them only to get our first taste in of mcdonald’s cheeseburger with pickles in years. only, you know, in powder form, and on chips. BARF.

    • Mike

      You say barf-o dusty replica of terrible cheeseburgers; I say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

      Flavor science is unrelentingly AWESOME!

  • willow

    DISGUSTING! they smell like the trash can at your typical fast-food joint! why on earth would you make a flavour that resembles the epitome of all that is wrong with american fast-food! It smells and tastes raunchy…made me want to throw up! how about trying some real flavoured food, not some chemically engineered crap that tastes like the by-product of your own barf!

    • Mike

      Because there is no such thing as “real flavored” junk food. When even the potatoes are imbued with “potato flavoring”, why not really stick your face in the dirt?

      • willow

        I’d rather stick my face in dirt than eat those chips 🙂

        • Mike

          Ha! Then perversely enough, that’s actually a success — that describes the late-night cheeseburger experience perfectly.

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