Talkin' Snack: Taco Bell "sauce packet-inspired" tortilla chips | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Talkin' Snack: Taco Bell "sauce packet-inspired" tortilla chips

"I keep expecting them to get worse but they don't."

Taco Bell is a fast food restaurant known for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and monstrous hybrids of all three. They are not typically known for commercially sold snack products, but that might be changing. In other words, there were Taco Bell tortilla chips at Rite Aid so I bought them.

In March, Taco Bell launched three flavors of "sauce packet-inspired chips" (inspired by their own sauce packets). The chips come in Classic, Mild, and Fire flavors (there are also limited-edition Diablo chips available only at 7-11). I went with Mild because there was no Classic at the store and the packaging on the Fire chips said "challenge accepted," which felt threatening.

On the outside of the bag, the picture of the chips looks yellow, like a lightly flavored tortilla chip. But the chips inside the bag are more orange — a pale Dorito. They are generously covered in seasoning, but not necessarily in a good way. The flavor is both strong and confusing. It mostly tastes like taco seasoning, although one coworker commented that they also taste a little like Indian food. They are mild in spice but also difficult to eat dry. 
The heavy seasoning seems to weigh down the chips, giving them less than optimal crunch. They also might just be stale. The expiration date on the bag is in three weeks, which is basically expired in Chip Years. After doing some investigating (reading reviews on Amazon), it seems the stale taste is common. The review consensus on the Fire chips is that they are okay but not that spicy, however, most of the reviews complain that the chips arrived crushed. "Came completely smashed and in packaging that was obviously too big for it, which helped promote more smashing," wrote one reviewer.

If you are thinking about ordering these online because they're not available in a nearby store, don't, because they're not that good and also shipping chips is an absurd way to acquire chips!

They are not terrible chips. They would taste good with sour cream, or some other refreshing dip to cut through the seasoning. After tasting them, another coworker noted: "I keep expecting them to get worse but they don't." Maybe that's the best we can hope for out of novelty chip, or even this little thing called life!

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