Normally, I tend to not bother reviewing things that fall more into the “National News” category. I figure that thousands of other people will do it better and more professionally than I will. But then I was thinking, “Hey, I haven’t updated in a few weeks… you know what would make a good update? Anything.“
And I am aware that is somewhat ridiculous to classify a new Taco Bell item as national news. But hey, I’m not the one who declared it was – the nation declared it. Check yahoo.com, or any news page, and this will surely be on the first page. Unless it is not, in which case come back at some other point when it is.
Don’t let my saying that I think reviewing Taco Bell food is sort of pointless make you think I don’t like Taco Bell. I love it to borderline socially-unacceptable levels. When they officially took the Triple Layer Nachos off the menu, it was a day of mourning.
When Taco Bell introduced the Doritos Locos taco back in… some point in the past, it was a dream come true for many. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for me, because I hate regular Doritos.
I thought Cool Ranch could work, but wasn’t sure. Granted, I love Cool Ranch, but I am always wary of “ranch” as a flavor. Mostly because I associate it with the vile habit people have of putting it on sandwiches. Ranch is awesome as a vegetable dip and a seasoning for most chips. It even manages to fail at its primary objective – being a good salad dressing.
Ranch salad dressing, like many other creamy dressings, bothers me. It’s not the flavor, but that thick, heavy consistency weighing down the lettuce. It feels like if you made a nice, airy soufflé and said, “You know what I should put on top of this? One of those dental blankets they put on you when you get x-rays!”
So I wasn’t sure how “ranch” would work as a taco shell flavor. You know what Doritos flavor would be guaranteed to be amazing? Salse Verde. Come on, Taco Bell – make that happen.
The Doritos Locos Cool Ranch taco is officially being released on March 7, but they told their fans that if we ask for it specifically, we can get one on the 6th. At first, this seemed cool, like we were in on this taco speakeasy. I also wondered if the allure of that situation would be lessened, should there be signs hanging up saying, “ASK FOR IT TODAY AND WE WILL GIVE IT TO YOU! WE MEAN ANYONE, NOT EVEN SUPER FANS! JUST PAY US MONEY AND WE WILL GIVE YOU A TACO!”
Then I saw that if you Google “cool ranch taco”, the first nine hundred results are basically telling you it’s available on the 6th. Oh well.
Preserving some of the intense exclusivity, there weren’t any actual signs up when I went.
My excitement was somewhat diminished by the fact that I didn’t get a Cool Ranch sleeve, instead getting the existing Nacho design. Shortly thereafter, I realized I was an idiot, and that the wrapper was double-sided.
My taco-eating experience was already off to a dramatic start, with that exciting double-sided reveal. Will the actual taste match up?
Ah, there it is: the glorious powder.
I decided for maximum journalistic integrity, I should try one with Fire and one with Verde. I didn’t bother with Mild or Hot because, well, they’re pointless. And I didn’t try one plain because that’s weird. Skipping to the end of that story, neither made any significant difference to the flavor.
One tasted like the Cool Ranch taco with Fire, the other with Verde. I’ll leave you to decide which was which.
Upon the first bite, my immediate reaction was something similar to, “jhlgkjhlkgjhfldhlshgkd!” This thing is ridiculously salty.
Yes, I know Taco Bell isn’t known for their delicate sprinklings of sea salt. But this is next-level saltiness. I can only assume it’s coming from the Cool Ranch powder. The shell itself isn’t a shell-shaped Dorito. It seems to be just a normal taco shell with Cool Ranch flavoring sprinkled on it. And not evenly, either. All of the seasoning is along the top inch, with the bottom part of the shell left naked and sad.
Once you ride the initial wave of saltiness, it settles down. Your best bet is to try to get a bite of the top part, with the powder, along with some of the bottom of the shell. This will balance out the salt bonanza.
I was hoping that the Doritos Locos Cool Ranch would either be amazing or disgusting, since both extremes are more interesting to review. Instead, it lands somewhere in “pretty good” territory. It doesn’t have a strong Cool Ranch flavor, especially because the saltiness overwhelms any chance the powder might have had. But it is a nice variation on the standard taco.
My next visit to Taco Bell may include one of these, or it may not. This definitely isn’t a must-have for every order. Especially if they aren’t going to give you one of the cool blue wrappers. I’m still heartbroken about that.