Do Mexican Doritos Taste Different Than the American Version?

Some Doritos fans swear the Mexican version made by Sabritas tastes better than the chips sold in the U.S. With a crunchier texture and notes of jalapeño, Mexican Doritos have gained cult status—but they’re hard to find up North.

Nachos Doritos seen at the grocery store.
Nachos Doritos seen at the grocery store. / SOPA Images/GettyImages
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Despite their Spanish-sounding name and fried tortilla base, Doritos aren’t authentic Mexican cuisine. Conceived in Southern California in the 1960s and owned by PepsiCo, the cheesy chips are a wholly American invention. But the original formula has been tweaked over the years to suit international tastes. Doritos apparently taste different in Mexico than they do in the U.S., and many customers prefer the version sold south of the border.

PepsiCo acquired the Mexican snack brand Sabritas in the 1960s. Today, Frito-Lay serves as PepsiCo’s American chip brand, while Sabritas manufactures and sells chips for the Mexican market. In many ways, Sabritas Doritios are identical to the Frito-Lay version. They both share the same name, packaging, and basic formula of tortilla chips plus cheese powder. But a closer look at the ingredients reveals a subtle difference

According to the product page for Sabritas Nacho Doritos ($20) on Amazon, the Mexican recipe “has a more intense, concentrated, and distinct cheese and jalapeno flavor” than the American snack. While classic American Doritos do have spices in the ingredients list, they’re milder overall and lack strong jalapeño flavoring. Reviewers also claim to notice a difference in the chips themselves, with Mexican Doritos purportedly having a thicker, crunchier texture.

Sabritas Doritos aren’t the only Mexican version of an American product to gain cult status abroad. Many soda drinkers swear Mexican Coke—which is sweetened with cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup—is superior to the American formula. The Coca-Cola company has caught on, and Mexican Coke is now fairly easy to find in the U.S. Until PepsiCo does the same and makes Mexican Doritos available up North, customers have to settle for searching for it on eBay and Amazon.