Wednesday, January 25, 2006

McSweeney's reviews new forms of food

Long page, lots of funny.


Submitted by Jason Kronstat

Doritos have been a lunchtime staple for almost 20 years, and for good reason: They are cheesy and delicious. They remained delicious through several unnecessary attempts to make them "cheesier." Doritos were beloved by most, and of those who did abstain, none did so due to lack of cheese. Still, Frito-Lay pressed on with a relentless drive to make Doritos cheesier, and they have finally overdone it. Decision makers at Frito-Lay suffer from cheese dysmorphic disorder, rendering them unable to recognize the high level of cheesiness in their own product. They live by the cry "Ever cheesier!," numb to the increasing amounts of cheese-flavored powder applied to their chip.

With new Doritos Nacho Cheesier, they are clearly servicing their own pathology and not the cheese-satiated market they pretend to serve.

The new Doritos bag actually apologizes for past lack of cheesiness: The slogan "NOW BETTER TASTING!," more appropriate for a children's medicine than for America's No. 1 cheese tortilla, is plastered across the package. The "Nacho Cheesier!" label is also discomfiting, having the same visceral effect as an emaciated person complaining about fat ankles. The taste of the chip is, unsurprisingly, much, much too cheesy.

Doritos' many changes over the last decade were a cry for help, a cry we ignored so long as they still tasted a little like the chip we fell in love with. Finally, they've gone round the bend, never to return. There is a lesson here. It's not too late for Smartfood, or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, or even Cheetos. By intervening now, we can save the just-cheesy-enough snacks from following the same sad and self-destructive path.



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