Bacon Steak and Tomato Doritos ‘n’ Chips for Highball

“Your mom. Champagne glass. 64% classier.” – Your Mom Is Clubbin’
Here at Foodette, we prioritize a number of elite values in the food blogging world, not the least of which is “above all, pretension.” And everyone knows that Japanified versions of American snacks designed to pair with cocktails are pretentious, to say the least, without even mentioning that these chips are endorsed by an expert, Japan’s best sommelier in 1995, Shinya Tasaki. Hell yes? I mean, look at this guy’s face. Sniffing out of a Riedel Burgundy glass in a tuxedo. I would trust everything that man said even if he told me he could take me on a tour of Hell in between sips of DRC La Tache.
J-List sent these over for us to try. According to the description, Mr. Tasaki and Frito-Lay formulated these chips to ride on the coattails of the burgeoning Asian wine market sales. Because nothing goes as well with an $8,000 bottle of 1947 Petrus like Doritos and Sun Chips, am I right? This particular flavor was designed to pair well with cocktails, presumably ones you can enjoy with Tasaki’s $200 corkscrew and bottle opener. The bag has two different types of chips, flavored like bacon steak and tomato ketchup. The chips are smaller than your average Dorito but still have the rounded edges and thicker crunch of Japanese Doritos. The scent is pungent, like getting a noseful of Spanish paprika and tomato sauce, with an almost cloying initial sweetness wafting up from the bag.
The Doritos were definitely more successful than the Sun Chips, with a light, crispy crunch and wonderful flavor. These tasted like the Herr’s Heinz ketchup chips but with a deeper, richer tomato sauce flavor, with a brown sugar edge and garlic bite to them. They were very sweet, but not in a way that made them inedible or incongruous with the rest of the chips. The natural sweet, oily flavor of the corn chip was a wonderful carrier of the ketchup flavor. It sort of put regular ketchup to shame as I felt that the flavor was just deeper and tangier, more of a marinara but somehow sweeter. Unique and a little strange to adjust to, but tasty.
The Sun Chips were supposed to mimic the exact flavor of the giant, quivering bacon slab on the package. A tough act to follow. And they crumbled in the face of porcine goodness, providing a weak smoky flavor dominated by the corny heft of the chip. No bacon, no fattiness, nothing that would have suggested meat or even barbecue sauce. It mainly tasted like ground black pepper and corn, not a bad flavor profile, but also not bacon. I’ve noted this before in Japanese Cheetos- all of the chips are much thicker and the denser ones end up having a dry noodle-like texture. Not a bad thing, but also kind of strange to get used to.
So the chips were good on their own, but what about alongside a few drinks? In one of the most stupidly surreal Foodette photoshoots ever, we documented the success of these chips as snacks and as cocktail pairings with what else? Bakon vodka, because you can’t eat bacon chips without drinking a bacon drink. Says so somewhere in the Bible or something.
We made three cocktails, two contemporary and one classic to try with the chips. Our first cocktail didn’t utilize bacon outside of a small curled garnish. It was a classic gin and tonic, nothing more, nothing less. The sweet cooked tomato flavor of the Doritos really amplified the sweet juniper notes in the gin, but neither was so sweet as to feel like a dessert or candy.
The second cocktail was kind of a “kitchen sink” style drink to gross out Miss Love and also see how the chips held up with a little spice. Enter the Flaming Bacon- bacon vodka, hot pepper vodka, Prometheus Springs pomegranate black pepper juice, club soda, and a salsa dipped bacon garnish. Despite the grocery list of ingredients and the science beaker presentation, it didn’t taste like ass and the chips held up to the spice of the drink. It was surprisingly the best combination of the triad.
Our last drink failed and completely overwhelmed the chips. The Broker’s Breakfast had hazelnut espresso vodka, bacon vodka, milk, and club soda. It was atrociously flavored and discordant with a fake sweetener aftertaste. The creaminess destroyed the flavors of the chips with a filmy, boozy tang. But aside from that, it seemed like the chips actually were congruent with fruity, tangy, and even spicy drinks. Then again, what salty snack isn’t? These would be a unique alternative to a traditional pub mix, but didn’t seem wildly outside of the realm of other sodium-laden nibbles designed to sop up booze. Maybe the wine-based Doritos will prove to be more successful.

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