Last week, I interviewed the Saavedra family, the clan behind the wonderful Tapatío Hot Sauce, for my book on the history of Mexican food in the United States. I might release some details of it later, but this one can't wait a year: Sometime in February, Tapatío-flavored Fritos hit Costco, the first of five collaborations the Saavedras have planned with Frito-Lay to flavor various chip brands with their family's legendary hot sauce.
I never was a Fritos fan, unless they were doused with Tapatío. And when I say “doused,” I mean “drowned in them until the chips absorbed the hot sauce.” These flavored Fritos taste EXACTLY like it–the musky Tapatío flavor is unmitigated and slightly scorches, with the curlicue shape a nod to the torciditos and Takis of Mexico. These chips make Flamin' Hot Cheetos seem as bland as a rice cracker.
The Saavedras told me Frito-Lay approached them with an offer, which the family accepted on the condition they keep the Tapatío recipe secret (providing only the actual hot sauce for Frito-Lay to mix into their product) and have the final taste test before any product hits the market. Other collaborations to come include Tapatío-flavored Ruffles, Doritos, Lays . . . and some other brand I forgot.
Brilliance! The family knows that this will just increase the brand's visibility in the American market, while Mexicans will not only enjoy the Tapatío-flavored Fritos, but also top them with even MORE Tapatío.