This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
If anyone were to ask me my favorite snack, I would say you, Doritos. Nacho cheese to be exact. Not spicy nacho, not cool ranch. Nacho cheese Doritos in the red bag. Ever since I was a kid, I loved your salty, cheesy taste, not caring that it wasn’t real cheese. Finishing a bag was bittersweet. I’d be done (the bitter), but I’d get to lick the fingertips of my thumb, pointer and middle fingers (the sweet). I used my two front bottom teeth to scrape the cheesy powder from my fingers. No matter how much I licked, though, I had to go wash my hands with soap and water or else risk staining anything I touched.
I loved when my father shopped at BJ’s Wholesale Club and purchased you and your “cousins” in a Frito-Lay Classic Mix Variety Pack. Lay’s, Sun Chips, Fritos, Cheetos, Cool Ranch and Nacho. All were good, but they couldn’t compare to Nacho cheese. My younger brothers, who destroyed every- and anything in their paths, like the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil, felt the same. You, Nacho Cheese, were always the first to go, so I came up with a rule, co-signed by my father, that divvied up snacks equally amongst us. It applied to bags of chips, Entenmann’s assorted donuts, mini-juices, popsicles, hot dogs, eggs. Anything in multiples. I didn’t care to add Oreos to the list. Once we used up our allotment, we could and did barter for other goodies, but I never traded you, Doritos.
My love for you did not wane as I got older. In junior high, my father gave me an allowance which I used to purchase a 25-cent bag after school at a nearby convenience store—even if I’d had a bag earlier with lunch. The habit continued throughout high school, where if I didn’t purchase a bag at lunch, I purchased one at the local CVS.
My love for you has been the cause of some playful ribbing from co-workers. One said a Super Bowl ad featuring a kid slapping a man over his mother and Doritos made him laugh and think of me. At another job, in a mass email, a co-worker sent a site with various flavors, flavors I had never heard of; another Photoshopped me hugging a gigantic bag of Doritos.
The teasing was warranted. Almost every late afternoon–always late afternoon–co-workers were subject to hearing the crinkling of my Doritos bag and the crunching of the tortilla chips purchased from the lobby of my office building. The bag cost $1, and although I could save money by purchasing the larger $3+ bag to keep at home or work, I did not, for fear I would not exercise portion control. One time I disgusted myself by eating a whole 10 oz bag of Doritos while watching a Netflix movie.
On two separate birthdays, two different co-workers gifted me a bag of you as a birthday gift. The first time was by a female co-worker. She bought a large bag and left it on my desk. She told me that when she bought you, her husband asked her to be sure she was buying the right flavor because people, not just me, are serious about their Doritos. He was right, she was wrong. She purchased Cool Ranch. I told her I appreciated the gift nonetheless and by the end of the week, the blue bag was empty.
The second time, a male co-worker/friend, gifted me a much smaller bag. We were meeting in Times Square to watch a Broadway show, which was the real gift, but I loved you just as equally.
Several times I’ve debated with others which of your two most popular flavors is better: Cool Ranch or Nacho Cheese. I noticed there’s currently a movie tie-in contest on the Doritos site. Batman vs. Superman; Cool Ranch vs. Nacho Cheese. I will always and forever choose Nacho Cheese.
Out of curiosity I have sampled other flavors, like Spicy Sweet Chili in the purple bag. It was…ok. This past weekend after catching an early release screening of Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead, a friend and I dashed into Duane Reade to get some snacks for the ride home. She chose two bags of M&Ms, her love. I spotted an unfamiliar yellow bag with a familiar logo. Taco Explosion Mix featured Spicy Nacho, Taco, Sour Cream and Salsa. I could not wait to get home to enjoy in the privacy of my home.
Once I arrived, I told myself I’d be good and consume only half the bag. In the midst of watching just a few minutes of a DVR’d show, I emptied the bag. I could not pick a favorite of the four.
You’ve popped up in unexpected places, like as a shell at Taco Bell, or as an option at a sushi bar. There have been times when you’ve disappointed me, like when there’s barely a dusting of delicious cheese on your tortilla chips. On the other hand, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a massive dose of flavor, when it seems that you’ve received a double or triple dousing of flavoring. One time, I raved to a cousin when I found a chip darkened to an almost brown color on both sides. I set it aside to savor last.
I should be ashamed of my love for you, but I am not. I’m sorry that I’ve had to stray from you these past few years. We go long stretches without not even so much as nibble. I’d like to say “it’s not you, it’s me,” but it is you. I am trying to better myself and you sometimes get in the way. I’ve cheated on you with Lime flavored Tostitos, dipped in guacamole. I admit, it’s not the same, but it’s better for me. He may have my attention, but you’ll always have my heart.