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The Surprising Thing You Never Knew About Cheetos

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Channel: Mashed
Categories: Cooking   |   Fine Arts  
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Cheetos have been called "one of the most marvelously constructed foods on the planet" and even if that is hyperbole, there's no denying that this snack food is incredibly popular. There's quite a bit of science and some interesting history behind this cheesy, orange snack.

Since the 1980s, Cheetos' television commercials have featured Chester Cheetah, the mischievous mascot with a slick attitude and a constant hunger for cheese-coated corn snacks.

the animated feline declared in his earlier iterations, with subsequent catchphrases including "Dangerously cheesy!" and "Take a Cheetos break with Cheetos."

However, Chester was not Cheetos' original mascot. That honor goes to the Chee-tos Mouse. The Chee-tos Mouse truly loved the snack.

In addition to its species, the mouse had some significant differences from his successor. While Chester's more laid-back, the mouse was sometimes snooty and would often be pictured wearing a three-piece suit. One spot depicted the mouse as a politician, while in another he was swinging through the trees as a cheesier version of adventure hero Tarzan.

According to Advertising Week 360, the character was designed by artist Paul Coker Jr., a familiar name to fans of Mad magazine from that era, where his illustrations appeared regularly. While the Chee-tos Mouse has faded from memory, promotional items bearing his likeness can still be found on eBay.

If it seems as if eating one Cheeto inevitably leads to eating an entire bag, that's not imaginary it's science. A jaw-dropping 2013 investigation in The New York Times Magazine took a deep dive into the scientific processes and complicated chemical combinations that go into consumers' favorite snack food.

According to the article, Cheetos manufacturer Frito-Lay has a research facility in Texas "where nearly 500 chemists, psychologists, and technicians conducted research that cost up to 30 million dollars a year." Among the many goals was to attain the perfect degree of crunchiness, aroma, and "mouth feel" which they test with a 40 thousand dollar piece of equipment that "simulated a chewing mouth." Saying the team took the development of Cheetos seriously would be an understatement.


The original mascot | 0:00
Proven to be addictive | 1:24
A military invention | 2:29
A brilliant invention | 3:14
Weird international flavors | 4:12
Makeup and clothing lines | 4:56
A valuable Cheeto | 5:37
An all-Cheetos menu | 6:37
Dangerously flamin' hot | 7:07
A surprising firestarter | 8:03
A lot of ingredients | 8:41
Mystery Colorz | 9:19
The Cheetos Museum | 9:49

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