I’m more impressed with the shape of the Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Pepper Puffs than how spicy they are.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, these bring some heat, but I can’t help but admire how these look. In the photo below, it appears as if I’m holding a semi-cooled, pepper-shaped nugget of lava.
Of course, Frito-Lay has shown over the past few years that it knows how to shape a corn puff. We’ve seen eggs, bones, paws, stars, snowflakes, and shapes only eBay sellers can see, but this one deserves the chef’s kiss because I imagine it must’ve been difficult to include the stem, which really sells the pepper shape.
The stem also has been influencing how I eat them. With each one so far, I’ve grabbed it by the small extension and used it as a handle to put the puff into my mouth. I think, and I’m sure it will never happen, this should be the default shape for any Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
The bag claims it’s the “Hottest Ever!” but I’m not sure of that because I have more painful memories with Xxtra Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. The heat takes some time to kick in, so these puffs kind of trick you into thinking they aren’t so bad. But these are noticeably spicier than original Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos, maybe 50 percent more intense.
I definitely can’t chain eat them like regular Flamin’ Hot products. Instead, I’m enjoying the puffs in small doses, like five or so. Even my nose knows these are spicier because normal Flamin’ Hot doesn’t turn my nose into a snot faucet when eating them.
In terms of flavor, these have the familiar Flamin’ Hot seasoning but amped up a bit. While they are spicy, they’re not so hot that it completely distracts your taste buds from the peppery, oniony, garlicky, and slightly cheesy seasoning.
Obviously, Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Pepper Puffs are not for everyone. If you find Flamin’ Hot, well, flamin’ hot, then I don’t need to tell you to avoid these. If you’re a card-carrying member of the Flamin’ Hot fandom, then you have to get them. But they’re around for only two weeks, so you should’ve started looking yesterday.
DISCLOSURE: Although, I bought this bag on eBay, I later received a free sample of the product from the folks at Walmart. I probably didn’t really need to tell you that since this review was finished before obtaining the sample. But I guess I disclosed it to let you know I like these enough that I’m happy I got another bag of it.
Purchased Price: Too much on eBay
Size: 7 oz. bag
Purchased at: eBay (being sold at Walmart)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 24 pieces) 170 calories, 11 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 310 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.