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Cheetos – The Ultimate Guide

Cheetos Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on June 13, 2021 by Jim Edwards


Cheetos History

Cheetos are a cheese-flavored cornmeal snack that is coated in a cheese flavored powder. There are two different versions of Cheetos – a crunchy fried version and a baked puffed version. And there are MANY flavor options as we will describe below.

They are manufactured by the Frito-Lay Company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo. They have a distinctive neon-orange color and have an addictive cheesy taste and an orange coating that comes off on your fingers every time!

Cheetos were invented by Charles Elmer in 1948. He was doing some experiments in his kitchen and perfected the recipe with his kids as taste testers.

The core of the snack is corn, and they were originally intended to be a side dish for sandwiches and soups. Most people who love junk food and cheese will just eat them out of the bag, but there are many other ways to use them as flavor enhancers in fun and interesting recipes.

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Cheetos Nutrition Facts

Cheetos nutrition facts vary depending on the product and there are many version.

How Are Cheetos Made?

It is easier to watch a video of the process (see below).

What are the Cheetos Flavors?

Cheetos come in a variety of flavors and different products. The main products are:

  • Crunchy Cheetos
    • Cheetos Crunchy Cheese
    • Cheetos Crunchy Flamin’
    • Cheetos Crunchy Flamin’
    • Cheetos Crunchy XXTRA
    • Cheetos Crunchy Cheddar
  • Cheeto Puffs
    • Cheetos Puffs Cheese
    • Cheetos Puffs Flamin’ Hot
    • Cheetos Paws Cheese
    • Cheetos White Cheddar Bites
  • Cheetos Popcorn
    • Cheetos Crunch Pop Mix
    • Cheetos Cheddar Popcorn
    • Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Popcorn
  • Cheetos Mac ‘n Cheese
    • Cheetos Mac ‘n Cheese Bold & Cheesy
    • Cheetos Mac ‘n Cheese Flamin’ Hot
    • Cheetos Mac ‘n Cheese Cheesy Jalapeño
  • Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
    • Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Crunchy
    • Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Lime Crunchy
    • Cheetos Crunchy XXTRA Flamin’ Hot
    • Cheetos Popcorn Flamin’ Hot
    • Cheetos Puffs Flamin’ Hot
    • Cheetos Mac ‘n Cheese Flamin’ Hot
    • Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Baked Crunchy
    • Cheetos Flavor Shots Flamin’ Hot Asteroids
    • Cheetos Fantaxix! Flamin Hot
  • Fantastix
    • Cheetos Fantastix! Chili Cheese
    • Cheetos Fantastix! Flamin’ Hot
  • Simply Cheetos Puffs
    • Cheetos Simply Puffs White Cheddar
    • Cheetos Simply Puffs White Jalapeño Cheddar
    • Cheetos Simply Puffs Crunchy White Jalapeño Cheddar
  • Baked Cheetos
    • Baked Crunchy Cheese
    • Baked Crunchy Flamin’ Hot
Read ->  What are the Most Popular Snacks in America?

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Video: 10 Fascinating Facts about Cheetos

In this fun and interesting video, you will learn many interesting facts about the much loved cheesy treats. For example, did you know that Cheetos has been the top selling snack food since 2010? Cheetos are sold in over 36 countries and come in 21 flavors. The next time you take a bite out of these cheesy puffs think of these Top 10 Untold Truths of Cheetos.  #cheetos #fritolay #snacks

Related: Goldfish Crackers and Popchips Review

Video: How are Cheetos Made?

If you want to see an awesome video that will show you how your favorite Cheetos are made, this video is worth watching.

Over 4 million bags of Cheetos are made every DAY! Find out just how your favorite crunchy, cheesy snack is made.


Related: Fritos Chili Cheese


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Cheetos Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Cheetos Baked or Fried? 

The answer is BOTH!

Traditionally Cheetos are manufactured by blending corn and water. The germ of the corn is removed to prevent spoiling. The corn, which is then gormless is ground into cornmeal and fried. After it is fried, the flavor components are added (e.g Flamin’ Hot spices).

In recent years, Frito has added a “BAKED” line – these are baked and have 50% less fat than regular cheese-flavored snacks.

Are Cheetos Gluten Free? 

In short, most of the flavors are gluten-free.

According to Frito Lay, these Cheetos flavors are considered to be gluten free:

  • Cheetos Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeño Cheese Flavored Snacks
  • Cheetos Crunchy Cheese Flavored Snacks
  • Cheetos Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks
  • Cheetos Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Limón Cheese Flavored Snacks
  • Cheetos Crunchy XXtra Flamin’ Hot Flavored Cheese Flavored Snacks
  • Cheetos Fantastix! Chili Cheese Flavored Corn and Potato Snacks
  • Cheetos Fantastix! Flamin’ Hot Flavored Corn and Potato Snacks
  • Cheetos Paws Cheese Flavored Snacks
  • Cheetos Puffs Cheese Flavored Snacks
  • Cheetos Puffs Flamin’ Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks
  • Cheetos Simply Crunchy White Cheddar Cheese Flavored Snacks
  • Cheetos Simply Puffs White Cheddar Cheese Flavored Snacks
  • Cheetos Simply Puffs White Cheddar Jalapeño Cheese Flavored Snacks
  • Cheetos Reduced Fat Puffs Cheese Flavored Snacks
  • Cheetos Reduced Fat Puffs Flamin’ Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks
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Who invented Hot Cheetos?

Richard Montanez was a janitor at PepsiCo. He invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and went on to be an executive at the company. He had quite a career journey. He became quite famous for his story for many years and he became a highly paid motivational speaker. It was even in the process of being turned into a biopic directed by Eva Longoria that was going to portray Mr. Montanez as someone who succeeded despite all of the obstacles he encountered due to racial discrimination.

And then…in May 2021, a variety of articles came out that said the story was not true – Mr. Montanez did not really invent them. (Sources: WaPo and Vice). This has remained a popular urban legend for decades.

The reality is that a woman named Lynne Greenfeld who was then a junior employee at the Frito Lay’s HQ in Plano Texas is the one that came up with the name and was put in charge of developed a spicier snack to compete with the local brands sold at local markets in the midwest.

The Flamin’ Hot Cheetos were a huge hit and were sold nationwide by 1992.

Who is the Cheetos Mascot?

The Cheetos mascot is Chester Cheeto. He is also known as the Cheetos Cheetah. He is an anthropomorphic Cheetah that is human like in many ways. He is sly, with a smooth and silky voice. He is quite a character and he is the official mascot for Frito-Lay’s Cheetos brand. We have a montage of his best commercials below.

Cheetos Commercials – Compilation of ALL Chester Cheetah Ads

You can watch all Cheetos commercials featuring Chester Cheetah in one video. Cheetos Chester Cheetah commercials are in one video. Cheetos are strongly associated with Chester Cheetah.


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See also: Our Ultimate Guide to Pork Rinds


Image Credit: SCEhardt, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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