Dorilocos

We've been doing Doritos all wrong. If you're like me, for most of your life you've just eaten them out of the bag. Just like that. What else are you supposed to do with them?  As a kid I would put the Cool Ranch ones in my PB&Js (I know), and the most I had ever seen someone do with a Dorito in other countries was dip it in salsa. Granted, they do release crazy limited edition flavors (especially in Asia) including gems such as Clam Chowder, Mountain Dew, 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin' Habanero, Fish Taco, Shrimp Mayo, Tomato & Onion Salad, and Crispy Salmonbut we stop there. Mexicans, however, don't stop there. They created something called Dorilocos or "Crazy Doritos".

  Nacho Cheese Doritos, carrot, beet, and cumber shreds, curitos, Hot Nuts Fuego, chamoy, Tajín, lime

Nacho Cheese Doritos, carrot, beet, and cumber shreds, curitos, Hot Nuts Fuego, chamoy, Tajín, lime

My first Dorilocos encounter was something like confusion with a side of curiosity and amazement. I was waiting for a combi in Nezahualcóytl, Mexico City and I saw someone eating a bag of Doritos out of the side of the bag with a fork. Later on I saw the carts and tents in the tianguis* dishing these out like nobody's business. Hot sauces, jicama, beats, nuts, carrots, fruit, a seemingly endless variety of stuff all went in the bag, only to come out again at the command of a long plastic fork. So what exactly are these and how did all this get started? To answer that we have to go way back in time to the 1960's with the birth of the Dorito. 

  Flamin' Hot con Limón Doritos, sliced avocado, salsa guajillo, salsa Valentina, Churritos Hot, lime

Flamin' Hot con Limón Doritos, sliced avocado, salsa guajillo, salsa Valentina, Churritos Hot, lime

Doritos were invented in Disneyland, of all places, in 1964 as part of their "Mexican" (I use the word very loosely here) restaurant called Casa de Fritos (Fritos referring to Frito-Lay) as part of their Frontierland park. Journalist and author Gustavo Arellano of the OC Weekly explains that one of Disneyland's suppliers, Alex Foods, started making the chips as a way to use up tortillas that were going to be tossed out. They were plain tortilla chips, or totopos, and it wasn't until 1972 that the famous Nacho Cheese flavor was introduced. They also had a vague flavor called "taco" before the Nacho Cheese came out. 

To be honest, Frontierland sounds like my worse nightmare. Just looking at the listed menu items on old posters makes me cringe, and the photos I've seen of the place embody every Mexican stereotype imaginable. I wasn't able to find the exact date when Doritos were introduced in Mexico, I even spoke to a Frito-Lay corporate rep about it who was very polite and wished me luck with my blog but said he did not have the information I was searching for. I imagine it wasn't long before street venders started dressing up Doritos with Mexican flare. After all, the same concept had already been applied to other chips, totopos, and chicarrón in a simpler fashion with salsa and lime. 

  Cool Ranch Doritos, Japanese peanuts, pickled red onion, dried mango, salsa Valentina, jicama, shredded cucumber, Tajín

Cool Ranch Doritos, Japanese peanuts, pickled red onion, dried mango, salsa Valentina, jicama, shredded cucumber, Tajín

Truth be told, the first time I saw Dorilocos in all their glory my first though was: "oh my god." Like a lot of things in Mexico, it seemed like too much. Too many flavors, too many textures, too many colors. How could this possibly be good? But Mexico City has a way of pulling off sensory overload in a really sophisticated way, and Dorilocos are no exception. 

 Incógnita Doritos, salsa guajillo, candied jalapeños, curry, cilantro. 

Incógnita Doritos, salsa guajillo, candied jalapeños, curry, cilantro. 

Yes, I just said that gas station chips tossed with what seems like the entire contents of the pantry are sophisticated. Let me explain why. The word sophisticated comes from the Medieval Latin word sophisticatus which means 'tampered with', and later in Middle English it referred to something that had been 'mixed with a foreign substance' or 'adulterated'In modern English it has come to now mean complex, shaped by experience, worldly. Dorilocos take a foreign substance (Doritos), tamper with and mix them with local elements and have, over time, been made more and more complex through the experience and influence of one of the biggest cities and cultural centers in the world. Dorilocos, by definition, are sophisticated. 

  Salsa Verde Doritos, Avocado slices, Mexico City esquites, cilantro, lime mayo, raw tomatillo and lime. 

Salsa Verde Doritos, Avocado slices, Mexico City esquites, cilantro, lime mayo, raw tomatillo and lime. 

Dorilocos really don't need a recipe, they are really a throw and go kind of snack, but I put together something for you guys if you want to try these at home. It's kind of hard to define what a 'classic' Dorilocos combination would be, but of all the different varieties I've seen there are common elements throughout and that is what I've put on the classic here. I've also put together a new mix for you guys. That's the fun of Dorilocos, there is no wrong way to do it. Have fun, experiment, use what you have, try new flavors and combinations, and don't be afraid to get a little crazy. 

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* Tianguis are magical open air markets that take over entire blocks of the city on certain days of the week and have everything from produce and meat to tacos and other prepared foods.