Is "warm" a taste? My first impression as I put one of "McGraw's Spicy Jalapeño" Fritos in my mouth was that the corn chip seemed to increase in temperature as it sat on my tongue. And it wasn't because of the spice. It felt like it was a corn chip warm off the manufacturing belt. Perhaps the active ingredient in that KY Jelly warming lubricant is derived from the jalapeño.
Let's put the 2-ounce bag down, lick our fingers and back up for a minute.
I noticed McGraw's Spicy Jalapeño Fritos in the office vending machine when I went on a quest for a mid-morning snack. The milk I brought for my cereal smelled like onions, and the Chocolate Silk soy milk I drank only kept me full for so long. Knowing that breakfast is not the time to experiment with novelty food items, I purchased a bag of pretzels knowing I would return to the machine for the Fritos when the time was right.
When I returned to the vending machine after getting some change out of my car it wasn't a moment too soon -- there was only one bag of McGraw's fried slabs of corn paste in the machine.
The McGraw in question is country singer Tim McGraw, and he sure is smug about having his face on a bag of chips. What's perplexing about this is the fact that the bag provides no context for why these chips might be McGraw's.
The package reads:
"Introducing New FRITOS® brand McGraw's Spicy Jalapeño Flavored Corn Chips - the same classic corn taste and hearty FRITOS® crunch you love simply paired with a burst of jalapeño flavor. Who said delicious had to be complicated?"
I think it was Tim McGraw who said that.
I was expecting a story that began, "As a young buck, Mr. McGraw spent a lot of time on his pappy's farm, playin' in the jalapeño pepper patch ..."
Whatever the raison d'être for these chips, I am sad to report that the main experience with these corn chips can be summed up very briefly:
The first bite tastes like genuine jalapeño for an instant, then disappears. Next, a moment of subdued Tex-Mex flavor is followed by a brief tingle of the tongue and throat, then that "I just ate something sort of spicy feeling" lingers in the upper-rear of the throat. The most exciting part about eating them was when an intense burning sensation slowly crept into my nose and made me sneeze.
It looks like Tim McGraw just pulled a fast one.