Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Decades of Spicy Crunch

Sometime in the early 70s, my Dad brought home a bag of spicy, tangy, crackly 'Taco Chips,' to my immediate fascination.

I had first learned of Tacos in 1968 from Jack-in-the-Box's greasy and soggy but spicy rendition, which used meat processed beyond recognition. How little we knew of nutrition and quality cuisine back then...

Hence, it was years before I stopped saying 'Taco Chips' and began using their brand name, Doritos. For me, the 'taco' concept added some spice and kick to the bland American palette of the day..

Innocent youth corrupted by high-octane 'junk food,' a term coined in 1972 by Michael Jacobson of Center for Science in the Public Interest..

Shortly afterward, in 1972, 'Nacho Cheese' flavor was launched and I was, oddly, an immediate fan, notwithstanding my utter aversion to actual cheese. 'Nacho Cheese' flavored Doritos rapidly eclipsed Original Taco and consigned the older version to that great flavor cemetary in the sky (along with my beloved Rice-a-Roni Stroganoff flavor). For years I thought, incorrectly, that Doritos coined the term 'nacho' cheese... Actually, 'nacho' is a Spanish nickname for Ignacio, after Ignacio Anaya, who first created the snak, tortillas covered with melted cheese and jalapeƱo peppers, at the Victory Club restaurant in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas.

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