Monday, March 23, 2015

Cheetos USA Sweetos Cinnamon Sugar Puffs

I know this is a "Lay's" blog... but every once in a while I have to digress. I mean, how could I NOT do a taste test on these Limited Edition Spring Cheetos?? These crazy looking things are "Cinnamon Sugar Puffs" and are cutely shaped like decorated Easter Eggs. I really loved these. They are a little bigger than a quarter and have the texture of Cheetos Cheese Puffs. The flavor is similar to a Mexican Churro, (or the cinnamon twists from Taco Bell) with the Cinnamon and Sugar flavor. But I also got an aftertaste that kind of reminded me of Butter. That was the only semi-weirdness, because these were pretty dang delicious. I took these to the park with my nieces and nephews who loved them, and then the next day had them in a hotel room in Vegas being devoured by late-night drinkers.... so LITERALLY this bag can be for anybody and any occasion. I think it's a pretty big win for Cheetos.
... and just a little fun fact for those in the "Cheetos have to be Cheesy" camp (I used to be that person)... Cheetos have always been Cheesy (or Cheese and Jalepeno-y) here in the States. But, a lot of other Countries brand Cheetos completely differently. In Colombia, Cheetos are a plain corn crunchy snack. In Korea, the standard flavor is BBQ. Sweet Cheetos have been made in Yogurt and Strawberry flavor too... so the Cinnamon Sugar idea isn't that odd.
I love to see these fun and odd ideas see the light of day here in the US, especially when executed well. For me, this is a pick up... and you better swoop on it soon before it's limited run is over. It's not exclusive to any stores, but I found mine again in the Target seasonal section (next to some yummy looking seasonal Angie's popcorn in flavors like Lime White Chocolate mmm). If you love Cheetos or Churros you gotta give this a try!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Frito-Lay Central America Kachitos Arepitas Mantequilla

This was a weird but fun bag to try. The bizarre story of determining what these actually are begins as such: My cousin brought these with him from Bolivia... but I'm guessing these were imported from Central America to Bolivia because the back of the bag lists off several Central American countries that it may be sold in, and no South American countries like Bolivia... and since it is pretty far from that region I think it was imported (I've seen it before, Sweden doesn't carry Lay's but some stores get the Danish ones that are meant for just Denmark).
The bag is filled with corn tortilla rounds called Kachitos Arepitas, in the flavor of "Mantequilla" which is Spanish for "Butter".
Now, I'm Colombian, so I know that Arepitas is a nickname for small-Arepas.

Arepas are these DELICIOUS cake/bread/pancake things made of corn... they look like thick tortillas.

In many Countries, Arepas are cut open and stuffed... but in some places, like Colombia, they are eaten just plain with melted Butter (or a piece of cheese) on top. They are pure delicious-ness in any recipe, but I love them plain with Butter. So, when I saw they were called Arepitas with Butter flavor, I thought YUM YUM, I've had something like these before!
In Colombia, there is a brand of chips called "Yupi" and they manufacture "Tosti Arepa", a tortilla chip flavored like Butter that are literally mini-Arepas. They are frikin awesome! If you can find them, I recommend them.

So, I cracked this bag open looking for the smell of Butter... but I couldn't find it... weird... then I smelled Cheese... like Aged Cheese... weird...
I tasted one... it tasted like Cheese... weird...
I flipped the bag over and read the ingredients... "queso"... that means Cheese... wtf was going on here!!?

I had another chip, I could taste the Butter come through as a secondary flavor. But it was no match for the Cheesiness. I figured the bag just didn't taste good, I mean, it say's "Butter" flavor, but it just doesn't taste like "Butter". A little investigating, and now, I think I understand what is going on.
I THINK, Kachitos are cheese flavored... like, always. I THINK, the standard base flavor is Nacho Cheese... very similar to Nacho Cheese "Doritos".
There are several bags of Kachitos brand products, but I believe the main bag is called "Kachitos Nachos: Clasico" and they are Nacho Cheese flavor. They are rounds and the bag shows off some liquid Nacho Cheese. This would explain why the Cheese flavor is not mentioned on the outer packaging of these. And the "Arepitas" bag is distinguished solely by it's addition of "Butter" flavor.

Here is a picture of the other options in the Kachitos collection.
The only evidence I have to support this crazy theory I have is that the Red bag pictured on the left is listed as "Kachitos Antojitos: Picante" flavor (Snacks: Spicy) but on Kachitos facebook page the flavor is described as 'Bacon and Cheese flavored with a hint of spice' and seeing as how the shape of the chips in that bag match the shape in the "Kachitos Clasicos: Bacon Queso" bag... It would be another example of them presuming someone knows the "Classic" flavor and only describing the bag by the additional flavor.

IT IS SO CONFUSING!! So basically all of these bags are Nacho Cheese flavored, whether they say it or not.

So what is my final review of this misleading bag of chips?? Well, I think for a chip similar to Doritos, it was actually pretty good. The cheese flavor was well developed and didn't overwhelm the chip. The Butter flavor comes through and gives the chip a fun, decadent taste. The crunch is well done, and you taste the yummy corn chip flavor. The color was nice. It was a tasty tortilla chip. However, I feel that the confusion about the flavor was distracting and frankly, poor branding. Since there are chips that exist that are butter flavored, others could very well have the same expectation I did. If I wasn't writing a blog and investigating, it would have quickly gone in the trash, I would have thought the chips were rancid... really. Because the flavor was so far away from what the bag said.
But, from a position of knowing that it is a Nacho Cheese flavored chip, I think it's worth a taste. If you like "Doritos", or even "Chili Cheese Fritos", I think you will enjoy these.

BONUS ROUND: It looks like Taco Bell Panama does in fact see these as comparable to "Fritos", because just like Taco Bell USA has stuffed "Fritos" into all their delicious treats, so has Panama done with "Kachitos"... so if you want to try some fun food in Central America, check out these beauties that are available now.

PS If anyone has any more insight into what the actual Kachitos flavors in each bag are please comment below or message me. I'd love to know!!