In The Doritos Effect, author Mark Schatzker discusses the complex flavor profile that makes snack foods like Doritos and Coca-Cola irresistible. Everybody knows what Coca-Cola should taste like, but it’s very difficult to isolate exactly what’s going on. Do we taste a little bit of vanilla? A hint of lime? Maybe some cinnamon? It’s the same with Doritos, which are at once cheesy, garlicky, peppery, and packed with umami. Your brain can’t completely process their taste—which means it’s easy to consume large quantities without ever getting sick of that elusive nacho-cheesier flavor.
This recipe needs some Accent (or other brand of MSG) to be a little more authentic to the original. Before anyone complains, MSG is no worse for you than salt and it really boosts the umami flavor of the cheeses.
Here the analogy ends, because, while not even a Snoop Dogg remix could save “We Are the World,” a better fruit salad is well within reach. The trick is to dress it up with the same little flourishes that make savory salads so enticing.