Snack of The Week: Doritos Fiery Habanero

This entry marks the start of hopefully will be a recurring weekly feature on Off the Broiler, the Snack of The Week. I’d like to give credit to the idea of this feature to Jonathan Lurie, novelty snack and candy product fiend extraordinaire, who will likely be contributing to this series in the future. While there are certainly some fine sites out there like and Junk Food Blog that specialize in this sort of thing on a day to day basis, we think that we can bring a certain level of expertise to this area, despite being only able to do a few dozen of these a year.

To kick off this new feature, we have aptly chosen the new Doritos Fiery Habanero snack chip.

Snack At A Glance (SNAAG)

Product Name: Doritos Fiery Habanero

Manufacturer: Frito Lay, Inc.

Genre: Corn Tortilla Chip, Seasoned, Hot and Spicy

Year of Introduction:
Late 2005/Early 2006.

Nutritional Data: 130 Calories per ounce (11 chips, or one serving) or 360 Calories per 2 and 3/4oz bag. 7 grams of fat per ounce, 240mg of Sodium per serving. Zero Trans-Fats and 16 carbs per serving.

Primary Seasonings: MSG, Cheese Powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Tomato Powder, Habanero Chile

I’ve been a fan of Doritos for a very long time, ever since they were introduced in the mid-1970’s. Over the years Frito-Lay has experimented with a number of interesting flavors, including a short-lived “Taco” flavor in the late 70’s and the early ’80s which approximated the taste of Taco Bell-type beef tacos (which appears to have been recently revived but is not available in every market). Around 2003-2004 a “Nacho Bold” was introduced, which was later re-marketed as “Spicy Nacho”. “Ranchero”, a Chile/Lime flavor and “Salsa Verde” were also recently introduced, positioning Doritos as more of an authentic Mexican flavor tortilla snack and for a more adventurous and Chile-loving crowd than in previous incarnations. “Blazin’ Buffalo” also continues with this trend, merging their long-successful Cool Ranch flavor with a Buffalo-style wing sauce taste. Spicy Habanero is a major departure from previous Doritos snacks that have been introduced previously.

While Spicy Nacho, Ranchero and Blazin’ Buffalo all have some chile component in the seasoning blend, Spicy Habanero is really quite hot, approaching heat levels of specialty Chile-head snacks available in gourmet stores and boutique hot sauce shops. Remember, Doritos is a mass-market product, so this is a major change in marketing and demographics for such a large snack giant.

Fiery Habanero retains the signature base seasoning blend common to most Doritos, with MSG clearly in the the front, followed by the other savory elements, but finishing off with a huge, fruity Habanero chile whallop. It is not for the timid or for your average Joe Sixpack or whitebread American consumer. It is by far, the ballsiest Doritos and mass market chip snack yet to be introduced to the North American market. It is a tasty, albeit quite salty and very spicy snack, and is not to be pooh-poohed by the gourmet snack crowd just because it comes from a very mainstream snack producer.

I hope that this product is successful and Frito-Lay keeps it on the market, paving the way for more really spicy snacks to come.

5 Responses to Snack of The Week: Doritos Fiery Habanero

  1. Jon says:

    130 Calories per ounce? Ouch. No wonder they call it “junk food”!

    Overall, I’ve never been a big fan of Doritos, but when I stumbled upon this chip and unexpectedly liked it, I KNEW it was right up Jason’s alley, and recommended it to him along with the idea of making a regular feature out of snack reviews (its done elsewhere on the web, but not as well as I think Jason can do it).

    And to be completely honest, this Dorito flavor IS a large improvement over any other Dorito flavor I’d tasted before. Due to whatever weird chemistry they use, you can actually taste a slight bit of fruityness through the heat, and that’s how I tend to distinguish Habanero from other “hot” flavors. So its accurate in that.

    Also one tip for dealing with the crushed detritus in the bottom of a bag (particularly if you buy the big 13 ounce bag). Since its most likely too crushed for easy eating anyway, crush it up even more and use it in place of bread crumbs in a recipe which calls for them.

    Off The Broiler. Proving that pieces about Ferran Adria and Doritos CAN peacefully co-exist in the same blog!

  2. hey Jason,

    Great idea for a weekly feature. I will be sure to tune in!

    I too love Doritos. Its definately the msg that brings them to the next level of snack.

  3. Jeffrey Alme says:

    I just bought a 13. oz bag of the ” Fiery Hot ” Doritos, I only bought them out of curiosity.
    Good yet they just tasted a little to salty, I think Habanero Chip, I think of the Blair’s extreme heat, Chips.
    they are the best I’ve had in comparison, to them they aren’t much to talk about , yet for mainstream, I’m glad to see some new “heat” Ha-Ha!

  4. JANETTE says:


  5. John says:

    Doritos have been around since the 60’s dude…not the 70’s.

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