Taco Bell: Fiery Doritos Locos Taco is a Spicy New Hit

In March 2012, the stars aligned when Taco Bell and Doritos teamed up to provide their customers with a product that combined the best that both companies had to offer: the Doritos Locos Taco! By now this delicious treat has become a juggernaut in the fast food world with over a half billion shells sold!

The concept for this item was simple: upgrade the traditional tortilla chip hard taco shell with the exact same flavoring as Doritos. The initial launch of the DLT (fast food shorthand for Doritos Locos Taco) featured the mainstay of the Doritos product line: Nacho Cheese flavored chips. Taco Bell used this new Nacho Cheese shell to create a fresh look for their classic taco and taco supreme. The DLT was received with such incredible success that Taco Bell celebrated the one year anniversary by releasing another flavor, Cool Ranch, in March 2013. Now, less than six months after the introduction of the Cool Ranch DLT, Taco Bell has done it again! Nationally released this week was the third flavor…Fiery Doritos Locos Taco!

Uno, dos, TRES…FUEGO!

Avid fans of Doritos chips may be slightly puzzled by this taco. The reason for this confusion is that Doritos does not offer a “Fiery” tortilla chip as part of their product line. The Fiery DLT is actually modeled after the Flamas Dorito chip. These chips have hot pepper and chili spices that are layered with a hint of lime. So the obvious question is: “Why wouldn’t Taco Bell just name this item the Flamas Doritos Locos Taco?” Other than being a literal mouthful, there’s actually a hilarious backstory to the new name. Taco Bell conducted a regional pre-release of the new DLT using “Flamas” in the title, and it was reported that during this promotional period there were some mix-ups regarding the pronunciation of the new taco. You guessed it! Several customers began to mistakenly call the new, spicy taco “Flame-ass” (instead of “flah-mahs) Doritos Locos Taco. Not wanting to associate their newest taco with the side-effects of half of their food (we’ve all been there – see the picture below) Taco Bell opted for the less digestionally inclined, Fiery Doritos Locos Taco.

Flamas is right!

The regular Fiery DLT ($1.39) is made up of the fiery shell filled with seasoned beef, lettuce, and shredded cheddar cheese. Those of you looking for a more complete taco should opt for the Fiery Doritos Locos Taco Supreme ($1.69), which adds sour cream and diced tomatoes to the regular DLT’s make-up. When I first unwrapped my taco I took note of the shell, and specifically the way that Doritos and Taco Bell chose to blend the chili and lime. The shell is made up of the “fiery” chip that is dusted with a lime seasoning. I was initially hesitant of this method due to my less than satisfactory experience with the grossly smothered Tostitos’ Hint of Lime chips (which ruined a perfectly good bowl of guacamole because of the generous “hint” of lime that Tostitos provided). But with a single bite of the Fiery DLT, I knew that Taco Bell had found glory where Tostitos had failed miserably. The mixed flavors of the shell did not overpower the core of the taco at all. The heat from the chips and the dusting of lime perfectly complimented and easily blended with the familiar taco ingredients. The noticeable kick of chili flavor sticks to your lips a little, but like any tequila shot, the blow is softened by the fruity zest. Both help to create a remarkably traditional – and satisfying – Mexican flavor profile.

Why purple?

My natural reaction when I finished my meal was to compare the new Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos to its predecessors, the Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch. I ran into a bit of difficulty because each of these items were created by Taco Bell to accomplish something different. The original release of the Nacho Cheese DLT was meant to be dynamic and catch the attention of the fast food industry, while the addition of the Cool Ranch taco seemed to be geared towards creating a contrast to the Nacho Cheese option. And clearly they were just catering to Doritos fans by including the second favorite flavor. With this third Doritos Locos Taco, it appears as if Taco Bell has focused less on shock value and more on sticking closer to its Mexican roots. It’s about as close to traditional Mexican flavor as Taco Bell will ever get. In that, I’d say the Fiery DLT is a brilliant success.

With all that being said, I did settle on my official Doritos Locos Taco rankings (with only a slight cop-out):

First Place: Nacho Cheese DLT

First Place (tie): Fiery DLT

Third Place (last): Cool Ranch DLT

The classic is probably your best bet, but with a price tag at less than $2 each, why not just have your dinner be a feast of all three? Let us know which is your favorite! Hopefully, this should hold you over until the inevitable release of the fourth version of Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Taco. What will we see next?

Let’s pray it’s not this one…