11 Things You Didn’t Know About Doritos

Crispy, crunchy and covered in an irresistible neon orange powder, Doritos are one of America's favorite snacks. Find out some surprising facts about these tasty triangles here.

1 / 11
Shutterstock (2)

They were invented at Disneyland

Legend has it, we have Mickey Mouse to thank for these crispy treats, according to Business Insider. Doritos’ parent company, Frito-Lay, operated a restaurant named Casa de Fritos inside the park in the1960s. When a salesman noticed that Casa de Fritos was throwing away stale tortillas, he suggested they fry them for chips instead. When marketing executive Arch West saw this, he loved the idea and convinced Frito-Lay to start selling the chips nationally in 1966. Celebrate the Dorito with these 14 recipes that make the most of your favorite chip.

2 / 11
Shutterstock (2)

Doritos means “little golden things” in Spanish

Well, kind of. While the name has been said to mean “little golden things” by Frito-Lay executives, it doesn’t actually translate that way. Instead, the name was made up by Arch West, who decided to combine the Spanish word for gold, “oro,” with Frito’s suffix “-ito” and tacked a “D” in front because he felt like it. The resulting Doritos was approved and it’s been the name of these tortilla chips ever since. Heads up! Here are 20 food names you may be mispronouncing.

3 / 11
Shutterstock (2)

The first Doritos weren’t flavored

Originally marketed as a standard, salted tortilla chip, the Doritos sold in 1966 were without their now-iconic neon orange cheese powder. It wasn’t until the next year that Doritos sold their first flavored chip, which was dusted in taco seasonings. Here’s how to make your own taco seasoning at home.

4 / 11
Shutterstock (2)

Nacho Cheese Doritos are almost 50 years old

First released in 1974, Nacho Cheese Doritos consist of three main flavors: Romano cheese, garlic powder and salt. The bright, cheesy chip quickly became a favorite of consumers and now accounts for half of Doritos’ sales.

5 / 11
via doritos.com

There are some wild flavors

There have been well over 100 different flavors. These range from classic, like Spicy Nacho and Cool Ranch, to wacky with flavors like Late-Night Cheeseburger, Ranch-Dipped Chicken Wings and Mountain Dew. If you’re traveling abroad, be sure to check out Olive, Yogurt and Mint or Clam Chowder flavored Doritos.

6 / 11
via doritos.com

You won’t find Cool Ranch Doritos abroad

At least they won’t be called Cool Ranch. In countries where ranch dressing isn’t a common condiment, like parts of Europe, these Doritos are called “Cool American” or “Cool Original.”

7 / 11
Shutterstock (2)

They’ve had a major makeover

In 1994, Frito-Lay spent $50 million—the most in the country’s history—to revamp their most popular product, according to The New York Times. The overhaul included market research with chip eaters and grocery stores. The result? Doritos that have rounded corners, more seasoning and were 15% thinner and 20% longer.

8 / 11
via doritos.com & Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock

The Super Bowl is a big deal

Doritos has spent some major dough on their Super Bowl commercials for years. In 2007, they changed the game by introducing the “Crash the Super Bowl” contest which challenged fans to create a Doritos ad for the chance to win $100,000 and attend the big game. The competition ran for nine years, with two fan-made commercials earning the highest number of views of all Super Bowl ads, according to the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter.

Don’t miss our 100 best Super Bowl party food ideas.

9 / 11
Shutterstock (2)

Doritos have been to space

When the EISCAT Space Center in Svalbard, Norway, was short on research funds in 2008, they turned to advertisers. In exchange for the necessary funding, the Space Center broadcasted a 30-second Doritos commercial to the star 47 Ursae Majoris, which is about 46 light-years from Earth.

10 / 11
Shutterstock (2)

They’ve also been to the grave

In 2011, the marketing executive credited with bringing Doritos to the country, Arch West, passed away at age 97. Since he was an avid lover of Doritos, and was involved with taste-testing new flavors up until a month before he passed, West’s family members sprinkled Doritos on his urn before burial.

11 / 11
Shutterstock (2)

Doritos can help with a campfire

Get to your campsite and realize you forgot kindling? Just pull out a bag of Doritos. According to Reddit, Doritos’ high oil and carb content catches a flame quickly and easily, making the chip a solid kindling option when you’re in a pinch. Next, check out the things you never knew about McDonald’s Big Mac.

Caroline Stanko
Caroline has been with Taste of Home for the past seven years, working in both print and digital. After starting as an intern for the magazine and special interest publication teams, Caroline was hired as the third-ever digital editor for Taste of Home. Since then, she has researched, written and edited content on just about every topic the site covers, including cooking techniques, buzzy food news, gift guides and many, many recipe collections. Caroline also acts as the editorial lead for video, working with the Test Kitchen, videographers and social media team to produce videos from start to finish. When she’s not tip-tapping on a keyboard, Caroline is probably mixing up a killer cocktail, reading a dog-eared library book or cooking up a multi-course feast (sometimes all at once). Though she technically lives in Milwaukee, there is a 50/50 chance Caroline is in Chicago or southwest Michigan visiting her close-knit family.