Thursday, December 9, 2010

Product Review: Cheetos Mighty Zingers

Before I went on my mission to Monterrey, México [1], I didn't really care much for spicy foods.[2] But while I was down there, I developed a certain taste for it. Admittedly I'm much less immune to the spice as I was while I was down there [3], but I still like a little kick now and then. For a long time now I've seen Cheetos Mighty Zingers on the shelves at the grocery store and been curious about them. Well, I finally bought some and tried them out.

The Cheetos are small and crunchy and come in two colors: yellow and green. I presume that the yellow are supposed to be cheese-flavored and the green are supposed to be jalapeño-flavored. But by the time I ate them they'd been in the bag so long together that flavors had combined, so they both just tasted the same. The jalapeño flavor was pretty prevalent, but there wasn't very much heat.

My verdict: My first opinion was that these chips were just boring.[4] However they grew on me despite the false advertising on the bag that claims a "wicked picante" flavor, which is notably absent. The jalapeño flavoring gave them a nice tang. I've been eating these with a beef-flavored Maruchan Instant Lunch for the last week, so they offered a nice counterpoint to the savoriness [5] of the beef.


[1] For those who are unsure why Latter-day Saints (Mormons) go on missions, I recommend you visit here and here, where you can learn more about LDS beliefs concerning sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you have more questions, ask and maybe I'll do a full post on the topic.

[2] Although in scouts we all underwent an initiation of sorts called "Kissing Melinda". Melinda referred to Melinda's, a brand of habanero sauce that our scoutmaster was fond of (you can see their website here). 'Kissing Melinda' consisted of holding your mouth open while he dripped the hot sauce in—at least three drops, but preferable more. Having since sampled raw habaneros, Melinda's is not so bad in retrospect.

[3] I could eat several raw jalapeños during a single meal, even though I like their flavor less than most other peppers I've sampled.

[4] This is possibly due to the fact that while I was in México, for a short period of time, bags of Cheetos (which they pronounced CHAY-tohs, mouse over for IPA) came with little bags of sauce, called Splatz, that you dumped over your chips. In general they were pretty gross (especially the tamarindo flavor), but there was one combination that I just couldn't get enough of: jalapeño-flavored Cheetos with a pineapple-flavored Splatz. That probably sounds strange and gross to you, but I still feel a little bit sad whenever I remember that Cheetos doesn't make those anymore, so I'll never have them ever again.

[5] Most of us grew up learning that there were four kinds of taste that our tongues can detect: saltiness, sweetness, sourness, and bitterness. Well, a fifth has recently been recognized: savoriness. It was actually first named in Japanese (旨味, umami, which means "good taste" or "good flavor"), for the detection of flavors such as those found in meat, broth, mushrooms, or cheese. Just as we associate sourness with lemons and sweetness with sugar, savoriness is best associated with monosodium glutamate (MSG). For more information, see

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