Aji WOW: royal garlic shrimp Doritos
Aji WOW is my series of unusual Japanese food/drink reviews. 'Aji' (味) means 'flavour', and the name's also a pun on 'ajiwau' (味わう) - 'to enjoy the taste of'.
This time: Doritos, in a weird new 'royal garlic shrimp' flavour.
Doritos and Pringles like to experiment with odd flavours for the Japan market. Most of them are special editions that don't last long.
Unusually, the kanji for 'limited time only' don't appear on this packet...
But I hear that these are indeed a flash in the deep fryer. The royal garlic shrimp is apparently part of an exclusive 'Doritos Royal' range of fancier flavours. This is the first one I've seen. And the pack isn't that big, adding to that 'royal' air of exclusivity.
BIGGER. BOLDER. THICKER. Okay then.
Some people may not be keen on the idea of their snacks being flavoured with seafood. Those people probably didn't grow up in Britain.
Prawn cocktail crisps with lunch, prawn coctail as lunch, free bag of prawn crackers with a cheeky Chinese takeaway for dinner. We're used to it. I welcome this Doritos flavour with open arms and an open mouth.
Now to see what's on the inside. Spoiler alert: not all that much.
Oh, hey, that's near enough empty! If you thought other brands half filled their bags with air... No wonder the calorie count's so low, there were barely any Doritos in this bag at all.
So you have to really dig your nose in to get a good sniff before you eat. And when you do that, you sure get garlic. The shrimp, not so much. At that point, it's hard to tell if the shrimp flavour is weak anyway, or if the garlic's just that overwhelming.
In line with the big bold claims on the pack, these are indeed thicker than normal Doritos. Maybe the extra generous layer of flavour powder helps with that.
The taste's reassuringly heavy on both the shrimp and the garlic. Almost like the tortilla chips change flavours several times as you chew. It's more intense than the smell. Great for garlic lovers. Terrible for lover lovers - I imagine a kiss after eating these wouldn't go well.
Hoooo boy, were these Doritos garlicky. The amount of garlic more than made up for the lack of actual tortilla chip. I tried not to breathe on anyone for the rest of the afternoon.
Verdict: 8/10. Authentic flavour, royally stingy portions.