I don't pay a lot of attention to Cheetos, but I recently had a revelation where I realized just how good the original crunchy Cheetos actually are- they're just a solid snack that is like nothing else, and with zero changes since their inception, they're still fantastic like they were the first time you got your greedy little mits on a bag. I am not a fan of the puffy ones though, or the random imitations that show up on the shelves- they're just puffed air that turn to weird corn goo the second they hit your mouth.
SO, I was torn when I saw these new Cheetos snacks. They're trying a bunch of different flavors, but putting them on puffy Cheetos instead of the good ones... seems stupid to me. But hey, I have a job to do, so let's get it done.
I started with the less exciting Xtra Cheezy Mix, and instantly wondered where the contents of my bag went. Did someone open it up in the store, eat half, then glue it back together? Come on Cheetos, this is ridiculous.
I made a fancy sampler plate and went to town.
Clockwise, starting at the top:
Cheddar: The OG of Cheetos. Perfection.
Parmesan: Parmesan is a pretty subtle flavor, and it doesn't stand a chance in this bag. I barely tasted any parmesan flavor- it's extremely subtle and honestly, the corny flavor of a naked Cheeto was pretty much all I tasted. Too bad, but I guess that's what you get when you go for subtlety in Cheetoland.
Double Cheddar: While they initially taste like the cheddar on regular Cheetos amped up, they lose out because they're a puffy Cheeto. The corn flavor takes over, and I'm left wondering what the point of these is. A space filler perhaps?
Nacho Cheese: Ok, they're on to something here. These have an almost ranchy tang to them that I can't explain, but otherwise, this is just solid nacho cheese flavor on a shape that allows for maximum coverage. Put these out in their own bag!
Altogether in one bite: A lot of cheese, and a lot of Cheetos corn. When 1 type is very good and different (nacho cheese), and the others are either tasteless or things they already sell, I wonder what the point of this collection is.
Nacho Cheese: A. Dear Chester Cheetah, please put this flavor on original Cheetos and put them in their own bag.
The rest of the bag: Just buy original Cheetos.
Next up was the Cheezy Salsa Mix!
I realize this is a bad picture, but opening the bag to reveal all these colors was an odd snacking experience:
Lookit all that color!
Again, starting at 12, going clockwise,
Salsa Picante: These taste like somewhat meaty and very hearty salsa. Not too hot, but just enough. Pretty good- they definitely got the salsa flavor right. Tasty, but nothing life-changing.
Jalapeno Cheddar: I can't really taste much cheddar- they taste like jalapeno mixed with the goo these too-big Cheetos are made of, and their green color makes me feel like I'm putting dog treats in my mouth. But they're good- not too hot and a solid jalapeno flavor.
Cheddar: These are just regular puffy Cheetos, BUT, they've been rolling around in other Cheetos' business, so they have a little spice to them. NICE. They basically taste like Cheetos with a little bit of salsa/jalapeno kick added in.
Chipotle Cheddar: I'm a big fan of chipotle mixed with things, and these rule. I'm happy they chose to make these closer to real Cheetos rather than the puffy ones. These taste like a very smoky cheddar- VERY smoky, with a little spice kicking in at the end, pretty much like they should taste. Well done Chester. Also, does anyone else think these look exactly like mini english muffins?
All together in one bite: I tasted smoky cheddar first, then jalapeno, then lots of cheese, followed up by a nice smoky spice aftertaste. Pretty good stuff.
I feel like other than the Chipotle Cheddar, these should be eaten together, even though it's quite a mouthful. Jalapeno or salsa flavored snacks are almost always better with cheese, so they should, again, stop messing with puffy shapes and just put out some newly flavored original Cheetos. Imagine if important people at Cheetos read this post and put out Chipotle Cheddar, Nacho Cheese and Jalapeno Salsa Cheddar Cheetos?! I would be a very happy man.
I give this mix a B+: the flavors are awesome, but the fact that they're on puffy Cheetos kind of sucks. If you're curious though- between the 2 types, this is 100% the one you should get, and the Chipotle Cheddar get an A+. Keep the innovation coming Chester!
-review by Mike