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The Return of Taco Flavor Doritos?

Updated on August 26, 2017

An Old Doritos Flavor Makes a Comeback. Or Does It?

We all mourn when a favorite corporate-manufactured food is taken away from us. And one of the foods I have sorely missed for decades is Taco Flavored Doritos tortilla chips.

Imagine my excitement when I saw that Taco Doritos had returned! This page chronicles my quest to reunite with this long lost friend.

(Photo of me, by me. All of the photos on this page are by me, except one. Do not copy my photos without crediting me and linking to this page)

The History of Taco Doritos

According to GenXtinct.com (here's their post on the return of Taco Doritos), Taco Flavor debuted in 1967 and it was the second flavor of Doritos ever made, right after the plain Toasted Corn flavor. That is consistent with my own hazy memory that the Taco Flavor had preceded the Nacho Cheese flavor.

Over the years, the recipe for Taco Doritos was changed a few times, and eventually they were taken off the market (I haven't been able to find a reliable timeline on all of this).

So the question would be: If Taco Doritos are back, which version is it that has come back? The ones that I loved so desperately were the original recipe from the 1970s; I ate tons of them in my childhood. Is my first love returning to me?

Poll: Did you eat Taco Doritos in the '60s or '70s?

Did you ever taste the Taco Flavor Doritos that were sold in the late 1960s and 1970s?

See results
A close-up of (modern) Taco Dorito.
A close-up of (modern) Taco Dorito.

What Did They Taste Like?

The first word that I would use to describe the flavor of the old Taco Doritos is BOLD. They didn't pull any punches. Whatever spices they used, they used a lot of them. The flavor was deep and savory in a smoky, spicy way. Spicy, yes, but not in the way that means hot, just heavily seasoned. The spices were reminiscent of the flavors you would associate with Mexican cooking, but they weren't hot.

Some people might have thought of them as overpowering, but I adored them. One of the best junk foods ever.

By 1977, They Had Already Changed the Taco Doritos Recipe

This 1977 commercial with Avery Schreiber tells us that Taco Doritos had a "new spicy flavor". Which means that already they were not the same Doritos that I first fell in love with in 1975. But as I recall it, the Doritos I had in the late '70s were still fantastic.

My Quest Begins . . .

Crystal Produce Meat Market in Lynwood, the place where I bought my trial bag of Taco Doritos.
Crystal Produce Meat Market in Lynwood, the place where I bought my trial bag of Taco Doritos.

When the Taco Flavor Doritos were first re-released, they were only available in selected stores. I used the product locator on the Frito-Lay website to search for a source near me. Fortunately, there was one close by. During my next morning walk, I went to the Crystal Produce Meat Market on Atlantic Avenue.

I had already told my kids how much I had loved Taco Doritos back in my day and how exciting it was for them to be back. They are fans of all junk foods, so they were eager to try them with me.

Once inside the store, the Taco Doritos were easy to spot. The little market had plenty of them, on a shelf surrounded by other, less-worthy chips.

I took a bag, admiring the retro look to the package. I scanned the ingredients, but since I had never paid attention to the ingredients when I was a kid, I had no idea whether it was the same recipe or not.

Was my dream coming true? I would know soon. I paid for my chips and returned home.

Back Home With My Doritos Bag

Back home with my Doritos bag
Back home with my Doritos bag

I Take the Plunge

I grabbed a Dorito and bit.

It was good!

But . . .

It wasn't awesome.

I tasted another one. Good! But . . . the old magic wasn't there.

Was it just me? Was I not remembering accurately what Taco Doritos used to taste like? Had my taste buds dulled over the years? Had I set my expectations so high that nothing could ever match them?

But these Doritos had a flavor that was not there before. A bit of a cheesy taste. The old ones had no cheese or dairy-like flavor at all. I had to admit that they really did not taste the same. The experience was a letdown.

My kids loved them, though.

The Verdict

The new Taco Flavor Doritos are alright, but they don't do that much for me that the Cool Ranch flavor doesn't do already.

They're not as good as they used to be when I was a child.

Is the Evidence on My Side?

My personal opinion, like that of many other people, was that today's "original" Taco Doritos were different from the old ones and not as good. But could I determine for sure that it was the Doritos that were at fault and not my memory?

I tried to search for information about the original recipe. The odds didn't seem that great since corporations are very good at only sharing the information they choose to share and the old Doritos pre-dated the internet by a long way.

But I found what I was looking for!

The Original Ingredients - Photographic Evidence That the New Taco Doritos Are not the Same!

The original image is of the entire bag, I just cropped and enlarged the ingredients list.
The original image is of the entire bag, I just cropped and enlarged the ingredients list. | Source

There's a guy on Flickr who has a collection of photos of old product packaging, and he took a picture of an old Taco Doritos bag. Jason kindly gave his permission for me to use his photo on this page, and I present to you the smoking-gun proof that the current Taco Doritos are NOT the original recipe. You can compare this list to the ingredients on a modern bag.

The other remarkable thing about Jason's photo is the price on the bag. They used to cost 15 cents!

Taco Flavor Doritos -- Tell me what you think!

How do you feel about the new Taco Doritos? Leave a comment in either the "Thumbs Up" list or the "Thumbs Down" list.

Readers Weigh In

Thumbs Up!
Thumbs Down!
Like you, I couldn't believe when they took the Taco Flavor off the market. I thought it was just me - that they didn't taste the same when they re-released them. I still like them, however! - Country-Sunshine
My husband read your articles and wanted me to take the side of thumbs down. He does not eat anything with cheese and was horrified when he found the new ones cheesy. He used to eat the whole bag as a snack so was also horribly disappointed. Per Gary, the new Taco Doritos gets a major thumbs down! - Ann Hinds
I've had the new Taco Flavor Doritos, and I think they're pretty good! But I don't remember eating the original ones -- I don't think I liked Doritos way back then. So I just don't know what I missed out on! - KarenHC
I agree with you. They just don't match up to the original and you're right, they taste cheesy. - tjustleft
I can't compare them because I've never tried the original taco flavor, but I did like the new, supposedly original, taco flavor. But I really enjoyed your review quite a bit. It was informative and quite humorous "on a shelf surrounded by other, less-worthy chips" Haha! - PapaKork
I'll go with thumbs down. Why do they change some things that are perfect? - Scarlettohairy
Hi Joan. I showed my 70s-crazed 16-year old son your article last night. He absolutely had to have these Doritos, and insisted I drive the 25+ miles one way to town to get them. His verdict is....a great chip! He can even taste the taco beef. I asked about the lettuce, but iceberg has no taste. Ahh, yes. So, now a definitive thumbs up can be delivered from our house. - joannalynn lm
I think they should have stuck to the original flavor. - getmoreinfo
I can't accurately remember the old flavor very well, but when I saw the bag with the little sombrero hat on it I was excited enough! The taste is not bad after all. I'll buy them again! - anonymous
These are not the same chips we ate in the 70's. The recipe is different they were better in da 70's - anonymous
I think they are the best flavor doritos has. I like that they aren't overpowering like the other flavors and the taste is perfection. I have a very hard time finding these lately though. Very frustrating. I am wondering if they are pulling them again. If I do spot a bag I have to buy for fear it's the last I will see. - Deeders
They don't taste the same... At least I don't think they do. I am gonna stick to the nacho cheese and cool ranch. These are tasty but not as good as I remember. I am saying thumbs down but of course they are tasty enough for me to finish the bag. :) - anonymous
I remember a 70s version of "Taco" Doritos, and I found this page searching for it. What I'm not sure of: Am I remembering the circa 1975 chips or the "new " 1977 chips? I loved them, but as I've often told people, they were insane. They'd burn a hole in your stomach. I also remember them having a lot of reddish powdery coloring that would come off on your fingers. I found them addictive, but in a rare case of childhood self-control, I found it was crucial to limit myself to, say, 15, or I'd feel physically bad. One of the current flavors I've tried resembles them; it may be the "spicy sweet chili" flavor, though I doubt it is identical. Sweeter? Still, the closest that seems to be in Brooklyn bodegas. avavaavra - Steve Espinola
Why oh why does Frito Lay insist on putting that nasty sour cream flavoring into every taco flavored Doritos they keep releasing! I had high hopes that these chips would be like the awesome taco flavor Doritos of the 70s and early 80s, but alas, it was not to be. Almost as soon as I put the chip into my mouth and chewed, I spat it out. The disgusting sour cream flavoring overpowers every other flavoring this chip has. Without the sour cream, this would probably be a pretty damned good chip. - Tom Hawkey
I agree with you Joan. When I was a kid a local fishing tackle store owner started stocking chips, candy and gum because he was located near the grade school that I attended. Doritos were part of what he stocked. At that time he only had the original taco flavor. I was bummed when they went away and excited to see them return. but I too was disappointed with the flavor. I even wondered if these were the original flavor. remember them being bolder and I loved them. - MHF
Back in the day Doritos and all the flavor chips had WAY less "flavor sprinkles" on them. The corn chip flavor predominated and augmented what we think of as "the flavor". Maybe if you ate a plain corn chip with a modern dorito you could approximate the old-school flavor? The old saying goes a long way "sometimes, less is more". - Jay B.
These newfangled Taco Doritos are such a major disappointment, I'm about ready to write my disappointment to the factory. These chips don't really have a taco taste at all. The flavors of cumin, chili, and oregano are missing. It tastes like a different flavored Dorito. Now personally I can't stand blue cheese or ranch flavor for dipping things into or to dress up. Blue cheese and Ranch flavors are in the new Taco Doritos, as both those ingredients are listed, and my tongue detected it right away before I even read the ingredient list. Definitely not the same flavor as the one's I ate in high school in the mid-seventies. These things are awful, I should just take them to work and leave them on the lunch table for the rest of the guys to eat. I'll never buy them again. If I buy any Frito Lay product, I'll stick to the kettle chips, that's one of the only one good things that they have left. All the Doritos taste weird, but the Tostitos light and crispy Cantina style chips? Those are a winner hands down! - Ted Hess
Found them en route to the Grand Canyon and have been hunting ever since. We love them! - Kathyanswer
In 1977 I tried Doritos Taco Flavored chips for the first time. I was ten years old. I absolutely loved them! The bold, spicy flavor was what I craved all through my teen years and into my early 20s but unfortunately Frito-Lay stopped making them and focused on the nacho cheese flavor. Sorry ,but I felt betrayed and banned nacho cheese Doritos for quite a few years! When I had seen the old familiar Doritos bag in Market Basket I was in freakin' heaven!! As long as my grocer was selling them; I was buying them. Two or three bags a week. But the recipe was not the same, not as I remember the boldness, the spices and how I could devour a bag of those chips in about an hour. I would love for Frito-Lay to reintroduce the original taco flavored tortilla chips to the northeast US; I think the market for them here will do well. - Dan K
I cannot believe there are others out there like me and my sister. We loved the original recipe! I don't understand why when something is so great they feel the Need to fix it. Thank you for your article it's perfect and mimics our thoughts exactly. - Michelle
 
The original 60s and 70s taco were the best. The new taco (from 1980 to 2016) is just a shadow of the original...too much cheese and sour cream...not enough true spices of the 1970 version. Do not be deceived...the new taco is worthless, and yes, it is a huge quality decline in taste from the original 1970 version. - Scorpio
 
I grew up in Dallas, home of Frito-Lay, and was born the same year that Taco Flavored Doritos were introduced. They were a staple of my junk food habit. I loved and still love them dearly. While I agree with most reviewers that the "new" version is not as good as the original, I do think it's closer than anything else I've tried. It's like a memory of the original... It's a little faded and lacking some detail, but it is enough to remind you of the original item. I still like them better than anything else in the Doritos brand family. - Larry M

You Can Buy Taco Doritos on Amazon - They Might not be Awesome, but They Are Good.

Doritos Tortilla Chips, Taco Flavor, 12oz Bag (Pack of 3)
Doritos Tortilla Chips, Taco Flavor, 12oz Bag (Pack of 3)

Who knows? Maybe you'll completely disagree with me. Maybe you'll love them as much as my kids do!

Don't get scared, but here are the ingredients:

Whole Corn, Vegetable Oil (Contains One or More of the Following: Corn, Soybean, and/or Sunflower Oil), Taco Seasoning (Salt, Yellow Corn Flour, Spices, Corn Maltodextrin, Whey Protein Concentrate, Monosodium Glutamate, Whey, Cheddar Cheese [Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Corn Oil, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Buttermilk, Artificial Color [Including Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 5], Sour Cream [Cultured Cream, Nonfat Milk], Butter [Cream, Salt], Modified Corn Starch, Blue Cheese [Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Lactic Acid, and Sunflower Oil).

 

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    • profile image

      violette phillips 3 weeks ago

      I hope they bring back the taco flavor. I found them once (by mistake) I thought I was the only one that loved these.

    • profile image

      Karl chesser 2 months ago

      Wow, I have looked for these for years And found them today at an GIA, I bought 2 bags, thinking I might not find them again, I like them but I also think there not as good as I remember,I loved them back when they first came out, anyways I will use them to dip in my chili and eat, and will buy more but no there not like I remember

    • profile image

      Rich 2 months ago

      In Australia, Doritos has a "Mexicana" flavor that is similar to the original and my favorite Taco flavor. They don't add any cheesy or sour cream flavors just onion, tomato and garlic powders with paprika, chili and cumin spices. Delicious, but not quite as bold as the original.

    • profile image

      Anna 3 months ago

      I've lived in Iowa for my entire life (20 years) and I have always been able to buy them. Maybe the availability is regional?

    • profile image

      Rita Dentmom 4 months ago

      Please bring them back! I loved them and still do where can you buy them in stores rather than online?

    • profile image

      Harry 4 months ago

      I loved the original Taco flavor back in the 70s..these new Taco flavor are a cross between nacho cheese and cool ranch....too cheesy

    • profile image

      Prb 5 months ago

      New taco Doritos are disgusting

    • profile image

      Keith 5 months ago

      I was born in the middle sixty's,so I grew up on the Taco Doritos. I told my wife several times that I wish we could still buy them. She is not a fan of the Taco flavor like I am. I was looking at the chip isle at one of our Walmarts there to my surprise I saw them. I bought two bags and couldn't wait to get home and rip into a bag. The taste was ok and I liked them but they just weren't the chips of my childhood. I came across your post accidentally looking for original date of the Taco flavor Doritos. I will buy more but wish we could get the flavor of our childhood again. Thanks for your research.

    • profile image

      Greg Smith 7 months ago

      I loved them and other Taco favored chips back in the late 60s & 70s. Taco flavored chips started disappearing sometime in the 70s. Goodness knows when I traveled I searched lots of stores. The last ones left were Doritos, but at some point they started adding sour cream flavoring (I was pretty annoyed). I still like them, but they are nowhere as good as the original without the sour cream flavoring

    • profile image

      Robert 7 months ago

      Did anyone else notice that you got a really terrible aftertaste if you drank a Pepsi right after eating Taco Doritos?

    • profile image

      Joe 7 months ago

      I agree I found a bag of the Taco flavored but I instantly knew this wasn't the same flavor, something was off, big disappointment.

    • profile image

      tim t 2 years ago

      Loved them in the early 70s..we'd take a bag or 2 and a drink with us for lunch when out riding our bikes all day. Great summer memory

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I am coming up on 50 and unlike many posters do remember when the only choices were corn tortilla or taco! We ate a ton of the taco flavor as a kid and when i saw the retro bag, figured 'I gotta try these'! The verdict is as you've said, not as strong in the spicing and and more of an ambiguous 'cheesy' aftertaste. If they truly want to re-create the original they need to go to a spicier spice base (cumin, chili powder) and remove the cheesy additive.

    • profile image

      Kapalbility 5 years ago

      Awesome! So it was pulled out then it came back. I love Doritos here in the Philippines. Especially dipping it in home made salsa. Mmmm. I'm driving to the nearest grocery now.

    • OliviaDaughter LM profile image

      OliviaDaughter LM 5 years ago

      Very creative and funny. It had me smiling, I like that. Sorry that didn't have the same flavor.

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 5 years ago

      This is a GREAT lens! Creative, funny and informative. I was chuckling through most of it. You are an entertaining writer. Thanks!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      This is an interesting taste test experiment, I sure can relate to having a favorite snack food and then finding that the original recipe has been changed. I think the cheese flavor is the one I buy the most now.

    • profile image

      cleanyoucar 5 years ago

      I love tacos, might buy a pack or two. :D

    • PastorCher profile image

      Pastor Cher 5 years ago from United States

      Love this snack. Could go for some right now.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      Wow, you had me hooked from the title - Taco Flavor Doritos - I used to LOVE those things! My heart sank when you bit into one and it didn't taste the same...siiigh

      What a great lens, I love what you've done here.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I love your zest for the quest to find the new ones!

    • tjustleft profile image

      tjustleft 5 years ago

      Goodbye taco flavored doritos. I am now hooked on spicy sweet chili flavor. Frito Lay please remove the MSG. I wan't to be sure it's the flavor I am addicted to and not the "flavor enhancer".

    • publicdomain lm profile image

      publicdomain lm 5 years ago

      Haven't seen them around here yet, but I will definitely pick up a bag if I see one, just because you've got me curious.

    • Rock Artist profile image

      Rock Artist 5 years ago

      I'm sure they're delicious, but ALL Doritoes contain MSG so beware.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Never thought I'll come across this topic, you're so cute!

    • profile image

      GeekySocket 5 years ago

      we don't have doritos where i live D:

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      We now buy organic corn chips that have about a fourth of the ingredients listed above (as in just food and no chemicals).

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What a fun trip down memory lane - taco style!

    • joanhall profile image
      Author

      Joan Hall 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      @anonymous: I would rank the new Taco Doritos as being of about equal tastiness to the Cool Ranch flavor. The result has been that I always buy the Cool Ranch instead because the Taco flavor still makes me feel disappointed when I remember the old ones.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Oh, and I was wondering if your taste buds have adjusted to the change or have you moved on for good? Funny the things we think about....reminds me of when Coke made their dumb move.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      For some reason I got to thinking of this last night and realized that I didn't finnish my comment after the dancing in the streets, sadly the music was just not the same and that good news folks will be hoping to find was better in the past...a shame, sorry your hopes were dashed, guess all those new additives just don't taste right! Also, I love how you are holding the "specimen" in your intro picture.

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      Hi Joan: Not a big fan of Doritos of any kind but I' a huge fan of how you did this lens!! Great job, loved it!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      Yech. They made me ill with the original simple ingredients enhanced/laced with MSG. Now they've added even more chemicals and colors along with the MSG. I'll eat real chips made with real food, thanks, but I know there are plenty of folks who do have a Dorito passion.

    • profile image

      jfjones1 5 years ago

      This lens is very creative and informative. Loved it!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      It seems just when they get you "hooked" on something they change it. Then when they reintroduce it, for some reason it just doesn't taste the same. Love your quest here. Such a fun lens.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      I love that you used the Frito-Lay website's product locator to find a store.That's something that couldn't be done when the original Taco Doritos were around. I'm sorry the recipe was "improved." I can't tolerate MSG, so nearly all flavored chips are out for me.

    • livinglargeandh profile image

      livinglargeandh 5 years ago

      Hmmm. So what's missing from the old recipe to the new? Don't hold us in suspense. I haven't seen the taco flavor here.

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 5 years ago from New Jersey

      Love it! (Well, the lens, haven't tried the chips yet.) I know how sad it is when a favorite junk food goes MIA - or when the recipe changes and is no longer as good as before.

    • profile image

      JZinoBodyArt 5 years ago

      lol! Great lens!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      These are some of my favorite salty snacks - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • iWriteaLot profile image

      iWriteaLot 5 years ago

      Great lens! Lots of fun and a look back at the past :)

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I really love Doritos any way you look at it. :) Blessed!

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 5 years ago from California

      LOL Joan, this is funny :) Loved it that you found "proof" they weren't the same, but sad after all that you didn't get that old pleasure of your Taco Doritos :)

    • profile image

      OctavioMelesio 5 years ago

      Hi Joan... yes I like it your lens...

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      I love doritos, but I've never tried the taco flavored ones... Great lens!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Let there be dancing in the streets for the return of the Taco flavored Dorito and congratulations on getting this featured on the front page so more can hear the good news and maybe be guided here by that purple star!

    • puppyprints profile image

      puppyprints 5 years ago

      I love nacho cheese doritos...never tried the taco ones !

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 5 years ago from So Cal

      This is fabulous and you did a wonderful job on this lens. It was also my husband's favorite chip and he was also disappointed. Blessed!

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 5 years ago

      Nothing is ever quite the same as the original. Sorry your quest to not lead to the happy ending you were looking for...however, it did get you a Purple Star!