Here’s an addendum to the synergistic explosion of flavor experiment that I conducted
a few months ago between Doritos and Pepsi Max: Cease Fire. I was recently putting
together a purchase at an online Japanese retailer when I discovered wasabi flavored
Doritos on the site. Of course this snack would be added to my purchase, if for
no other reason than to continue my Doritos experiments. However, I didn’t realize
how outrageous shipping costs are when you order a bunch of shit from Japan. I needed
time to rethink my order. Did I really need an ear cleaning scoop with a mini origami
bird hanging from the tip? Well, yes I do actually. What about that microwave potato
chip maker? Yup, that stays. The badass Starscream figure? Mine! I’m such a nerd.
I could find most of the Japanese snacks at Epcot, though. Wasabi Doritos, along
with the other Japanese snacks, would have to wait.
On the way up to Atlanta, Georgia last week, we stopped at a 7-11 for some snacks
and gas. In the store, my eyes were immediately drawn to a lime green bag of Doritos
called Mr. Dragon’s Fire Chips. Out of reflex, my arm snatched two bags for the
8 hour trek. It wasn’t until I gave the bags a second glance at the checkout counter
that it dawned on me just what kind of treasure I had stumbled upon. These were
Wasabi Doritos! Here! In America! Without the ludicrous shipping charge!
Behold! Mr. Dragon's Fire Chips
Unfortunately, I could not find a bottle of Cease Fire to ensure the scientific
integrity of this experiment. I had to substitute regular old Pepsi Max. I hope
you will forgive the crudity of my methods. Mr. Dragon’s Fire Chips is possibly
the most awesome name ever derived for a snack food. It ranks right up there with
Astro Pops, which besides having a cool space age name, got even cooler when they
had to redesign the rocket-shaped candy because they were edible stabbing weapons.
Wasabi is a different type of spice than the pepper based spices that you usually
find in chips. This shit makes a beeline straight to your nose. There’s a fine line
between getting just the perfect amount of wasabi with your food and looking like
somebody punched you in the snot locker. It has taken me years of sushi eating to
find that perfect mix of sushi, soy sauce and wasabi. I remember the first time
I ever tried wasabi and sushi. I hated it. Loathed it. Worst food EVAR! How in the
hell could so many people love this crap? Eating raw fish was like chewing on a
tongue and the sushi rolls tasted like seafloor! Spicy, snot-inducing, seafloor.
I am an anime junky and lover of all things Japanese, so I tried sushi on numerous
occasions, willing myself to like it, but instead failing miserably. I swore off
it for years until the day my sister-in-law, against my wishes, dropped some serious
coin on a tableful of sushi. I gave in and ate it out of guilt. By the time I was
finished, I had somehow acquired a taste. I’m now and forever a sushi fiend. Thank
you sister-in-law who never listens when I say, “No!”
Mr. Dragon’s Fire Chips have an off-putting, toxic green, cakey powder all over
them. Why can’t the wasabi powder look as awesome as the normal red-orange Doritos?
I expected the chips to be dyed green like some brands of guacamole chips. This
would at least hide the clumps of wasabi powder that make the chips look encrusted
with mold. I ignored the rotted appearance and shoved an entire chip in my mouth.
My intial thought was, ”Mr. Dragon, you hack! You took Cool Ranch Doritos and dyed
the powder green!” Then, about three seconds later, the wasabi slaps you in the
face. Everyone who tried them, myself included, gave the same I-just-snorted-lemon-juice
expression while trying their first wasabi Dorito. Like sushi, it’s an acquired
taste. I hated the flavor at first, but still slammed about three-quarters of the
bag before I had to tap out. They got better, but I still needed a day-long break
before finishing off the bag.
The first bag was to stave off starvation and boredom while driving up the I-75
black hole of drudgery from Tampa to Atlanta. The second bag was for review purposes.
Again, my sincere apologies for lack of Cease Fire from this experiment. My conclusion
in the last article was that the lime in Cease Fire was either barely existent or
a placebo effect caused by the green lettering on the bottle. Thus, I proposed that
the use of Pepsi Max as a replacement would have only minute effects on the overall
A view down a bag of wasabi Doritos. That's a lot of space between opening and chips.
Eating the second bag was not nearly as dramatic as the first bag. The chips still
contained the familiar Cool Ranch flavor with an aftershock of wasabi, but it did
not induce violent head convulsions like the first bag did. I developed an immunity
to the side effect seizures of Mr. Dragon’s Fire Chips, but as I mentioned, the
flavor was still the same. I ate four chips noting that the spice was not hot whatsoever,
just wasabi-y. A sip of Pepsi Max washed away whatever spice existed in the first
place, leaving only the distinct flavor of Cool Ranch Doritos on my tongue.
Such wild claims. But I want to believe in you, Mr. Dragon. And your Fire Chips.
This experiment heightened my suspicions that Mr. Dragon merely added a little wasabi
to Cool Ranch Doritos, gave them a kick ass name, an awesome looking bag, and put
them on the store shelves. While they do not live up the billing of “Fire Chips”
once you get used to the bizarre combination of wasabi and tortilla chips, they
are kind of tasty in small quantities. The flavor is only tolerable for about 10
chips before you get tired of it and close the bag creating built-in portion control.
As for the synergistic combination with Pepsi Max: it’s not bad. Pepsi Max and the
wasabi flavor of the Doritos effectively cancel each other out. It’s not a total
palate washing—more akin to eating Cool Ranch Doritos and drinking water. The main
issue is the staying power of Mr. Dragon’s Fire Chips. With the small quantity of
chips that you can throw down in one sitting, they do not hold their own against
other flavors of Doritos. The combination of wasabi and Doritos is like chocolate-covered
gummi bears. Apart, they’re awesome. Combined, you anticipate a legendary blend
of snacking perfection, but the end result is not nearly as delicious as you want
it to be.