Like the coming of winter and the deepening of Justin Bieber's voice, the introduction of Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos at Taco Bell is all but inevitable.
The Nacho Cheese-flavored (read: orange) Doritos Locos Tacos, after all, have already been a smash success for the brand, both in terms of public awareness and sales. Some have even said that they could save Taco Bell. So many have taken it for granted that Taco Bell would bring other flavors of Doritos to bear on its food -- eventually.
As early as this summer -- if rumors swirling around the blogosphere this week can be trusted.
The idea can be traced back to a Tweet from Taco Bell headquarters yesterday. Responding to a query about Cool Ranch Tacos, the Yum brands social media peon on duty wrote:
That seems pretty close to a confirmation to us. Still not convinced? There have also been sightings of Cool Ranch-flavored taco shells at various Taco Bell locations around the country -- assumedly test sites for a potential new product. So the debut of Cool Ranch Doritos Tacos really does seem imminent. It would, in any case, make a pretty great 50th birthday present for Taco Bell.
UPDATE: A Taco Bell spokesperson confirmed that Taco Bell is "releasing Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos later this year on the heels of the successful introduction of Doritos Locos Tacos, the biggest launch in Taco Bell history." He declined to say when exactly they would be released -- but summer counts as "later this year," right?
Want to prepare your taste buds for the adventure by adding Cool Ranch Doritos to some other favorite fast food items? Click through our slideshow of other fast food items with Nacho Cheese Doritos for some inspiration:
<strong>The Method:</strong> The one that started it all uses a proprietary taco shell-shaped Doritos chip as its wrapper, and comes swathed in a special cardboard holder to prevent Doritos powder from coating eaters' hands. <strong>The Verdict:</strong> Very positive reviews all around; most agreed that the tacos had been improved by the extra salt and savoriness of the Doritos shell. The biggest complaint was that there wasn't enough Doritos flavor -- it seemed as if the seasoning had been tamped down vis-a-vis the normal chips. To solve this problem, we tried adding more Doritos in the middle of the taco. It didn't help.
<strong>The Method:</strong> We tossed crumbled Doritos into Cosi's signature salad, which contains mixed greens, gorgonzola and cranberries. <strong>The Verdict:</strong> Pretty solid! The chips added some much needed saltiness and crunch to what is usually a sweet, mushy salad. On the other hand, the signature Doritos flavor didn't really stand up to the salad's vinaigrette and ingredients; almost any chip would have improved the salad. In the words of one taster, "Since there is blue cheese in the salad, it feels like the two are competing for attention."
<strong>The Method:</strong> Since we were too bashful to ask our Chipotle assembly line wrapper to crumble the Doritos into the middle of the burrito, we ended up stuffing it ourselves ex post wrappo. <strong>The Verdict:</strong> Funny! But not good-tasting, sadly. One taster said that the pairing was "good texturally," but most agreed that the subtle, natural flavors of a Chipotle burrito clashed with the artificiality of Doritos.
<strong>The Method:</strong> Grind the chips into a powder, then shake them up with the fries to coat them evenly. <strong>The Verdict:</strong> Possibly the worst of the pairings. One taster compared them to "dry cheese fries," while another noted that, "Ketchup does not go with Doritos." Blech!
<strong>The Method:</strong> Added whole Doritos on top of both the burger's beef patties. <strong>The Verdict:</strong> Bravo! Most tasters agreed that this was almost as good a match as Eddard and Catelyn Stark on "Game of Thrones." (Full disclosure: they did not use a "Song of Ice and Fire" analogy to convey their enthusiasm.) One said, "The creamy sauce complements the crunchy texture of the chips," which, another added, "makes it more satisfying, because usually it's one-dimensional."
<strong>The Method:</strong> We stuck Doritos into the McNuggets, as our photographer put it, "like shards of glass." <strong>The Verdict:</strong> These were divisive. Some tasters hated the combo, finding the McNugget flavor and texture overpowering. But others said that dipping the Doritos-adorned nuggets into barbecue sauce made for a revelatory melding of flavors.
<strong>The Method:</strong> Lay whole chips right up in the middle of the sub. <strong>The Verdict:</strong> One of the better matches. One taster even called it "delicious," noting that salami and Doritos have mutually beneficial flavor profiles. Another taster, though, quipped that, "This does not taste discernibly different because normally when I eat a Subway sandwich I'm also stuffing Doritos in my face." (It's not clear that this was a criticism.)
<strong>The Method:</strong> Because we had three donuts, we decided to try a few things... we stuck them in as with the McNuggets, we stuffed them in the middle as with the Big Mac and we sprinkled their crumbs on top as with the Wendy's Fries. <strong>The Verdict:</strong> Another divisive dish. Though one taster praised the Doritos donuts for their "nice cheesecake taste," others picked up artificial, bitter flavors that they said ruined the meld. Everyone thought they LOOKED awesome though!