If all the snacks in the Frito-Lay family got together and played Never Have I Ever, I imagine they would quickly settle into the classic participant archetypes. Rold Gold would be the (pretzel-)stick-in-the-mud who hems and haws for ten minutes before saying something completely boring and inoffensive like, “Never have I ever been to Canada.” Funyuns would be the guy who the whole group would expect to tell wild and entertaining stories (after all, “fun” is his first name), but heâ€™d only end up disappointing everyone. (Really, Funyuns, youâ€™ve only had four flavors in 40 years?)
Cheetos would be that most annoying of Never Have I Ever players, the guy who claims to have done everything. Heâ€™s likely more of a liar than a slut, yet no one dares question him for fear of being portrayed as a prude. “Yeah, I was milk-chocolate flavored this one time at summer camp. Who doesnâ€™t have an anthropomorphic mascot that could probably sell cigarettes to kids? Youâ€™ve never tried having an interpunct in your name? Bro, did you even go to high school?”
But eventually, it would get to Cheetosâ€™ turn, and he would drop this bomb: “Never have I ever been honey-barbecue flavored.” All the other snacks would go nuts (Cracker Jack especially), but as they listed out all of his varieties, they would slowly come to realize that, somehow, with 100 varieties in 16 countries over the last 60 years, Cheetos has never had a honey-barbecue flavorâ€¦ until now. Cheetos can put down another of his hypothetical (but sure to be cheese-dust-covered) fingers, as Frito-Lay recently introduced the Cheetos Puffs Honey BBQ.
These new Cheetos have a coating of honey barbecue powder in addition to the regular coating of cheese dust. The honey barbecue provided a definite sweetness that stopped well short of cloying, while the smokiness was understated but grew slightly more pronounced the more I ate. The amount of cheese dust had been noticeably scaled back in comparison with regular Cheetos, and the cheesiness, sweetness, and smokiness generally worked well together.
The flavors were well-proportioned, but I think they were all too mild to the point of being unmemorable. After I first opened the bag of Cheetos, I ate about one serving, put the bag away, and didnâ€™t think about it again until I sat down to write this review. These Cheetos were pleasant-tasting but not at all addictive, which seems to run completely counter to the essence and appeal of Cheetos.
A love of Cheetos has become a principal feature of the compulsive gamer stereotype because we all intuitively recognize their addictiveness. A bag of Cheetos should make me feel helpless to my urges and thus compel me to purchase a couple cases of Mountain Dew and start playing online poker again. If I wanted some snacks that let me regulate my appetite so easily, I would have bought a bag of rice cakes or Baked Lays.
OK, obviously I just got weirdly over-the-top there, so let me take a step back: the Cheetos Puffs Honey BBQ were fine but nothing special. If youâ€™re looking for a new snack that you can enjoy in moderation, go ahead and give these a try. Otherwise, you certainly shouldnâ€™t feel embarrassed to leave your finger up if someone says, “Never have I ever tried those new honey barbecue Cheetos.” (Also, that person sucks at playing Never Have I Ever. I bet heâ€™s never even been to Canada.)
(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce – 150 calories, 90 calories from fat, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)
Item: Cheetos Puffs Honey BBQ
Size: 9 ounces
Purchased at: Shaw’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Nice mild sweetness and smokiness. Flavors played well together. Cheetos finally has a honey and/or barbecue flavor. Writing about the “essence and appeal” of Cheetos. Going to Canada.
Cons: Flavors were all too mild. These Cheetos werenâ€™t addictive. Pretzels are boring and inoffensive. Feeling compelled to play online poker again. Playing Never Have I Ever with that guy who claims to have done everything. Yes, I went to high school, FRANCES.