As Seen in Mexico, Part 2: Sabritas Style! Plus, Some Other Ramblings
Junk Food Nation, let’s get right back into some stuff I saw in Mexico, as well as some ramblings from the weekend. This post of “As Seen in Mexico” pics will focus primarily on Sabritas – Frito-Lay and PepsiCo’s main snack chip line in Mexico!
According to Wiki: “Sabritas is the brand under which Pepsico brands the Frito-Lay products in Mexico, such as Cheetos, Fritos, Doritos and Ruffles…Sabritas controls around 80% of the Mexican snacks market…”
80%!!! That’s more market share than Apple has…if Apple was selling fried corn snacks. Which, hell, why not? I want an iChip.
This Sabritas truck was parked outside of the villa I stayed at, emblazoned with the slogan, “BET YOU CAN’T EAT JUST ONE.” Classic Lay’s potato chip slogan. I jumped for joy when I saw this truck, trying to find a way in until the Junk Food Gal stopped me.
What? If the keys were in the ignition…I’d have a new truck in my driveway today. And I’d have mailed all the treats inside to each of you! It’d have been a win-win.
The smiling Sabritas face was in almost every store I went into. Even here, the Sabritas logo and slogan, “smile in the environment” was hung in a toy store above a bunch of Barbie knockoffs and a Super Mega Heavy Metal Fighter. Yeah, I can’t eat more than one of those.
One of the first things I spotted when I walked into a Mexican convenience store were these Stax. They had all the flavors I’d seen before, and then these Spicy BBQ Chips. I was caught in a classic junk food blogger moment…”Have I eaten these before? Do these exist in the US? Seems like a simple enough flavor…but I don’t remember seeing a purple tube before? Who am I?” The store clerks also stared at me for a long time as I turned this plastic tube of chips over and over in my hands like I was inspecting a piece of alien technology. I think they were glad when I put it down.
This is what a basic bag of potato chips looked like in Mexico, with it’s “homemade salt” and “improved quality.” This is probably the only bag of UNFLAVORED chips I could find – everything else was NEUVO! and CALIENTE!
Speaking of NEW and HOT, the Inauguration was the exact opposite of those two things, as our President has not changed, and the weather was anything but hot. Still, it was a fun day to be amongst that many people. Local vendors went nuts, selling unlicensed Obama swag on the streets, from Obama knit caps to Obama t-shirts (not as good as these), from Obama calendars to Obama posters.
My favorite item of the day: some dude selling Obama BOOKMARKS. As in, small rectangular pieces of cardboard with a photo of Obama on it. And he was really selling it too! “Obama bookmarks, $1 a piece!! Better than a T-shirt, show your Presidential Pride by putting it in your books!! T-shirts are nice, but bookmarks are forever!!” He was selling these like they were engagement rings, “Give her a bookmark, and she’ll smile forever!!” It was great.
Ruffles Mega Crunch certainly jumped out at me. With Jalapeno and Spicy Salsa flavors, I had some of these that friends had bought – pretty good! But were they mega crunchy? I mean… sort of? They didn’t rock my world, if you know what I mean. They were just well done, Ruffle-d wavy potato chips with lots of flavor powder.
These “Crunchy Recipe” chips were basically Mexico’s version of Kettle Chips – really crisp potato chips with lots of flavor embedded. These chips pictured above were absolutely awesome – I didn’t pick them to review because, while awesome, they tasted sort of like the Kettle chips you’d find in the US – nothing THAT unusual.
While there were some snacks that I didn’t regret not buying/reviewing as they duplicated a lot of what we could find here in the states, there were plenty of snacks that, in retrospect, I DID regret passing on. These very simple Queso Ruffles with salsa packet is one such snack. Cheesy potato chips with salsa??? When I saw these, I thought, “Meh, cheese chips.” But now, as I write this post, I’m thinking, “AWH, CHEESE CHIPS!” HUGE. REGRET.
Speaking of regret, did anyone WATCH the Lance Armstrong special on OWN I talked about recently? While the first seven minutes of the show was riveting (in which Oprah forced Lance to answer yes/no answers to blunt questions about his doping), the remaining THREE PLUS HOURS was spend watching Lance backpedal and rationalize every decision he made. You know, for someone who felt so “guilty” about what he had done, he seemed AWFUL SMUG about the whole thing. YOU ARE A JERK, LANCE. STOP SMIRKING WITH EACH ANSWER; YOU SHOULD BE BAWLING LIKE A BABY FOR FORGIVENESS.
KKWATES is basically a play on the word cacahuates, or peanuts. These NFL logo-ed snacks were everywhere, although these were the ONLY teams I could find: Dolphins, Bears, Colts, Giants, Raiders, Packers, Charges, and Niners. What, no BILLS!? BOOOOOOOOOOO.
I gotta give it up to the Ravens and Niners for making the Super Bowl. I can’t be sure what I found to be the most ridiculous moment: David Akers missing YET ANOTHER FIELD GOAL in what had to be LOUDEST doink off the uprights, Bernard Pollard’s hit on Stevan Ridley that turned scarily turned him into a limp rag doll, a flock of photographers gathered around a hunched over, butt crack exposing Ray Lewis as cried on the ground to celebrate the victory, as they all took pictures of his butt, or the fact that my New England-loving friend Mike texted me this an hour and a half into the ATL-SAN FRAN game:
“The Patriots are going to destroy ATL.”
So, Pats fans – blame Mike for jinxing it.
When I saw this bag of Cheetos, I got very excited. HORNEADOS sounded fun! Alas, it just means “baked.” Well, that’s boring.
Another bag of chips I regret buying. After being so disappointed with the Doritos Incognita and Inferno, I refused to buy another bag of Doritos while in Mexico. Later, a reader told me these were the best Doritos flavor of them all. ZOUNDS! Crazy devil head on the front of the bag, huh?
There are Sun Chips PLANTAIN CHIPS in Mexico???? AWESOME! Not purchased because I figured it was just a bag of banana chips, but still – I like the idea of larger junk food companies getting on board with making fruit chips. I’d like to see Frito-Lay make some sweet banana chips here in the US!
By the way, some people have asked me about my thoughts on Manti Te’o – at this point, the entire story has (supposedly) come out, about the hoax, the catfish girlfriend, that weirdo in LA who perpetrated the sham, Te’o has given two interviews, lots of talking heads have speculated on the whole thing… so I’m not going to re-hash it. Obviously, the only real question is how much did Te’o know, and when did he know it? I personally feel like he’s still lying, right now, in his interviews, but that’s besides the point. Some people disbelieve Te’o because they say, “How can someone be that stupid?” And that’s where I’ll give Te’o the benefit of the doubt. Some kids (not all kids) in college – well, there are plenty of moments when THEY ARE VERY STUPID.
Seriously. We had an intern in my office who was a freshman in college, and it was startling to realize how much this kid, who was a full fledged legal adult, didn’t know. He kept breaking the copy machine because he didn’t know how to remove staples from a stack of paper. Someone in my office had to show him how to use a staple remover. Like literally had to show him how to lift the prongs up on the backside of the paper, and pull the staple out. He had cabbage for brains.
Anyways, so when someone doubts that anyone could be that stupid…well, it happens.
Finally, while I was at a Mexican flea market, I saw this little toy Sabritas truck, and thought this might be the perfect souvenir for myself from the trip. Hand carved, painted, it looked so cute! Two things that dissuaded me: (1) it cost like nine dollars (it ain’t THAT cute), and (2) when I looked closer, this wooden truck had more splinters than a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle convention. What, they don’t have sandpaper in Mexico? No thank you.
Junk Food Guy