Monday, June 13, 2011
TBG (Quickly) Eats: Honey BBQ Cheetos Puffs
I've had the same barber for 15 years and I get my hair cut every Saturday morning. I bring my seven-year-old son Jalen with me for his haircut every second or third Saturday. Jalen, however, often wants to come with me even when he's not getting a haircut. There are two reasons for this.
First, Jalen knows the barbershop means he'll get to play with my PSP handheld gaming system. It started out when he was younger, as a reward for good behavior in the barber's chair. Now that Jalen is older, the PSP serves as a distraction from some of the more unsavory characteristics of today's black barbershops – such as religious intolerance (NSFW), vandalism and everything about Barbershop 2.
Second, since my barbershop is a 40-minute drive from Stately Bootleg Manor, I almost always have to fill up my gas tank at the Circle K after our haircuts are completed. When Jalen is with me, we'll treat ourselves to a classy convenience store mid-morning meal -- usually two 99-cent "Big Grab" bags of salty snacks and two bottles of freshly-squeezed fruit juice to wash it down.
Jalen never deviates from Doritos, while I'm a bit more of a Frito-Lay elitist. Munchos have been a mainstay in my "commuter's brunch" for the past few months. Texturally, theirs is an elegance that richly deserves the "potato crisp" appellation. But, this past Saturday, my eyes wandered towards the whimsical artwork on the bags of Honey BBQ Cheetos.
Oddly enough, barbecue-flavored chips are probably my least favorite. Even during my morbidly obese adolescence, I considered them overly sweet and artificial. But, I was intrigued by the concept of this taste on Cheetos -- especially since these were the lighter, crispier "puffs" variety.
Unlike traditional Cheetos that are smothered in cheese dust, the use of honey-barbecue powder here is much more restrained. There's both a mild sweetness and a wee bit of a kick on the back end of each bite. Meanwhile, the airiness from the puffs prevents that annoying cornmeal coating that smothers the inside of your mouth after eating a bag of Cheetos traditional "crunchy" variety.
Even, Jalen couldn't resist. He's normally hesitant to try any new foods -- with or without nutritional value -- but, he crammed his little hand in the bag, took a tentative bite and proclaimed his admiration ("Daddy, can I have the rest of yours?")
His sad little "Awwww...!" when I told him "no" is better than any endorsement I could give.
Grade: 4 (out of 5)