REVIEW: Cheetos Popcorn (Cheddar and Flamin’ Hot)

Cheetos Popcorn  Cheddar and Flamin Hot

Some of you might have questions after seeing these bags of Cheetos Popcorn, like:

Is this like Chester’s Popcorn that has been around for a while?

Will Cheetos and Flamin’ Hot seasoning ever be bottled so I can put it on my own popcorn, chips, pretzels, and fingertips?

Is Chester Cheetah skinny because he runs a lot or because he doesn’t have a typical cheetah diet and eats only Cheetos-flavored products?

I can’t answer any of those questions, but I do know Cheetos Popcorn, both Cheddar and Flamin’ Hot varieties, taste like what you would expect from popcorn that’s coated with Cheeto Dust. Oh wait, I’m sorry. I’m obligated to write, “coated with Cheetle.”

Now I’m sure the term “Cheetle” brings up more questions, like:

Is that some kind of orange beetle? Are these coated in orange beetles? Is this like a real-life Slurm?

Why is the cheesy dust on Cheetos named after Don Cheetle? Also, how come he doesn’t get to have his own Marvel movie?

“Cheetle” is the official name of what we used to call, unofficially, Cheeto Dust. It’s the stuff that gets stuck to our fingers while eating Cheetos with our hands and goes down our noses when we pour the cheesy snack into our mouths from the bag.

Cheetos Popcorn Cheddar

And it’s Cheetle that gives Cheetos Popcorn Cheddar its vibrant orange color and that cheesiness we know and remove from our fingers using our mouths. Like a bag of Cheetos (Puffs or Crunchy), I could eat this popcorn all day. It’s that good. However, I could see how some folks might find the level of flavor to be too mild.

There is one odd thing I noticed about the snack. When I suck the Cheeto Du…I mean, Cheetle off my fingers, it tastes like Cheez-It crackers. Maybe that’s just me and my fingertips excrete cracker-flavored sweat. Yeah, suck it, dogs and your Fritos-smelling paws!

Cheetos Popcorn Flamin Hot

As for the Flamin’ Hot one, I didn’t care for it at first. Initially, it tasted like Cheetos was doing a crossover with Campbell’s to create spicy V8-flavored popcorn. But after eating a few more, the popcorn began to taste more like the Flamin’ Hot I’ve come to love.

Despite our rough introduction, I ended up liking the red-coated popcorn, although not as much as the Cheddar ones. Also, I don’t know if it’s just me again, but I found the level of spiciness to be lower than other Flamin’ Hot products, even though every kernel is coated so well that they look like the head of Captain America’s nemesis, Red Skull.

With both varieties, I thought the popped kernels were noticeably smaller than other packaged popcorn I’ve procured, but I guess that means more could fit in the bag.

If you’ve wanted Cheetos (or Flamin’ Hot) flavoring on a snack with slightly better nutritional values than corn puffs and chips, then there’s no question Cheetos Popcorn is what you want.

DISCLOSURE: I’d like to thank Cheetos for sending me free samples. Receiving them did not influence my review in any way. Although, the 8 out of 10 rating might make you suspicious. But I assure you getting free samples did not.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 7 oz. bag (Cheddar), 6 1/2 oz. bag (Flamin’ Hot)
Purchased at: Received from Cheetos
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Cheddar), 7 out of 10 (Flamin’ Hot)
Nutrition Facts: (28 grams) Cheddar – 160 calories, 11 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. Flamin’ Hot – 160 calories, 11 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 320 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limón

Doritos Flamin Hot Limon

Nowadays, if you throw a Doritos chip while blindfolded in the chip aisle ninja star-style, there’s an excellent chance it’ll hit a snack that has “Flamin’ Hot” blazed across its packaging. That’s because Frito-Lay has been in the giving mood with the seasoning over the past couple of years. It has found its way onto Ruffles, popcorn, pretzels, and more.

Last year, some of that love got us Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho. This year, we have Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limón, a new spicy chip to chomp on while watching football, binge-watching something on Netflix, or Googling to find out if “limón” is Spanish for lemon or lime.

With Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limón, there’s no confusion whether it’s lemon or lime, thanks to the green color that takes up most of the top half of the chip’s bag and the lime wedge image sitting at the bottom of the bag that might secretly wish it was at the top of a Corona bottle.

Full disclosure, I didn’t fully enjoy the previously mentioned Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho. Its cheesiness didn’t help make it stand out from other Flamin’ Hot products. If it flamed out and disappeared to the depths of hell, I wouldn’t care. But I feel a lot different towards this citrus-flavored version.

Doritos Flamin Hot Limo?n Closeup

While they appear spicy, nothing about the chip’s look or smell gives away that there’s a bit of lime. But its sweet and tangy flavor is noticeable with every chew. It’s as potent as the Flamin’ Hot seasoning. Actually, it might be even more so because the citrus seems to temper the spiciness, making these chips a little easier to eat than other Flamin’ Hot products. But, for the heat-adverse, they’re still quite spicy.

Oh, there are a couple of cheeses listed in the ingredients, but they get lost among the bombardment of pepper, spice, and lime. And I don’t care because, with the way they are, these chips are my favorite snack of the year. Yes, I’m writing this in the first half of January, but I’ve been enjoying every moment with them.

Although, I have to admit I like them a little less than I did when I first tried them. That happened because my curiosity got the best of me. I wondered in the back of my head, “Didn’t Frito-Lay already have something like this?”

That, of course, led me to the internet, which took me to Doritos Flamas, a spicy, lime-flavored chip under Frito-Lay’s Mexican Sabritas brand. That led me to a review of those chips, written by a former TIB writer who, on his blog, described them as tasting like a very spicy lime Froot Loop. I haven’t tried Doritos Flamas, so I can’t make a comparison. But when I read that description of it, it made my tongue and brain think in unison, “Oh, this does too. That’s super weird.”

But even with that nugget of slight buzzkill stuck in my head, this combination of lime and Flamin’ Hot seasoning is extremely tasty.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Doing so did not influence my review in any way. Although, it totally seems like it. But I assure you it did not.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 9 3/4 oz. bag
Purchased at: Received from Doritos
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 12 chips) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Planters White Cheddar Cheez Balls

Planters White Cheddar Cheez Balls

What are Planters White Cheddar Cheez Balls?

After being brought back from the snack graveyard in 2018, the least appetizingly named food since Dave’s Hot and Juicy, Planters Cheez Balls, now come in White Cheddar!

How are they?

That exclamation point is about as much excitement as you’re gonna get from this review because these stink, exclamation point.

I remember liking Planters Cheez Balls as a kid, but I guess it was just faux nostalgia, or “fauxstalgia” as no one says.

Planters White Cheddar Cheez Balls Bowl

The white cheddar flavor pales in comparison to basically every other white cheddar flavored snack on the market. I’m not kidding. It’s weak, and the flavor dust seems to melt away almost instantly.

If the flavor is bad, I gotta say, the texture is worse. These fall somewhere between slightly stale Cheetos and Cap’n Crunch cereal. I thought I would still inhale ’em despite all this, but I barely ate a quarter of the canister.

I might string the rest up like little snowballs and hang em on the tree, but I’m not sure I wanna smell the odd scent they emit.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Every time I ate more than a couple at a time, I got an almost fishy finishing taste. There’s nothing good going on here.

Planters White Cheddar Cheez Balls with Original

I picked up the original flavor too, and the aforementioned no one was right – it was fauxstalgia. They stink slightly less than white cheddar.

Now I’m terrified Planters might reboot my favorite childhood snack, PB Crisps. I consider them the GOAT, and I don’t think I can handle them not living up to that standard.

With that said, I still need them back in my life, so make it happen Planters.

Conclusion:

Planters White Cheddar Cheez Balls Closeup

There are so many better cheese snacks to buy over these. There are also so many better Planters products to buy over these. Don’t let the marketing fool you. These aren’t Crystal Pepsi. These aren’t Ecto Cooler. Your memory has deceived you. Don’t even bother.

Since this review was a little on the scathing side, I’d like to end with a joke.

Why does Mr. Peanut walk with a cane?

Because he has Planter Fasciitis!

Alright, that joke was cheesier than the actual cheez balls.

BRING BACK PB CRISPS!

Purchased Price: $1.66
Size: 2.75 oz. container
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 2 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz.) 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 330 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet & Smoky BBQ Potato Chips

Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet  Smoky BBQ Potato Chips

Ruffles’ Double Crunch lineup has been quite promising so far, albeit a tad derivative. The chips live up to their name by delivering a satisfying crunch and seem to have extra coatings of their respective flavors. The cheddar and buffalo wing varieties are tasty, but not that original.

Ruffles has ramped up the flavor library of the Double Crunch line with the “new” Sweet & Smoky BBQ. They appear to be similar to the old Ruffles Ultimate Sweet & Smokin’ BBQ, but I don’t remember what those taste like, so I can’t say for certain.

The ridges on the chips are more pronounced than those on standard Ruffles. The chips are generously covered in a welcoming burnt-orange dust. They appear to be as heavily seasoned as their cheddar and buffalo wing counterparts.

Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet  Smoky BBQ Potato Chips Bag

The aroma wafting from the bag is that of typical BBQ chips, but with a little hint of vinegar and a more pronounced spice. Vinegar isn’t listed on the ingredients list, so it could very well be a trick of my imagination. Regardless, it’s very inviting.

The flavor profile hits hard with brown sugar, onion, and paprika at the onset. As I chew, hints of molasses, tomato and garlic start to shine through. They’ve got more of a kick to them than standard BBQ chips. I don’t taste any actual vinegar on the chips themselves. Upon looking at the ingredients, that all checks out. The proprietary BBQ seasoning has sugar, salt, brown sugar, paprika, spices, molasses, onion powder, tomato powder, garlic, honey, and delicious, magnificent MSG. There’s nothing new or original here; it’s like every BBQ chip I’ve ever had, just done a little bit better.

Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet  Smoky BBQ Potato Chips Closeup

While the crunch is not as pronounced as it is on a kettle-cooked chip, it still delivers a rewarding bite every time.

I find myself losing control and shoveling more of these chips into my mouth. I’m typing this review with one hand, so I don’t get magical BBQ dust on the keyboard from my chip fingers.

Ruffles Double Crunch Sweet & Smoky BBQ are definitely good enough to become a staple in my rotation, but I feel like they won’t be around long. Ruffles’ website makes no mention of the product, so I assume it’s a limited offering. They’re definitely worth your time if you enjoy BBQ chip, so give ‘em a shot before they’re gone.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 7 3/4 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (10 chips) 140 calories; 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Roasted Turkey Pringles

Limited Edition Roasted Turkey Pringles

What are Limited Edition Roasted Turkey Pringles?

Just in time for Thanksgiving prep, Pringles has dropped a roast turkey-flavored version of its potato crisps.

I have Thanksgiving-flavored-PTSD thanks to what I call “The Great 2004 Holiday Pack Debacle” – aka – that time I accidentally ordered 8 sets ($120 worth) of turkey dinner-flavored Jones Sodas, then tried until New Years’ to sell/give them to anyone who made eye contact. Two ended up at Goodwill.

But I love Pringles, and REALLY wanted to try these. So I persisted. This time I ended up with exactly as many as I intended.

How are they?

The aroma inside the can wasn’t much to write home about. It was a very slight turkey scent.

Limited Edition Roasted Turkey Pringles Cutting Board

But when I crunched one, the flavor was there. Really there. I could have sworn I was chewing on the delightfully burnt crust on the bottom of my roasting pan on Thanksgiving night. The caramelized turkey juice, meat scraps, and spices. Yeah, the stuff you’re supposed to make gravy with, but not in my house because I eat it as an appetizer huddled over the stove while the bird rests on the counter.

Limited Edition Roasted Turkey Pringles Closeup

Three crisps in, I decided these were my favorite Pringles flavor ever. I’m going to hoard cans before they disappear. While I know it’s unlikely that there’s any actual turkey in these (“natural flavors” leaves a hair of possibility), it’s such a convincing flavor, I just don’t care.

Limited Edition Roasted Turkey Pringles Ingredients

Is there anything else you need to know?

Turkey-flavored Pringles have been released in the U.S. previously as part of “Thanksgiving Dinner” packs, but those were simply called “Turkey.” Those might be different than “Roasted Turkey,” but since I haven’t tried them, I can’t say. So I guess this is really something else I need to know.

Conclusion:

Skip the turkey. Buy the Pringles. Feast.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 5.5 oz. Can
Purchased at: Five Below
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz. – about 15 crisps) 150 calories, 9 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Doritos Screamin’ Sriracha

Doritos Screamin Sriracha

A sriracha-flavored Doritos is something that should’ve come out years ago when the hot sauce was all the culinary rage back in 2013 to 2016. It seemed as if everyone was jumping into the pool of sriracha products like the flavor was a year-round pumpkin spice. But the brand that once brought us Mountain Dew-flavored tortilla chips didn’t offer anything at the time.

But Doritos Screamin’ Sriracha is finally here, and you know what they say, “Better late than getting lost in the glut of other sriracha products.” I believe a wise rooster crowed that.

Doritos Screamin Sriracha Closeup

The word “screamin’” gives a hint that these chips might be spicy. They certainly do appear to be angry with all the red seasoning that looks as if they’re waiting to pop a capsaicin in yo’ mouth’s nerves. The chips smell like a smoldering spicy fire that could ignite at any moment.

And the first few chips do bring the heat, but before I reach the serving size, my mouth gets numb to the spices. So I don’t feel compelled to douse my oral cavity with a cold beverage or cry “mommy” as I wish the tiny devils on my tongue would stop poking it with their pitchforks. But if you’re even the slightest spice adverse, stay far away from these chips. Don’t even pretend like you’re going to lick them for your Instagram.

As for their flavor, even though my mouth gets used to the burn enough that I could stuff my face with more of them, getting past the spiciness didn’t encourage me to shovel these into my mouth. Instead, now that I wasn’t thinking of the heat, my mind was clear enough to realize that I wouldn’t buy another bag of these chips.

They’re a little sweet, slightly garlicky, a tad oniony, and really peppery. On paper, that looks like a tasty chip, and it has all the appropriate ingredients you’d find in sriracha sauce, but the combination doesn’t appeal to my taste buds. Also, they do remind me of Doritos Blaze, which I did not care for, but I do think these are a little more tolerable.

Look, I like sriracha. It’s my go-to addition to pho. I’ve put it on burgers. I’ve dipped fries into it. But the flavor on these chips doesn’t do it for me. Maybe if the seasoning on Doritos Screamin’ Sriracha was a tad sweeter and the garlic was more pronounced, I would’ve enjoyed them more.

Purchased Price: Too much on eBay
Size: 9 3/4 oz. bag
Purchased at: ???
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (about 12 chips) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.