Frito-Lay/PepsiCo, feel free to reply at your earliest convenience. You can make out my letter to Curious Kate. Throw in some of your hottest Cheetos while you’re at it. Maybe the baked ones, which I didn’t even know existed until now.
(I couldn’t find a single fair use image of Lil Xan and Cheetos, so, sorry about that.)
Now, there are not just regular cheesy Cheetos and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos out there. No. That would be ridiculously limiting for a snack conglomerate that cashes in on the guarantee that you’ll need more snacks endlessly every day for all of time.
There are, as it turns out, 21 different types of Cheetos in North America alone, and in addition to that, the snack is also sold in different regional varieties in 36+ countries. (Wikipedia says “over 36 countries.” What does “over 36” mean? 37? 40? 36 at the time of writing but could be 37 any day now? That sounds like how we might politely describe someone’s age in a casting breakdown. “Ethnically ambiguous, over 36.”)
Australia already had a rough year* with the fires so I feel kind of bad saying this, but the only type of Cheetos they have over there is a flavor called “Cheetos Cheese & Bacon Balls.”
I mean, sure, those are probably delicious and perhaps even more so while being munched in the outback. But a little heavy for a snack, no? A bacon ball? That just hits me as so far beyond a cheese curl. But it’s nothing compared to some of these other countries.
**I wrote this before we entered a global pandemic, so realistically everyone is having a rough year. Sort of changes the way my Australia empathy reads there.
Let’s talk about the Cheetos flavor in Pakistan called “Ocean Safari.” It begs a few questions. We’re probably talking fish sauce here, but the safari reference throws me into daydreams of a group activity. Maybe even hopping on the Submarine ride at Disneyland. This has gone beyond snacking.
What exactly are we doing on this ocean safari this garners a tasty taste? Because I smell a submarine. Maybe salt. I do like seaweed.
Let’s now visit the Cheetos of Japan, where the Cheetos flavors bring a spunky youthful energy that sounds like things American kids* tried to make at home in their own kitchens and got in trouble for.
That’s right, I’m talking Pepsi-flavored Cheetos, Mountain Dew-flavored Cheetos, and the corn snacks covered in icing that are simply called “Strawberry Cheetos.”
*By American kids I mean me and my friend Stephanie who used to make a weird sugar sludge topping for Graham crackers, and everyone else I knew who mixed all the sodas together to make a “gummy bear” flavored drink at fast-food restaurant soda machines. I just gagged a little.
Meanwhile, back in Anytown U.S.A.: “Bethany! For the last time, what did I tell you about dipping your Cheetos in your Mountain Dew! Cut it out!”
Anyway. China also has flavors like “Zesty Japanese Steak,” as well as my personal favorite (by which I mean least favorite), “Savory American Cream.” Before we get into how much I don’t like the name Savory American Cream, I will say kudos to China’s Cheetos for using fun adjectives. Those I get. But Savory American Cream does not sound like an air-filled cheese curl. It sounds like the title of something that only adults can watch.
This would be a good time to segway into Cheetos branding.
Cheetos Would Not Be Cheetos Without a Cheetos Mascot
Whatever you do, don’t mention that “adult” reference I just made to the first Cheetos mascot, The Cheetos Mouse, because he was specifically branded to speak in an “upper-crust” accent.
That’s right, the early Cheetos Mouse of the 1970s was a posh wealthy mouse, and was therefore really giving off the vibe that he wielded a lot of social and political power back then.
I really doubt that a mouse of such prestigious stature would [admit] that he watched any Savory American Cream. I’d kind of be surprised if he actually ate the stuff at all. But the more modern, and just dripping with cool Chester Cheetah on the other hand…he’s another story. Now that guy is fun.