While the "Dorito-ification" of America continues, with Doritos chips used to flavor everything from Taco Bell tacos to Mountain Dew, Japan's food scientists are truly pushing the boundaries of potato chip flavor diversity. Their latest innovation is strawberry shortcake-flavored chips, just in time for the holidays.
Apparently the inspiration for the surprisingly accurate facsimile of dessert comes from a Japanese tradition of eating cake, "often strawberry cake," at Christmas. Kotaku notes that the chips "are made with the Japanese breed of strawberry called 'tochiotome,' a sweet and tasty fruit that's popular all over the country." Joining banana-flavored chips in the pantheon of unexpected taste combinations, the strawberry cake chips launch December 14. As with most of these unusual offerings, they're available for a limited time and only in Japan.
It sounds a bit strange to westerners, who tend to prefer chips as savory snacks. The British, known for gobbling a vast assortment of unusual "crisp" flavors like Prawn Cocktail or Roast Chicken, are likelier to go dangerously spicy than they are to go sweet in their fried potato consumption. On the other hand, aside from sea salt caramel, American candy doesn't typically come in savory iterations, whereas the Japanese have been enjoying Kit Kats flavored like green tea or soy sauce for years. Maybe Doritos needs to think beyond the coloring of its rainbow chips and test out versions with fruity flavors to match.