Taste Test

Battle: Tortillos vs. Taquitos, Which is the Better Barbecue Corn Chip?

July 30, 2017

Granny Goose’s Tortillos and Jack ‘n Jill’s Taquitos are two longtime snack favorites with striking similarities. Both brands come in shiny red packs that demand your attention from the supermarket shelf. Both brands feature pale yellow rounds of corn tortilla chips in different variants (in the case of Tortillos these days, anyway—more on that below), among the most popular of them being the winning junk-snack flavor of barbecue. Both brands use (somewhat) Mexican-sounding names, likely playing on the words “tortilla” and/or that of its stuffed counterpart, “taco” (note that there is such a dish called “taquitos“; the Taquitos snacks don’t seem to bear any actual resemblance to it though). While any real competition between the two is bound to be illusory as both brands are, in fact, owned by the Universal Robina Corporation (you’ll see the company logo on the backs of both packages), like many a Filipino snack lover, we wanted to know: which is the better chip?

In hopes of finding answering this age-long question, we took on the task of holding these snacks against each other on a one-on-one battle. Who deserves a spot in the all-time favorite barbecue corn chip hall of fame: Tortillos or Taquitos?

Granny Goose Tortillos

The barbecue variant of this Granny Goose classic offers a good dose of the iconic barbecue junk food flavor that we love—it’s smoky, it’s salty, it’s all sorts of delicious. As strong as it starts, the seasoning harmonizes well with the chip base’s corn-y sweetness. Most notable, though, is its solid, resounding crunch—it’s the kind that really gets your molars grinding with a corn-y grit that satisfies. The potency of flavors might make it an overpowering snack plain, but is easily balanced out with an ice-cold glass of soda (may it be known that Tortillos and cola make for one of the best pairings around). Its strong structural framework also makes it a good candidate for dipping into salsa, or for recipes that combine it with other elements, such as frito pie.

Jack ‘n Jill Taquitos

While we’ve found evidence to suggest the presence of other Taquitos variants, stores today—or at least all those we’ve visited (we’ve gone through all the major supermarkets)—seem to only ever sell the Hickory barbecue flavor, leading us to wonder whether the others have been discontinued completely.

Taquitos chooses to go specific on their chip flavor: it’s not just any ol’ barbecue, but hickory barbecue, hickory referring to one of the possible woods used to smoke barbecue in a number of barbecue regions in the US. We can’t say Taquitos tastes particularly smoke-y, let alone in any distinct manner, but it does begin on a sweeter note and moves forward with much less saltiness and much less umami compared to compared to Tortillos. A member of the team does point out a particular spice-y taste a member of the team likens to that of fried chicken; and while the ingredient list only lists “spices” without specifying which ones they use exactly, we suspect it might be paprika—a common addition in the Southern take on the dish—as evidenced by the presence of occasional red granules not found in Tortillos. Taquitos’ chip base also feels lighter—still within the realm of a crunchy chip, but definitely to a lesser extent compared to Taquitos—that those accustomed to Tortillos’ denser crunch (this writer included) might find themselves feeling bitin. Still, the relative delicateness in taste and texture allows you to stuff more in your mouth at a time without overworking the jaw, and this is a quality we think holds its own merit.

THE VERDICT

Tortillos goes the more intense route, with crunchier, heartier chips with a saltier, more potent seasoning. Taquitos on the other hand turns the intensity a notch down, with lighter chips and a sweeter, less salty coating. Though both delicious in their own right, one snack stands out for us in that it better fits the bill of how a junk-y snack should be—whether you’re looking for stimulation to combat that energy dip in the afternoon, or in need for something to nosh on while binge-watching Game on Thrones late at night. We gleefully give the award to Tortillos. Of course, those in need of a break for their jaws, or who just like their savory snacks with a sweet edge, are in for a treat with Taquitos (and there’s nothing wrong with that)—but for us, Tortillos’ decided saltiness and crunch make it the winning chip.

Patricia Baes SEE AUTHOR Patricia Baes Trish thinks too much about everything—truth, existence.....and what’s on her plate. Her ongoing quest for a better relationship with food has led to a passion for cooking, gastronomy, and a newfound interest in its politics. She is a cheapskate in other aspects of her life, preferring to use her savings on specialty vinegars and degustation menus. While she admits to eating out too much, cooking and baking remain her first love, and she's always looking for quirky new ways to use up seasonal produce. Thanks to her obsession with (unnecessarily) making everything from scratch, she is now desperate to clear her fridge full of homemade condiments. She dreams of perfecting the art of making soufflé with her crappy toaster oven.
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P N Bear
P N Bear

Tostitos, or… Tortillos? Someone needs to proofread this piece STAT! 🙂

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