Thursday, March 09, 2006

It's not easy being cheesy

My brain is working in cahoots with my stomach, and they're both against me.

While I'm doing something important (working, watching my son or delicate scratching), my brain and stomach decide that I'm in need of torment and give me random food cravings.

These can range from the inconvenient (a pastrami Hot Hat, which I could procure after a brief trip to a Straw Hat Pizza in Tracy) to the impossible (the tag-team treat of a Hostess Pudding Pie and Nacho Cheese Cheetos).

What did I ever do to them to make them hate me so much?

And more importantly, what's a guy have to do to get some good snack food to return to the shelves? I'm not the only one pining for the Pudding Pie.

And Frito-Lay seems to have room for every permutation of Cheetos imaginable. Here's the list from their Web site:

BAKED! CHEETOS Crunchy 100 Calorie Mini Bites Cheese Flavored Snacks
BAKED! CHEETOS Crunchy Cheese Flavored Snacks
BAKED! CHEETOS FLAMIN' HOT® Cheese Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS ASTEROIDS® 100 Calorie Mini Bites Cheese Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS ASTEROIDS® FLAMIN' HOT® Mini Cheese Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS ASTEROIDS® Mini Cheese Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeno Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS Crunchy Cheese Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS Crunchy Twisted Cheese Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS FLAMIN' HOT® Cheese Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS FLAMIN' HOT® Limon Cheese Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS Jumbo Puffs Cheese Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS Jumbo Puffs Flamin' Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS Natural White Cheddar Puffs Cheese Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS Puffs Cheese Flavored Snacks
CHEETOS TWISTED Cheese Flavored Snacks

All of that and no Nacho Cheese Cheetos? I think not. For those of you who have not sampled such a taste delight, it's like if you ate a regular Cheeto and a Nacho Cheese Dorito at the same time.

I first saw them when I was a kid vacationing in Southern California with my family. I guess it was some kind of test marketing thing, because I didn't see them back home, and no one believed my stories about them.

Many years later, I was hanging out after class at Stan State, and I checked the little store for some suitable snacks.

There on a shelf, shining like a bounty of gold, were bags of Nacho Cheese Cheetos. I moved so fast toward them that you could still see my afterimage at the end of the aisle.

I only had enough money on me to buy one bag, but I was able to snag a few more bags at a nearby grocery store.

But I had to be rational about this. They disappeared once before; they could vanish again.

I called the customer service line at Frito-Lay and expressed my joy at finding my coveted snacks.

"I'm just curious, though," I said. "Is this just a test marketing thing, or are they a permanent addition?"

"Oh no, they're here for good," the friendly woman at Frito-Lay told me.


I like to think that she was misinformed. I'd hate to think that she was deliberately lying to me just so she could rip my heart out and --

Sorry. Got a bit carried away.

I had my battle chest of Cheetos, but even I can plow my way through a big bag only so quickly. By the time I was ready for more, they glittered on the shelves no more.

But every time we go grocery shopping, I look for them. Just in case. My wife helps, too -- by testing my reflexes.

"Hey, are those Nacho Cheese Cheetos?" she'll ask, pointing to a random spot on the shelves. I look for them so quickly that I often miss the evil gleam in her eyes.

Should you want to help rectify this situation, you can call Frito-Lay at 1-800-352-4477, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Standard Time or write to them at: Frito-Lay, P.O. Box 660634, Dallas, TX 75266-0634

And if you want Pudding Pies to make a comeback, you can try contacting Hostess via e-mail form here or mail Interstate Brands Corporation, Consumer Affairs, 12 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64111. Their number is 1-800-483-7253.

And don't mention me; I might be blacklisted or something for having perhaps made disparaging comments about Twinkie the Kid in my passionate plea for the return of Pudding Pies.

I'd just like to state for the record that I have nothing but respect for Twinkie the Kid, and I'd never do anything to harm him or his hat.


  1. OMG! Straw Hat Pizza!! I remember the cartoons they played in that little room off to the side, and of course, the mechanical horsie! Wow! Memories!!

    And damn you, Jeff! Now I want Cheetos! (Props to Jen on psyching you out! LOL)

  2. the_warrior651:35 PM

    I'd kick a dozen spartan asses for a big ol' bag of Nacho Cheese Cheetos!!! I, too, had the same problem of nobody believing that this product ever existed!

  3. I loved Nacho Cheese Cheetos!

  4. I was doing a search for Chee-tos Nacho Crunchits and stumbled upon your page. You talk about Nacho cheese cheetos which makes me think they're the same ones that we have here in Newfoundland Canada. If you go on the frito lay site for Canada and click on their brands section and then select the Atlantic region you will see that that is a product that they supply in the Atlantic Canada area.

    I love them and can't imagine not having them around. They're here in abundence in this province.

    The reason I was doing an online search of the topic was beacuse a friend of mine who has been living in Ontario Canada for several years is not able to get them up there. So she's sent a request to her mother back in Newfoundland to send her up a few bags via mail.

    They're a wicked (excellent) product. I can't be bothered with the regular cheddar ones. That's one thing we have here in Newfoundland, quite a good junk food base lol.

  5. I tried the 800 number that was given and the woman said that they never made nacho flavored cheetos. guess we were all dreaming the same dream :)

  6. Anonymous6:57 PM

    I thought I was the only person to ever eat Nacho cheese Cheetos.......sooooo I want them again.....maybe santa will bring me some for Christmas