National Cheese Doodle Day on March 5th marks an annual celebration where fingers turn a cheesy orange as we snack on these flavorful treats! Found all across the country, these cheddar cheese coated snacks come in puffed or crunchy, fried or baked. They also come in single-serving or jumbo-sized packaging.
- The actual inventor of Cheese Doodles is under debate. Generally, the credit goes to a man named Morrie Yohai who made a variety of extruded snack foods in the 1940s for his family’s company called Old London Foods.
- Or either one Edward Wilson and/or Clarence J. Schwebke, who worked at the Flakall Corporation in Wisconsin around the 1930s. This company actually specialized in making flaky pet food, but created what was called ‘Korn Kurls’ as a (for humans) snack and applied for a patent in 1939. The snack was commercialized in 1946 by another company, the Adams Corporation.
- The second most commonly cited inventor is Elmer Candy of New Orleans, Louisiana, around 1936. Today, Elmer’s Fine Foods still sells cheese doodles under the name ‘CheeWees’.
- They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavors and 15 million pounds are produced annually.
- Cheese doodles are also known as cheese puffs, cheese curls, cheese balls, cheese poofs, cheesy poofs or sometimes corn cheese.
- Cheetos cheese-flavored puffs became a hit in the 1950’s. Soon after, Cheez Doodles appeared.
- “Cheez Doodles fingers” is the official term used when you get cheese powder on your fingers after eating any cheese-flavored snack food.
- Cheez Doodles are said to be one of the only packaged snack foods preferred by Julia Child.
- They have recently entered pop culture as the preferred snack of ESPN NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith. They are also the favorite snack of Lincoln Peirce’s comic character Big Nate.
- A janitor invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Richard Montañez worked as a janitor at the Frito-Lay factory in the 1970s, and after he started adding chili powder to his own Cheetos, he pitched the idea to the then-CEO. The CEO loved it, and the rest is history. Montañez is now an executive vice president at PepsiCo North America.
- Cheetos are scientifically proven to be addictive. According to an Oxford study, the brain associates the crunching sound with freshness, so you might be convinced that what you’re eating is more appetizing than it really is. Oh, and then there’s this little thing called “vanishing caloric density,” which tricks your brain into believing that you’re not getting enough of the tasty snack. You see, when a food melts in your mouth, the brain thinks you’re not taking in as many calories.
- The U.S. military helped invent Cheetos. Back in the WWII era, the military poured money into finding ways to dehydrate foods. Specifically, cheese. From the longer shelf life to the lighter weight, cheese powder was a smash hit — and also a key ingredient in Cheetos! In 1948 Frito‑Lay (then the Frito Company) introduced their first cheesy snack cracker, which contained the same Wisconsin cheddar that the army put in its dehydrated products.
- It’s someone’s job to eat Cheetos every day. It takes 19 minutes to make a bag of Cheetos, and every half hour, in-house labs at Frito-Lay facilities study the chemical composition of the cheesy poofs pulled from the production line. After that, a quality control panel inspects and tastes the snacks every four hours, comparing them to samples from company HQ.
- Cheetos will save your life. Next time you find yourself camping, or interested in doing a science experiment, trying using Cheetos to keep a fire burning. Cheetos, which are made up of “pure hydrocarbons and fat,” make excellent tinder for a fire. Better than Doritos, even.
- Each bag has more Cheetos than the serving size claims. The label on a large bag of crunchy Cheetos lists the contents at 189 chips, but thanks to meticulous investigation it’s been proven that a bag actually contains 237.5, meaning Chester is a very generous cat indeed.
- The snack dodged government-sanctioned school lunch guidelines. By offering reduced-fat and whole-grain-rich versions of its Flamin’ Hots. Apparently kids (and regulators) couldn’t tell the difference.
- It takes 5,000 cows to make a year’s worth of Cheetos. This stat comes straight from Kimberly Scott, the director of communications at PepsiCo, Inc./Frito-Lay North America: a year-long production run requires 11 million gallons of milk, which translates to 10 million pounds of cheddar cheese that’s then used in the Cheetos seasoning. That averages out to an astonishing 2,200 gallons of milk per cow.