A Brief History:
Also known as Chee-tos or, as Frito-Lay's web site would have it, CHEE.TOS ®, this delicious cheesy snack was first unleashed upon the unsuspecting populace of the United States of America by the Frito Company in 1948. They were immensely popular. All was quiet on the disturbingly orange front until two decades later, in 1968, when a certain "CHEE.TOS ® brand Mouse character" was invented "to tell the story of CHEE.TOS ® brand Cheese Flavored Snacks to television audiences nationwide." Very little is known about this mysterious mouse character; however, a Google search will enable one to find pictures of Cheetos Mouse Pencil Erasers, showing a goofy-looking rodent, head approximately the size of the rest of the body, with gimongous ears and a dopey grin. It is hypothesized that this mouse may enjoy Cheetos brand Cheese Flavord Snacks, but that is largely insubstantiated conjecture. In 1980, the now Frito-Lay company decided to shape things up a bit, so they invented Cheetos Puffed Balls. Get it? Ball? Shape things up? /me groans.
By far the most important moment in Chee-tos history came in the great year of 1986, the same year we got Aliens, Top Gun, and Walk Like an Egyptian. What is this crucial development? Chester Cheetah, of course, the then-and-current Spokescat for the Cheetos line of snack products; he is most well known for such brilliant epithets as "It's not easy being cheesy" and "Why am I so goddamn orange?" Following Chester's arrival, Frito-Lay unleashed a flurry of new flavors and formats, including: Curls (1989), Puffed Balls in canisters (1990), "Paws" (1991), Flamin' Hot Cheetos (1991), Amazin' Cajun (1994), Cheesy Checkers (1996), Crunchy Nacho (1997), Zig Zags™ (1998), and finally X's & O's™ (2000).
From Frito-Lay's web site:
Warning! Use extreme caution when opening a bag of CHEE.TOS® brand Cheese Flavored Snacks. CHEE.TOS® have been found to be DANGEROUSLY CHEESY™. If exposed to this incredibly delicious substance, look for these signs of cheese-crazed behavior.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you are officially hooked on the deliciously, DANGEROUSLY CHEESY™ taste of CHEE.TOS®. The only cure? A never-ending supply of that cheesy crunch you crave.
- Fingers and tongue constantly orange
- A craving for all things cheesy
- The inability to share CHEE.TOS with others
Readily apparent from the above quote is the danger of addiction to the product; although it is glossed over as humorous advertising, the danger is real.
Nutritional Information per 1 oz. (28 g) Cheetos Puffs:
artificial colors: (Yellow 6, extractives or turmeric and annatto)
- cultured cream
- nonfat milk
Frito-Lay Nutrition Facts, 2 May 2002
Oxford English Dictionary