Doritos has really been on quite the roll as of late. They kicked things off with the stellar Tacos at Midnight and Last Call Jalapeno Poppers, the first two flavors of their now renowned Late Night Line of Chips, and then built off of that success with All Nighter Cheeseburger, another stellar chip that literally blew my mind. With this success I figured it would be at least two more Late Night Flavors before the snack food giant decided to release any kind of strange flavor without the now trust brand labeled on the bag.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to hear about Mr. Dragon’s Fire Chips, a very strange product with an even stranger name. Equipped with the Japanese treat known as wasabi — a very spicy seasoning somewhat comparable to American hot sauce (though not really, more on that in a moment), can I chock up another high score for Doritos?
Let’s talk about wasabi for those of you who may be uninformed. Wasabi is unlike any other flavor, and it is delicious. The closest thing we have here in America to compare it to would be hot sauce, but that’s only because of the massive level of heat wasabi adds to anything it touches. But it is a much more pleasant burn than hot sauce, pepper sauce, or Tabasco, because it doesn’t linger on your palate, torturing your taste buds with unnecessary and unpleasant spice. Don’t get me wrong, I love hot sauce as much as (probably even more than) the next guy, but the fact that the heat isn’t easily washed away makes it a double edged sword. With wasabi, once you swallow it the pain is gone.
Walk into any sort of Asian food store and you are going to find all kinds of wasabi-flavored foods. Wasabi peas are a favorite of mine, but there are also wasabi flavored shrimp chips, dehydrated squid with wasabi, wasabi chocolate. Hell, there’s even wasabi beer! However, take a tour through your local Kroger or other grocery store and chances are that you won’t find much outside of a tube of the green paste (yes, wasabi is a paste) in the oriental aisle. Americans aren’t very familiar with this spice from the other side of the world, and if you ask someone if they’ve ever had it, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll say no.
That is probably why Doritos has chosen not to label this chip as being wasabi-flavored, instead playing on our hickish love for spice and simultaneously paying tribute to the country of origin with the traditional Japanese dragon, a symbol of luck for our friends on the other side of the planet. The only place you’ll see a mention of wasabi is in the list of ingredients on the bag.
But enough of this damned obnoxious rambling! You don’t care about all of that crap. You want to know if this snack is worth your money!
I say yes. Mr. Dragon’s Fire Chips are very good. In fact, they are delicious. Coated with a green powder giving them a unique appearance that many Americans are going to mistake for guacamole, these chips are one hell of a snack. My only qualm is that Doritos went relatively light with the wasabi, instead of piling it on there for a truly powerful kick with ever bite. It just goes to show that all food companies think us Americans are wimps that can’t handle heat. Still, I cannot deny the deliciousness of the combination of wasabi with the corn chip. It creates a fantastic and scrumptious little concoction that I will be enjoying regularly as long as these things are on the shelves. And unlike the Late Night Chips, which are best in moderation, Mr. Dragon’s Fire Chips are as addictive as cocaine and never lose their appeal, always satisfying with every spicy crunch.
If you don’t like wasabi, however, you are obviously not going to like these chips. I will say that I handed them out to many people that I work with, and everyone who wasn’t afraid of trying something new loved them. One coworker, a young man named Alex Reid, stated that they taste like Cool Ranch Doritos at first, followed by a bit of a kick.
Doritos continues its winning streak with Mr. Dragon’s Fire Chips. Wasabi works very well on a corn chip, and serves as a very unique and refreshingly delicious flavor, especially to a market unfamiliar with the delightful spice. Many Americans that haven’t tasted it are even afraid of it, thinking it will just burn their mouth beyond repair. Knowing this, wasabi isn’t advertised on the bag as an ingredient, and Doritos went a little light on the wasabi flavoring, perhaps a little hesitant to do something that may scare away potential customers. Regardless of that, these chips are awesome.
- Wasabi works rather well with corn chips
- Bag is unique and eye-catching
- Americans who are afraid of wasabi
- The wasabi flavor could’ve been more powerful
Score: 9.0/10 (Outstanding)