Doritos Baja Fiery Mango Review: All Mango, No Fire

Doritos Baja Fiery Mango
Doritos Baja Fiery Mango - Michael Palan / Static Media

While PepsiCo spun off Taco Bell and other restaurant entities in 1997, Taco Bell has kept Pepsi products on fountain taps ever since. In 2004, the former family members reunited to create a Mountain Dew flavor to be exclusively sold at Taco Bell -- Baja Blast. The flavor was initially described as "Mountain Dew blasted with tropical lime" (via The Herald-Sun) and became such a hit with fans that it branched off into other flavors and forms, and its chill attitude still endures two decades on. To celebrate its 20th birthday, Mountain Dew is releasing limited-time drink flavors, and Doritos is dropping a flavor to match -- Baja Fiery Mango.

In a provided statement, the Doritos R&D team noted, "Doritos wanted to explore a Mango flavor to lean into the MTN DEW Baja Laguna Lemonade LTO flavor experience. Rather than purely translating the beverage flavors to a chip, the team was particularly drawn to the mango habanero flavor combination, as it's a proliferating flavor on menus and felt truer to Doritos brand and the flavor experiences Doritos consumers are seeking."

I didn't want to miss out on the big birthday bash and cracked open a bag of Doritos Baja Fiery Mango to see if the heat was totally sweet, or perhaps not so neat. This chew and review is based on taste, capturing the spirit of Baja Blast, uniqueness, and overall lovability.

Some recommendations are based on first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer.

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What Does Doritos Baja Fiery Mango Taste Like?

Doritos Baja Fiery Mango chips
Doritos Baja Fiery Mango chips - Michael Palan / Static Media

The Doritos Baja Fiery Mango bag is a triumph in design. Its super-busy landscape features a sea of mango juice, awash with chili peppers, a molten volcano, and a shark popping out of it, taking a big bite out of the famed triangular Doritos logo. If looks equaled taste, this would be a rock-and-roll bag of black caviar. Is there any possible way the contents within could live up to such delightful madness?

Tearing off the corner of the bag, a quick smell reveals a scent of corny Fritos that are mildly spiced up. These Doritos look pretty much like the Nacho Cheese ones, dotted with little pepper chili flakes. The chips themselves maintain the standard Doritos consistency, where it's both light and crunchy.

First bites immediately reveal a dominant mango flavoring. It actually tastes more like some juicy fruit concoction one would find in a piece of Bubblicious gum. As the mango eventually relents its hold on the mouth, the most minute hint of spice comes. Knowing how other Doritos flavors lean heavily on heat level, it was kind of a shock that these chips turned out to be a more mellow affair. I guess that keeps them more in line with the flavor of a Mountain Dew drink than a bag of Doritos. The chip is overall an interesting juxtaposition where the saltiness of a Dorito is smoothed out with the mango flavoring.

Nutritional Information For Doritos Baja Fiery Mango

Doritos Baja Fiery Mango back of bag
Doritos Baja Fiery Mango back of bag - Michael Palan / Static Media

In a 9-ounce bag, there are about 99 Doritos Baja Fiery Mango chips. A single serving size is 11 chips. That's good for 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 140 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of protein, and 17 grams of carbohydrates, with 1 gram dedicated to dietary fiber and less than 1 for total sugars.

Baja Fiery Mango chips are made of corn, vegetable oil, and less than 2% of corn maltodextrin, sugar, natural and artificial flavors, salt, citric acid, spices (including red pepper), dextrose, whey, monosodium glutamate, paprika, sour cream made of cultured cream and skim milk, brown sugar, honey, garlic powder, cheddar cheese, artificial color, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, cream, butter, and sucralose -- one word not on that list is "mango." The chips also pack in 40 milligrams of calcium, 0.3 milligrams of iron, and 40 milligrams of potassium. Baja Fiery Mango chips are cholesterol-free and contain milk allergens.

How To Buy Doritos Baja Fiery Mango

Doritos box
Doritos box - Michael Palan / Static Media

Doritos Baja Fiery Mango is available now at select retailers and will be available nationwide, for a limited time only and while supplies last, starting on April 28. Be sure to use Doritos' product finder on its website to help find a bag near you. When in doubt, resellers on eBay are an alternative route. The chips are joined on shelves for limited time only by the 20th-birthday Baja Blast drink editions Laguna Lemonade and Point Break Punch.

Doritos Baja Fiery Mango comes in two sizes -- a 9-ounce take-home bag and smaller single snack size of 2.625 ounces. The suggested retail prices are $6.29 and $2.69, respectively. Prices may vary by retailer. Based on the best by date on the bag, the chips within will be fresh enough for munching for up to three months.

The Final Verdict

Doritos Baja Fiery Mango and Mountain Dew Baja Laguna Lemonade
Doritos Baja Fiery Mango and Mountain Dew Baja Laguna Lemonade - Michael Palan / Static Media

Since Doritos Baja Fiery Mango's flavor profile was based on Mountain Dew's new Baja Laguna Lemonade, I grabbed a bottle of the Listerine-looking liquid to taste in tandem. Baja Laguna Lemonade is reminiscent of the original Baja Blast drink from Taco Bell but has a wickedly tart aftertaste where an amped up mango flavoring hides any trace of lemonade. When sip between bites of the chips, the drink's pungency dulls any sense of the Doritos Baja Fiery Mango's distinctness. Still, if you really want to properly celebrate Baja Blast's 20th, this is the suggested route to take for maximum Baja-ness.

For those who don't know Baja Blast from Baja California, Baja Fiery Mango may be just the latest curio in the vast catalog of limited-edition Doritos that will probably be soon forgotten. The taste may be one of a kind, but I doubt casual eaters will be longing for it beyond its time on shelves, although the packaging deserves to hang in the MoMA next to a painting by Andy Warhol.

I actually feel like there's a missed opportunity here. I know Taco Bell has its own grand plans to celebrate the Baja Blast at 20, so I'm not sure why Doritos didn't partner directly with Taco Bell like it often does and just provide a Baja Fiery Mango taco shell to house all its fine ingredients. Well, there's always the 25th birthday to look forward to.

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