Cheetos Sweetos are probably the worst thing to come out of junk food that I’d buy again tomorrow. Later this month they’re going to arrive on store shelves in Easter-themed bags. The pieces look like Easter eggs, sort of. On the front of the bag our hero Chester Cheetah, in his infinite addict-like tendencies, looks like he just got done partying with Miley Cyrus and the Flaming Lips. Suspended by literally nothing, he’s hovering Mission:Impossible style over a grassy field, clad only in a pair of pump sneakers, his Ray Charles shades, and a pair of headband bunny ears.
What is this all about? Well, I asked to talk to a food engineer at FritoLay, but they declined to put one on the phone. So, not being a fan of moderation, I decided to eat an entire bag and see how that went.
Here is how that went....
Not bad. Sort of light and fluffy. I can probably eat the entire bag without getting si—oh man that sugar really hangs around after you finish these things. They’re kind of like sweetened (damn it). A cinnamon-sugar Sun Chip, but puffier.
It’s like someone took Rice Crispies, battered them in corn flower, and dusted them with the cinnamon sugar from Dunkin Donuts. The cinnamon is well balanced against the sugar and it’s a lot lighter of a coating than I expected.
Several Handfuls Later:
This is exactly like the cinna-sticks that Taco Bell used to serve with kids meals. Do they still do that? I should google that later. I should get Taco Bell later. They’re the same texture—and the same amount of cinnamon sugar looks like it’s collecting at the bottom of the bag. If you leave this out Easter morning on a mirror, Chester might visit.
Or maybe Dominos. This is sort of like the cinna-sugar that goes on the Cinnastix from Dominos. It’s not as heavy and you don’t eat a butter-drenched bread stick with every bite. Actually these are somehow less messy than the Dominos sticks. That icing is gross.
Half Way Point:
I really don’t want to finish. These probably don’t taste as good on the way up. It’s too sweet—you need an IPA to balance out the bitterness after a few handfuls.
Two Thirds Down:
Cinnamon twists. Taco Bell calls them cinnamon twists. It’s starting to get like the day after Halloween in here… this is clearly too much sugar. The bag contains seven servings total, which means I’ve had like five? Five servings would be 20 grams of sugar. How many grams of sugar am I supposed to have in a day? Google says 37 grams. Okay, so this bag is like 9 grams short of all my sugar for the day.
I’m opening a beer. Chester would want it that way.
Definitely needed the beer to get here. Hops to the rescue. These things aren’t like Cheetos—your body has this “you’re about to get diabetes” shut off switch with sweet things, so over-eating them is a lot harder.
A serving according to Chester, who in his new bag photo looks like he snorted some sugar, there are 160 calories in a serving of 25 pieces. Allegedly I ate 175-ish pieces. That feels about right. I’m fairly sure this will be a seasonal production, but frankly these things are pretty tasty. It’s a testament that I’m only slightly miserable right now. They definitely got the proportions right: I don’t really feel bloated or dying.
Still, all the sugar does inspire a flight of fancy. Here is how I now imagine Sweetos were created….
Sweetos: The Movie
We open on a laboratory full of white-coated, dutifully laboring scientists. Everyone is sweating and they seem angry. Tempers are about to boil, but there is still a palpable sense of camaraderie.
Project Manager: We need new Cheetos flavors guys. Let’s bang this out before lunch. I mean how hard can it be to reinvent the wheel on America’s favorite finger-staining treat?
Group Cynic: This is a waste of time. I think we can all agree that the world of cheese-flavored snack foods can’t handle another new flavor. What are we going to do—dip them in parmesan?
Project Manager: Damn it man! We have to try!
All Star Flavor Artist: Okay so, imagine this… what if we made Cheetos sweet.
Several members of the group gasp. There is a lot of eye contact.
All Star: No no, stay with me here. What if instead of covering random turd-shaped crispy nuggets with unnaturally orange cheese paste, we cover them in like sugar…. and cinnamon.
Project Manager: Cinnamon. And sugar. With a crunchy texture? My god. It’s just crazy enough to work! Get the technicians to work stat!
Cut to close up on face of one of the technicians. He does not look excited.
Technician: Yeah, that is a think we could do.
Cheetos Sweetos snacks will be available in retail stores nationally beginning mid-February for a limited time in 7 ounce bags for a suggested retail price of $3.49.