Have you ever been eating a bag of Cheetos, only to think "Man, I wish these were devoid of cheesy goodness and inexplicably sweet"? You have? Well in that case my friend, the good people at Cheetos have the new snack for you.
I am a huge fan of cheese-flavored snacks. Be they puffs, curls, doodles, or balls, pieces of extruded, fried cornmeal covered in orange dust (the orangier the better) have long been a favorite of mine.
Cheetos Puffs are high on my list — with Flamin' Hot Limon trailing close behind — and I can plow through a bag of them (like, a full bag meant for a party) if I'm not careful. Frankly, I think they are a perfect junk food and wouldn't change a thing about them.
But time waits for no one, and snack food brands must keep reinventing themselves to stay relevant and take up increasing amounts of shelf space, and so it has come to pass that Cheetos has released its first non-savory snack called "Sweetos," which are shaped like Easter eggs.
These cinnamon-and-sugar flavored puffs will be available for a limited time starting mid-February and are meant to "herald the arrival of spring." Based on the packaging, it would appear that Chester Cheetah is celebrating spring by murdering the Easter Bunny and making a headband out of his ears. It's probably part of a master plan to steal Easter chocolate from the baskets of children everywhere, and I can only assume that Sweetos are meant to serve as a distraction.
But enough theorizing about the motives behind Sweetos, all I care about is if they're any good.
Appearance: If you squint a bit, they do look like little Easter eggs, though less colorful. I like my Easter eggs to be colorful, damn it, and Sweetos fall short in that regard. It's not as if the Cheetos corporation is afraid of food coloring, otherwise the Cheesy Salsa Mix-Ups would be devoid of their trademark green puffs. Also, let us not forget those giant (orange) Cheetos that somehow turned one's tongue blue. If you have forgotten about them, here's a little reminder, courtesy of Shane and AnnyaMoon.
Besides making them a little more colorful, I probably would have made them in a larger variety of shapes. Eggs are great, but what about tulips, lambs, or little bunnies in honor of the dearly departed Easter Bunny, taken too soon from this world by a sugar-crazed cheetah?
Aroma: When you first open a bag, you are greeted with the warm and welcoming scent of cinnamon and sugar, quickly followed by the buttery — if somewhat synthetic — aroma of microwavable buttered popcorn. I happen to love the smell of microwavable buttered popcorn, so this is a plus in my book.
Flavor: Pretty much exactly like Cheetos, minus the cheese, plus fake butter and Taco Bell cinnamon twists. Similar to the aroma (though in reverse order), the first taste of Sweetos is that of microwavable buttered popcorn. Just as that flavor begins to fade, the sugar and cinnamon kick in. The sweetness fades as you chew, leaving you with the classic corn puff flavor that I associate so firmly with Cheetos Puffs. No one flavor is on the tongue for too long, and this salty-sweet adventure keeps me coming back for more.
Overall: Like Cheetos themselves, Sweetos are classic junk food in that they are "so bad they are good." I don't find myself craving Sweetos, but once I start eating them, it's hard to stop. I wouldn't buy them over regular, aggressively orange Cheetos, but they are worth trying if you have a curious mouth or really, really love cinnamon-and-sugar-flavored snacks.
Will you be trying Sweetos? What's your favorite cheese snack? Do you think the Easter Bunny is okay?
Sweetos will be available for a limited time beginning in mid-February for $3.49.