7-Eleven launched its nationwide release of their new Doritos Loaded yesterday, which according to a press release is “a new snack, triangular in shape, loaded with melted cheese and encrusted with bold Doritos Nacho Cheese flavor.”
They come in a pack of four for $1.99, are served warm, and were described by Kevin Pang at the Chicago Tribune as the “edible equivalent of the online clickbait.” Others, like Pang, have not been so kind to the Doritos Loaded, a staffer at Bustle likens them to a “confused chicken nugget” while the Huffington Post’s Andy Campbell tweeted, “I already have diarrhea.” Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal muses that the 7-Eleven and Doritos have hit the market at the right time because snack consumption is higher than ever.
The reviews had us scratching our heads. To try, or not to try?
But in the case a possible natural disaster — like say, a tornado, a hurricane, or rescheduled Fourth of July fireworks display traffic jam in the midst of a 90+ degree weather — it’s good to have some snacks stocked up.
So we decided to try them.
First of all, they were not very easy to find. Matt — who you may remember from our Oreo taste test — was once again sent out in to the field to track down the Doritos Loaded. It wasn’t until a failed attempt (730 Morrissey Blvd in Dorchester) and an e-mail to 7-Eleven PR later that we discovered only locations serving hot foods carry the product. Matt managed to track them down at 91-911 Causeway by the Garden, and I spotted a window display at the location at Massachusetts Avenue and Washington in the South End on my way home. They’re around. Just keep sniffin’.
We were told by 7-Eleven PR that the product is best consumed immediately, so I asked Matt to eat one before he drove back to the office.
“It was OK.”
Unlike most advert-to-real-life fast foods, the Doritos Loaded looks exactly like its promotional photos, but I’m not so sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. They kind of look like an off-brand mozzarella stick, coated in bright orange powder, shaped like a triangle — presumably chosen to resemble a Doritos chip in its natural form.
As a former lover of 3D Doritos (RIP), the concept of a warm puffy, cheese-filled Dorito wasn’t the worst idea in the world to me. I had been told that Doritos-Taco Bell tacos are delicious, so I thought maybe other Doritos-fused products would be, too!
Unfortunately, that was not the case.
To be absolutely fair, the Doritos Loaded spent some time baking in a car, in traffic, with Matt for about twenty minutes. They weren’t “fresh” out of the hot foods case once they got to the office, but they weren’t cold either. The smell is all-consuming. Doritos. Your brain might feel confused at this point because you’re staring at a bright orange chicken nugget-esque triangle while the tangy, cheesy unmistakable aroma of Doritos fills the air.
Most people tried them, some refused. Some backed away with hesitation, only to finally admit defeat and nibble on a corner. Someone looked extremely hesitant before asking if they were a homemade creation, only to exhale with relief when I informed them that they had be purchased from the hot foods case at 7-Eleven. Another person noted he thought they were filled with zucchini at first — which really says a lot about the state of vegetables these days.
Here’s some the choice feedback:
“No. Just no. It looks like a chicken nugget, but then you bite into it and find spray can cheese instead.”
“It is not the worst thing I’ve eaten from 7-Eleven, but not the best. I probably eat at 7-Eleven too much.”
“If I didn’t know there was cheese inside, I wouldn’t have guessed it was cheese.”
“The usually-delicious Dorito cheese taste was overwhelmed by the chalky, mushy, lukewarm cheese.”
“Delicious? No. Would I have another one for free? Yes. Would I pay for a box of them? No.”
“I’m someone who can sit and eat a full bag Doritos in one sitting because they can be that addicting, but these were really ‘meh’ to me.”
“It was kind of like when you microwave a burrito for too long and the tortilla gets all chewy and nasty — except with those the filling is still good and with these, the filling tasted like a sweaty piece of string cheese.”
To be fair, we were forewarned about eating the product immediately. You can assume most consumers who opt to dine at 7-Eleven fully intend to eat their goods right away. You wouldn’t buy a Slurpee and let it just hang out in your car for a half hour before consuming. It’s quite excellent, straight from its churning dispenser, cold and frosty. But with time, it becomes a mess. Pleasantly sugary goes to sickeningly sweet really fast.
I imagine under ideal circumstances, the same goes for Doritos Loaded. Hot, crispy, cheese-coated snack bites, with perfectly melted centers are quite appealing to some. Twenty minutes down the road: congealed, confusing, and not quite as cheesy as we all had hoped for.
Moral of the story: Doritos Loaded, potentially OK for immediate convenience-to-car consumption, bad for the apocalypse.Rachel Raczka can be reached at email@example.com. Tweet her @rachelraczka.