We sampled a Cheetos-inspired fragrance and it went as well as you might expect
'International socialite, media personality, and Cheetos brand spokes-cheetah Chester Cheetah' brings you his new fragrance, 'Cheeteau.'
In case you ever wanted to smell like Chester Cheetah, the “iconic feline with a scent bold enough to excite and delight,” Frito-Lay unleashed Cheeteau, a fragrance produced by Demeter (who else?) that smells like a combination of Cheetos and a heady floral arrangement. Demeter, by the way, is the same company that created the pizza-scented perfume and a few other truly unique fragrances. like "funeral home" and "dirt."
According to Chester Cheetah, the “enchanting bouquet” was designed “so that the pleasure of Cheetos is never farther than a spray away.”
The Daily Meal staff had a chance to sample the fragrance (we didn’t have a choice, really, as the scent traveled throughout the office and seemed to grow stronger while we unwillingly gulped cheesy breaths of air), and the general consensus is this: If you want to smell like Cheetos, you’re probably better off just eating some Cheetos.
Cheeteau is available for a limited time beginning April 1st, which means that although the physical perfume is very real, Cheeteau is an April Fool's Day prank and not Chester Cheetah's next business venture.
Cheeteau will be launched with an “extensive marketing campaign” including a video and print ad, including free sample giveaways in New York and Los Angeles. For more details, follow @ChesterCheetah on Twitter.
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.
10 Things You Never Knew About Cheetos
From the orange dust to the wild packaging, Cheetos are a snack that truly stands out.
From the orange dust to the wild packaging, Cheetos are a snack that truly stands out. The next time you crunch away on a package of these cheesy corn puffs, chew on some of these fun facts…
1. Chester Cheetah wasn’t always the mascot.
Gone, but not forgotten. Image: Fritolay
Turns out the snack’s first spokescritter was a mouse! Seeing as mice love cheese, it seemed like a natural fit, and starting in the early 1970s, this character always took his favorite snack on all kinds of wild adventures.
But a decade later, the motorcycle riding squeaker lost his edge, so the brand introduced Chester Cheetah. From his name to his swagger (and those shades!), this ultra cool cat seemed like a much better match for the brand.
2. A janitor invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
And now ALL of you know at least one person who is absolutely OBSESSED with the Flamin’ Hots. You know who you are. Image: favianquezada / Instagram
Well, make that a janitor turned exec! 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.
3. Cheetos are scientifically proven to be addictive.
The hairs on the back of my neck stood up looking at this image. That seems problematic. Image: maymikko / Instagram
Once you tear into a bag, it’s hard to stop, and there’s a reason for it. According 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. Sneaky!
4. It takes 5,000 cows to generate a year’s supply of Cheetos.
You the real MVP. Image: hannahrneal / Instagram
It takes 11 million gallons of milk to make the 10 million pounds of cheddar cheese that are used in Cheetos seasoning, this according to Kimberly Scott, the director of communications at PepsiCo, Inc./Frito-Lay North America. For a further breakdown, this averages to 2,200 gallons of milk per cow. Moo!
5. Cheetos come in all kinds of wild flavors.
What is this BLASPHEMY?! Image: snackbetch / Instagram
Cheetos are produced in 22 countries all over the world, including Spain, Cyprus, Pakistan and Poland. Not only are there some unique local flavors, but there are some downright weird ones, like Pepsi, strawberry, ketchup and Japanese steak, the latter of which is sold in China.
The brand also developed Sweetos, which are cinnamon and sugar snack puffs that are available during the spring — and don’t taste anything like the cheddar crunch we’re used to.
6. The U.S. military helped invent Cheetos.
Yep, it’s pure. Image: tinapoblador / Instagram
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. That cheese dust has some serious history!
7. There are even Cheetos cosmetics.
Cheetos bronzer? That’s the only thing ridiculous enough to trump their perfume. Besides, who’d want their face to look orange? Image: tinapoblador / Instagram
Uhh, this is a joke. Or is it? Though it’s no longer available on the Cheetos website, both a bronzer and a fragrance were marketed and sold online during the 2016 holiday season. The bronzer was creamy and orange, but sadly, did not taste or smell like cheese.
However, the fragrance reportedly contained hand-extracted cheese oils, so it sounds like the name Cheeteau was right on target!
8. It’s someone’s job to eat Cheetos every day.
I volunteer as tribute. Image: Mike Mozart / Flickr
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.
9. The cheese seasoning has 12 ingredients.
Ignorance is bliss. Image: Mike Mozart / Flickr
You’re putting a lot more than cheese in your mouth, you know. Enriched cornmeal is fried and then rolled around in that oh-so-delectable cheese powder, which contains whey, yellow 6, lactic acid, citric acid, vegetable oil, vitamin B, sugar, salt and MSG, among other things. Mmmmm.
10. A Cheeto shaped like Harambe the Gorilla sold for nearly $100,000 on eBay.
Almost an exact representation. Image: eBay
Filed under: Totally random. As you may remember, Harambe the gorilla was killed last year at the Cincinnati Zoo, and one eBay seller seemingly decided to capitalize on the primate’s tragic death.
Special K & EOS Lip Balm Promotion
Special K® struggles with staying relevant these days as millennials and most population is getting more and more educated about nutrition. Thus partnering with trendy brand EOS® (a USDA-certified organic, antioxidant-rich lip balm) was a smart way to connect with the consumers and give shoppers a deliciously refreshing deal they won’t find anywhere else. The partnership included 3 different offers, packaging, displays, FSI and web banners. One of the offers was a chance to get a free limited edition Special K® Red Berries EOS® Lip Balm,
Most people like the smell of pizza, but they don't like smelling of pizza. Pizza Hut ignored this in 2012 when it released its own branded perfume in Canada.
Initially, the cologne was sent to just 100 fans of the Pizza Hut Canada Facebook page, according to The Huffington Post. However, the next year, the fast-food restaurant chain re-released the scent as part of a Valentine's Day promotion.
“Eau de Pizza Hut is one of the most sought-after and rarest of scents available,” said the CMO of Pizza Hut, Kurt Kane, in a press release at the time.
Aroma of Success Surrounds Garlic : Culinary Festival Leaves Many Participants Breathless
Inside the often smelly cookbook publishing house are wall posters and offbeat tributes to Allium Sativum or garlic, a member of the lily family heralded in folklore as magical, mystical and medicinal.
The cement-block building next to Alice Water’s Cafe Fanny and flanked by rows of abandoned houses is also the headquarters of the 4,500-member Lovers of the Stinking Rose, avid supporters of garlic-mania.
Lloyd John Harris, who shook the culinary world with his breathless and enthusiastic “The Book of Garlic” back in 1974 and who edits the fan club’s Garlic Times newsletter, says he can smell a great garlic revolution spreading around the world.
“I get mail all the time from people confessing their deep attachment to garlic,” said Harris, who has since published “The Official Garlic Lovers Handbook” and who prints many of the poems, praises and recipes in the newsletters and books. “Some letters are very funny and some are very serious.”
Harris, who once led a national boycott by garlic lovers against mouthwash products, has begun a garlic gallery near his test kitchen. The gallery includes such items as clove-shaped ceramics, garlic-flavored gum, garlic perfume, remedial garlic tablets, and garlic presses, souvenirs, jokes and posters. An artist, Harris has also carved several garlic-shaped pipes.
“What I look for are things that are seriously funny or seriously serious, like the garlic bubble gum,” said Harris, whose advocacy of the herb has earned him the nickname Mr. Garlic. “There’s a lot of junk being manufactured like crazy now because of the success of events like the Gilroy Garlic Festival.”
The Gilroy, Calif., event, modeled after a festival in Arleux, France, took place in late July and drew about 140,000 people to a three-day event that featured a “gourmet alley” of garlicky dishes and free samples of garlic ice cream. Industry figures from the self-proclaimed “Garlic Capital of the World” say 200 million pounds of the pungent herb are now grown in the United States.
Harris helped launch the Gilroy event and is involved with several smaller festivals that have sprouted up in such places as Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Fitchburg, Mass., and Toronto.
“It’s a wonderful food ritual and wherever garlic is grown in the world there are festivals,” Harris said. “So, it seems that wherever it is grown in the United States there should be harvest festivals.”
The original garlic book, of which more than 120,000 copies have sold, remains the cornerstone of Harris’ publishing business, which specializes in passionate single-subject books about food.
“The idea behind Aris Books is that it would be a forum for other people like myself whose food passions could be translated through the written word as opposed to simply directed through cooking.”
Of these books, one of the first was “The International Squid Cookbook,” which Harris said was like writing about “the garlic of the sea because it presented the same kind of negative as well as positive image.” Another favorite, Harris said, was “Mythology and Meatballs,” a literary journey on a Greek Island emphasizing the people and the food. A recent offering is from the Mycological Society of San Francisco and is titled “Wild About Mushrooms.”
Harris tries all the recipes in the books he publishes at his test kitchen.
“We create an atmosphere, obviously, where the words and the food can come together,” said Harris, who has built a catalogue of 25 titles that are sold mail-order and in gourmet food and specialty stores.
Although Harris has occasionally tried to shed his garlic persona to become more serious about the publishing side of his business, he keeps being drawn back to the herb that he said has survived through the ages despite derision and scorn by mostly upper-class people who didn’t like the earthy, pungent aroma it left on their breath.
“The peasants in every country where they grow garlic eat garlic,” said Harris. “It’s a peasant food and a farmer’s food. As you go up the social ladder, you find people discarding the elements that would identify them with lower classes, so the social implications of eating garlic is one of the fascinating aspects of its history.”
Even Americans who like garlic, Harris said, often remove the clove before serving the food, an act akin to heresy. Fortunately, he said, this is happening less because of an emphasis on herbs, spices and regional cuisine in cooking circles.
“What we’re calling the New American Cuisine is a shift away from gourmet cooking, which comes from the European elite, and back toward peoples’ foods simply prepared and highly spiced. That’s what regional cooking is all about.”
Alice Waters, whose four-star Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley has taken part in annual local garlic festivals in recent years, said the presence of the ubiquitous bulb on the menu became so popular she had to add it to the desserts.
“You cannot ignore garlic you either eat garlic or you leave it alone,” she said, adding that people come to Berkeley from all over California to participate in the annual “garlic frenzy” food fests held by a half-dozen restaurants.
Harris says garlic is a “fun, funny and fundamental” food that falls into three categories--herb, spice and vegetable.
“Garlic inspires a festive spirit, creates a sense of groundedness and unites people in a spirit of camaraderie,” said Harris. “Garlic is basic to the world’s best cooking--there are very few exceptions--and is one of the most written-about foods.”
During the Dark Ages, garlic fell into disrepute, although French priests claimed eating the clove regularly kept them free of the plagues then sweeping the Continent. Braided garlic was also hung around the doors and windows of homes to protect the dwellers against vampires. Roman legionnaires used garlic mixed with coriander as an aphrodisiac.
Harris said garlic is a complex mineral-rich food high in sulfur compounds and selenium, a substance that helps normalize blood pressure. Research is still inconclusive, however, over many of its curative claims. As food, garlic can be baked, broiled, sauteed or boiled, which Harris believes enhances its subtle varietal flavors and its curative powers.
Where Gauguin Came for Sweetness and Light
Paul Gauguin was most fortunate to have had Madame Marie-Jeanne Gloanec as his landlady when he lived at her modest pension in this small town in southern Brittany off and on between 1886 and 1896.
On one occasion she was even kind enough to take one of his paintings as payment for the board he couldn’t pay.
Madame Gloanec, however, was more benefactor than art connoisseur. She soon made a doormat out of Gauguin’s painting.
Gauguin and other members of the Pont-Aven School (Pierre Bonnard, Emile Bernard, Maurice Denis, Paul Serusier) were drawn here by the marvelous Breton light, brilliant yellow gorse and pastoral scenes of the Bois d’Amour (“Woods of Love”) nearby.
Pont-Aven had such an attraction for Gauguin that he returned here four times, three from Tahiti and once from Arles and his tumultuous relationship with Vincent van Gogh.
The Aven River flows down to an estuary on the Atlantic Ocean, once driving many flour mills along the way. So many that Pont-Aven became known as the town of “14 mills and 15 houses.”
Although Madame Gloanec may not have known much about art, she knew enough about business, eventually building a large hotel on the main square.
Getting here: Air France flies nonstop to Paris. American, Pan Am, TWA, Delta, Continental and a clutch of foreign carriers offer service with stops and changes. Air Inter will fly you from Paris to Quimper or Lorient in an hour, both 22 miles from Pont-Aven.
A round-trip LAX-Paris ticket costs between $890 and $940 U.S., based on advance purchase, month and day of week flown. Air Inter charges $148 one way for the Paris-Quimper or Lorient leg.
French National Railroads (call (213) 451-5150) has a variety of rail passes for travel throughout France. Quimperle (nine miles) is the nearest station to Pont-Aven.
How long/how much: Give Pont-Aven and the surrounding countryside several days. Lodging costs are moderate, dining from high moderate to expensive.
A few fast facts: The franc recently sold for 5.05 to the dollar, about 20 cents each. Best times to visit are May-June (when flowers are beautiful) and September-October for the foliage and absence of crowds.
Getting settled in: Hotel des Ajoncs d’Or (1 Place de l’Hotel de Ville $38 to $46 double occupancy), named for the yellow gorse flowers, is on the town square. While bedrooms are on the small side, baths are sparkling and the new wing has bright rooms all done in delft blue.
Take breakfast in a sunny room or on the flowered terrace. Fare is usually a choice of Breton crepes or the usual croissants and brioche.
Le Moulin de Rosmadec (just off the main street $84 double occupancy) is a 15th-Century mill on a small stream that flows between the hotel and its restaurant in the town’s most beautiful setting.
Bedrooms are large, bright and decorated with antiques and great charm. There’s a feeling of elegance and the patina of age throughout the mill, but only five rooms, so make reservations well in advance.
Hotel Roz-Aven (on the river at port $56-$96 double occupancy) is another charmer of warm Breton stone that dates from the 18th Century. Choose from bedrooms in traditional (one with old beams and wood paneling) or relatively modern style.
Although a Breton breakfast of crepes is the only meal served, plans call for a dining room with seafood specialties to be opened later this summer.
Regional food and drink: You won’t get far in Brittany without running into crepes, either the thin ones made of white flour or the slightly thicker galettes made of buckwheat. The thin type is always served with a sweet filling of jams, berries, honey or liqueurs, while galettes could be stuffed with anything in the kitchen from mushrooms to a game ragout. Both very addictive, particularly when served, a local custom, with the region’s cider.
Breton cooking, apart from the crepes and seafood, usually gets short shrift from other Frenchmen, being regarded as rustic at best. However, we found interesting and imaginative dishes at everywhere.
Brittany’s only wine of note are the muscadets, which come from along the Loire River near Nantes. The Loire muscadets and are light, off-dry, honeysweet in fragrance, have a nut-like flavor and go very well with the region’s abundant seafood.
Good local dining: Le Moulin de Rosmadec’s restaurant, sporting a Michelin star, is the most beautiful and romantic place in town. The bar is a work of art, with decorations of beret ribbons from French military units of wars gone by. A huge fireplace, ancient beams, copper pots, fresh flowers and a variety of antiques add to the mill’s charm.
Meals run from $22 to $48 and offer such as Belon oysters, lamb estragon , sole in a champagne sauce and several tempting desserts. Patrons can dine outside in a flowery garden beside the mill stream.
The dining room at Hotel des Ajoncs d’Or is much simpler in decor, but the colorful pottery and wooden bar give it a certain style and elan. A $15 menu here might include fish soup, mussels or six oysters, followed by a main course of steak or fish, then salad and dessert.
Chez Candide (on the main street) is a creperie in one of the town’s oldest buildings, with heavy, dark wooden tables and benches. Try its ham or cheese galettes for $2, or shoot the works with a banana, chocolate and whipped cream crepe for $4.50.
Going first-class: Chateau de Locguenole (23 miles in Hennebont $119-$232 double occupancy) is a baronial manor house that has been in owner Madame Alyette de la Sabliere’s family for more than five centuries. The kitchen has two Michelin stars, which the restaurant has had for 16 years.
There are 30-foot Aubusson tapestries on dining-room walls, original period furnishings, family portraits, a huge pool and a spacious lawn bordered by stately trees leading down to the river.
The superb food and service in the chateau’s dining room costs $62 per person, and the wine list is formidable.
On your own: First stop at the Pont-Aven Museum on the main square. Make sure to take in the short audiovisual presentation on the town’s past and artists of the Pont-Aven School. There are photographs of Gauguin and the old town, plus an impressive selection of art.
Walking around town, visitors will go past several of the old mills, innumerable art galleries and shops with fine selections of handsome Breton ceramics.
Walk or drive up to the Bois d’Amour, noting the signs that identify spots that inspired painters.
Near the Bois is a delightful 16th-Century country chapel. Simple inside, it has a wooden statue of Christ that was the model for Gauguin’s Yellow Christ.
There’s a perfect spot for a picnic near the chapel, so stock up on food and wine before your hike.
For more information: Call the French National Tourist Office at (213) 271-6665 or write (9454 Wilshire, Suite 303, Beverly Hills 90212) for a brochure on Brittany, hotels in the region, plus a map offering points of interest in northwest France.
Another case of brand venturing that failed, Bic launched a perfume in 1989. Everything about the branding of the product was great, from the packaging to the pocket-friendly price. Consumers were however not impressed by the fragrance and Bic had to stop production after just one year. They recorded an estimated loss of $11 million.
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Puff piece: Which brand makes the ideal cheese puff?
When I began thinking about the ideal cheese puff, my research took me to an excellent resource: this succinct video , which not only explains how cheese puffs are made, but also the differences between them. A puff is an extruded cornmeal dough that gets, well, puffy as it comes into contact with the air. The crunchier, club-like cheese snacks (the ones you’ll usually find in single-serve bags) are subject to a stretching process that removes excess air during its extrusion, hence less puffiness. The flavoring powder gets dusted on in a tumbler, and the result is an all-too-compelling snack food.
I consider cheese puffs a three-course snack. The first course is the traditional “chewing and swallowing” of a puff, a trait shared with most solid foods. The second course is the hydrated puff remnants that get lodged in the teeth, typically requiring a long and thin object to help extract. The third course (dessert?) is the residual flavor coating that dusts the fingers after fetching puffs from the bag or bowl. Three different stages, three different textures, three different presentations, all in one snack—compelling, indeed!
It’s not just those courses that dictate an ideal cheese puff. I’d consider the following criteria:
- Flavor: Stating the obvious, but a puff should taste good. For a cheese puff, there should be moderate tang and sharpness. Even if there’s a partner flavor, the cheese should be the star.
- Texture: This includes both the density of the puff, as well as the consistency of the structure. A dense puff is less satisfying than an airier puff, and a smooth, airy puff is near perfection. When chewed, there shouldn’t be much resistance - think chalk on concrete.
- Dissolution: Related to texture, a puff should melt in your mouth down to a soggy mush with minimal effort. The remaining mush should have a more concentrated, cheesy flavor than the dry puff you put in your mouth.
- Tooth stickiness: This is the one course that’s pretty unsatisfying since there’s no unique flavor notes, so the less that sticks, the better.
- Finger residue: The residual dust from dipping your fingers into a bag or bowl of puffs is a feature, not a bug, and part of the enjoyment of this particular snack. It’s childish fun to scrape off the residue with your teeth, especially when not in the company of others. The more the merrier, I say. The taste should again be a concentrated version of the overall puff.
I sought to examine a cross-section of mass-market cheese puffs to see how they stacked up against these criteria. Although no points system was developed, I did recognize those that had the most prototypical puffiness, and also tasted good. The results below are presented in alphabetical order.
Angie’s Boomchickapop White Cheddar Puffs
These stubbier baked puffs had a consistency caught between a puff and a cheez ball. The chewed puff stuck more on the exterior of the teeth, the only brand that caused this sensation. When left unchewed in the mouth, the puff turned to mush very quickly. The finger dust had a much more concentrated white cheddar taste than the puff itself. You practically had to squint to discern the cheese flavor on the flavorless corn puff, though. Besides the nice texture, there isn’t too much else to highlight.
Annie’s Homegrown Organic Cheddar Cheesy Smiles
Annie’s baked smiles had a more pronounced arch than some of the other brands, but they also had a uniform firmness that verged on packing peanut consistency. There was plenty of tooth stickiness, but barely any finger residue. Flavor-wise, it was hard to pin down the cheddar notes. Overall these were pretty underwhelming. I may have flipped one of these over and made a cheesy frown for myself.
These are the Vegas Strip of cheese puffs. Compared to all the others sampled, these were amplified in almost every attribute. These were the largest in size. Dense, but not styrofoamy, the puffs stuck in the teeth very easily, requiring decent effort to dislodge. My fingers were caked in Cheeto dust, by far the most of any puff. And the overtly tangy flavor was hard to classify as cheesy. Like the signature fluorescent orange color, this taste sensation is an attribute exhibited only in the Cheeto. If you like your puffs boisterous, there’s no better choice.
Herr’s Stubb’s Sweet Heat BAR-B-Q Flavored Cheese Curls
These had the best texture. Light and airy, there was a uniform puffiness that encouraged prolonged snacking. Tooth stickiness was minimal, but finger residue was plentiful. What stayed on the fingers was a sweet, cayenne-tinged powder with low cheese or tang. Melting the puff in the mouth accentuated the heat flavors. Despite being more of a bar-b-q puff, these were really delicious. I highly recommend these on texture and flavor, but can’t in good conscience say these are a good cheese puff, so they receive an honorable mention.
Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar Puffs
This is the official snack of suburban 21st-century parenthood. Baked—not fried—these are often perceived as a healthier bagged snack than other chip and crisp alternatives. This recipe does have some rice mixed in with the cornmeal, which left slightly jagged elements in the puff. The only nugget shape sampled, this was one of the fastest to dissolve in the mouth. The aged white cheddar was an accurate descriptor, with a more subdued cheese flavor. Taken in context with others, it has a little stronger coating. Fingers developed a white coating that tasted just as good as the puff. Though not amazing in any one area, Pirate’s Booty had moderate to high marks across the board.
Planters Cheez Balls
When I was a preteen, we used to receive cans of these as Christmas presents from my grandparents. Sentimentally I was rooting for these, but they didn’t deliver on the overall puff experience. Small and hard, these crunched more than the others. I yearned for more finger coating what I got was fine, but the flavor just didn’t seem to catch on. The smaller size resulted in the quickest dissolution in the mouth. Color-wise, these were the sort of bright orange you’d sooner find on running shoes than on food. Eight-year-old me would love these, just as my kids flocked to them during the testing. To be fair, my kids flocked to all of the varieties, but this can was gone by the end of the day. The size, color, and fun of eating from the can appealed to them the most.
Simply Cheetos Puffs White Cheddar
These were longer and thinner than any of the other puffs, with again a dense texture. The puff stuck on the teeth, but hardly any powder adhered to the fingers. I had a hard time dissolving these, and unfortunately there was not much flavor to savor after the fact. The bag smelled the sourest of the white cheddar varietals, and the seasoning could have used some salt. There are simply better white cheddar alternatives available.
Whole Foods 365 Cheese Puffs
Similar to the Herr’s curls, these had a uniformly ideal texture that wasn’t too porous. The puff residue had the least stickiness it didn’t take up residence in the teeth, which was surprising. An acceptable amount of finger residue remained after having a few puffs, and it tasted good, with a very bright and tangy cheddar flavor. They took a while to dissolve in my mouth, and when they did, it concentrated the tangy cheese even more. These would be worth a buy again, and they accurately represented themselves as cheese puffs.
I didn’t anticipate as much variance as I found between all of the puffs. Texturally, they were shades of gray, with only the Cheetos and Annie’s being overly dense. The Pirate’s Booty and and Whole Foods offerings had the closest flavors to actual cheese, while the Cheetos and Planters were boldly flavored but less cheesy. The Herr’s puffs were dynamite, but again, there wasn’t enough cheese flavor to consider them a peer of the others sampled. Frankly I was expecting more residue, but aside from the Cheetos and the Herr’s it was not very pronounced on the other puffs.
Winner: Whole Foods 365
Runner Up: Pirate’s Booty
Honorable Mention: Herr’s
Nick Leggin is a technology professional, writer, potato chip enthusiast, and former game show contestant.
Doolin, Charles Elmer [C. E.] (1903&ndash1959)
Charles Elmer Doolin, founder of the Frito Company, businessman, inventor, farmer, and board member, was born on January 10, 1903, in Kansas City, Kansas. He was the son of Charles Bernard Doolin and Daisy Dean (Stephenson) Doolin. When he was a small child, the family moved to San Antonio. C. E. Doolin graduated from Brackenridge High School. He married Faye Floree Richards in 1928, and their son Ronald Elmer Doolin was born in 1929. The marriage ended in 1941, and Doolin was awarded custody of Ronald.
Doolin’s father, C. B. Doolin, was an engineer who invented a laminated fabric for tire casings (this may have been the precursor of the steel belt in steel-belted tires) and a mechanical oil can for automotive oil, among other things. He taught both of his sons (Charles Elmer Doolin and Earl Bernard Doolin) about mechanical engineering and about writing patent applications for their inventions. As a teenager, C. E. Doolin worked in his father’s auto repair garage/tire shop. He later used this early training to teach his sales force how to get more wear out of their tires. The family also owned the Highland Park Confectionary in San Antonio, and it was at the confectionary that the Frito corn chip was born.
Ice cream sold at the confectionary wasn’t as creamy at it had been because the two companies who made it, Mistletoe Ice Cream and Dairyland, were engaging in a price war, and Doolin was looking for a new treat in order to diversify. On July 10, 1932, he responded to an ad in the San Antonio Express. The ad, placed by Gustavo Olguin, listed for sale an original recipe for fried corn chips along with an adapted potato ricer and nineteen retail accounts. Doolin sampled the chips at Olguin’s store. He liked them and bought the small business venture for $100. He began to manufacture the chips in his mother’s kitchen with the help of his father, mother, and brother Earl.
At first the family made corn chips using Olguin’s adapted potato ricer and premade masa (corn dough) that they bought in bulk from a tortilla factory across town. They thinned the masa and extruded it through slots cut in the bottom plate of the ricer, then snipped the extruded ribbons of masa straight into boiling oil. They named their corn chips Fritos and chartered the Frito Company in September of 1932. In 1933 C. E. Doolin applied for a patent for a “hammer press” to mass produce the chips.
Thanks to Doolin’s enterprising spirit, wide-ranging interests, and attention to detail, the company quickly expanded. By 1947 it had five manufacturing plants, including offices and a plant on the West Coast, and franchises all around the country, and it had expanded to include many new snack foods like roasted peanuts, peanut butter crackers, potato chips, and fried pork skins.
C. E. Doolin came up with many innovations that are taken for granted as standard business practices today. These include his “store-door” delivery policy, which involved company salesmen stocking the product directly onto the shelves, and which he staunchly defended to grocery store managers who wanted to stock the shelves themselves. He pioneered the engineering of sales routes to assure that salesmen had adequate time for product servicing as well as their usual sales activities, and he was a leader in the area of research and development, investing substantially in research to improve performance of raw materials, manufacturing processes, and packaging. He also had the idea for clip-racks, which displayed fresh products within easy reach of customers, and he instructed his newly-minted marketing department to create signage, tear-sheets printed with Fritos-ingredient recipes, and seasonal and other grocery store displays (such as the stuffed “Frito Kid” model who rotated on a regular basis from store to store). In his travels he frequently made roadside stops to collect examples of effective or innovative advertising he frequently brought examples back to the Fritos marketing department.
Doolin had a reputation for fairness and generosity toward his employees. He considered— and called— them collectively the “Frito Family,” and he sold them discounted company shares, gave them sizeable pensions, and often personally presented them with rewards for excellence or years of service. He mingled with his employees and invited them to socialize with each other regularly at holiday parties and other celebrations.
The Frito Company purchased Champion Chili in 1952 and purchased controlling interest in Texas Tavern (which made bean dip, among other things) in 1956. The business of both canned food companies became the new Champion Foods Division of the Frito Company. (In 1962 Champion Foods became Austex Food Division.) C. E. Doolin had numerous plans for his newly-purchased canned food. He opened an experimental fast-food stand called Tango Dairy Mart, which served Mexican-inspired canned foods like chili, tamales, enchiladas, and bean dip, and became one of the first Tex-Mex fast food places in the country. It was also the first place in Dallas to have a microwave, known back then as a radarange. Doolin diversified into other fast food enterprises, buying Dixie Enterprises, which owned Pigstands—fast food places that served barbecue sandwiches and sold bags of Fritos on the counter attached to clip-racks —and Cheesesteak of Texas. He invented cup-shaped fried tortilla shells, called Ta-cups, and served them in the Tango Dairy Mart, Pigstands, and Cheesesteaks, because fold-over fried shells, or “walking tacos,” broke when customers bit into them.
Doolin was an early investor in Disneyland, which opened in 1955, and built Casa de Fritos Restaurant in the amusement park. Casa de Fritos was first located across from the steamboat ride in ‘Main Street’ and later moved to a larger lot across from the exit to the jungle ride in Frontierland. At the restaurant they served the company’s canned Mexican-inspired foods and had a mechanical Frito Kid who talked, rolled his eyes, licked his lips, and dispensed small bags of Fritos.
In 1945 Doolin married Mary Kathryn Coleman. They had five children: Charles, Earl, Kaleta, Willadean, and Patrick Daniel. In 1980 Patrick Daniel was killed in an auto accident at the age of twenty-three.
Doolin was a follower of Dr. Herbert Shelton, an advocate of “natural hygiene,” an early system of alternative health practices. Doolin had an avid interest in what today is called health food and in the wholesomeness of the food his company manufactured.
C. E. Doolin was a master entrepreneur and had numerous business interests. With the help of an agronomist, he worked on hybridizing to create corn with the perfect flavor and texture for his corn chips. He was also involved in improving the oil the company used for frying. He was one of the first importers of sesame oil and grew corn, soybean, safflower, and sesame crops for the health food market and for his vegetable oil blend. He was involved in developing, selling, and finding new uses for cold-rolled sesame oil, and he designed recipes for and made sesame candy for the health food market.
He owned “Frito Farms” located throughout Texas. The farms were in Ellis County (near Midlothian) Denton County (near Lewisville) Guadalupe County (500 acres near Seguin) Grayson County (near Tioga) Atascosa County (near Poteet) and Dimmit County (1,200 acres near Big Wells). In an interview Doolin said, “The motivating factor for establishing the farms was cultivation of the soil, for from good soil grows good corn.” His interest in fostering a healthy environment led him to seek advice from the Texas Department of Agriculture about crop rotation, composting, and soil conservation, and to conduct experiments in these areas. The farms were also used to develop products for his businesses, to raise cattle and hogs, and to test his experimental animal feed on his own livestock. He also crossbred Brangus cattle and experimented with developing hog and cattle feeds from his own industrial waste byproducts, such as potato skins and stale chips, and from agricultural waste products such as ground mesquite trees, sesame hulls, and corn stalks.
Doolin was a member of the Southwest Agricultural Institute. He was on the board of trustees of the Texas Research Foundation (the foundation developed TRF-3, a corn hybrid used in Fritos). He was a board member of Texas Bank and Trust Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Natural Food Associates (an organization to promote the growing and use of better foods from living soil), and American Natural Hygiene Society. He was a member of Texas Livestock Marketing Association of Fort Worth, San Antonio Inventors Association (charter member June 26, 1956), Dallas Athletic Club, Société des Gentilshommes Chefs de Cuisine, and National Food Distributors Association (Chicago). He was a trustee of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and committeeman of the Boy Scouts of America (Pack 579). He also belonged to the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce and was a sponsor member of the Dallas Council on World Affairs.
The Frito Company became publically traded in 1953. C. E. Doolin served as president of the company until June 10, 1959, when he became the chairman of the board. His leadership had changed a small kitchen-operated business into a leader in the snack food industry.
C. E. Doolin died of a heart attack on July 22, 1959, in Baylor Hospital in Dallas. He was fifty-six. He was buried in Restland Abbey (now Restland Memorial Park) in Dallas. At the time of his death the Frito Company employed 3,500 people and produced products throughout the nation and in foreign countries, with sales at an annual rate of $60 million. In 1961 the company merged with H. W. Lay and Company and became Frito-Lay.