Hot Cheetos and Takis: A taste test

Can you even compare such fundamentally different snacks?
Can you even compare such fundamentally different snacks?

See Also:
"Hot Cheetos & Takis" video features young Minneapolis rappers from Beats And Rhymes program

Thursday's City Pages editorial meeting had several special guests. Yep, Hot Cheetos and Takis showed up and they totally overshadowed (and out-crunched) the discussion topics for the week. After we passed along one of our favorite local videos of the year last week, the nation got hip to the Minneapolis half-pint rap crew Y.N.RichKids. And, a long-standing argument that has brewed on message boards for years now got refueled: Are Hot Cheetos superior to Takis, or the other way around?

This is an argument that Takis maker Barcel, acquired by PepsiCo in 1998, and Cheetos parent company Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, will take to the bank. (Yes, this is all pumping free advertising to PepsiCo!) Corporate grumbling aside, here's what our editorial team thought about seven varieties of the salty snacks.

Gimme Noise volunteered to "go H.A.M. in the grocery store" and hunt down several bags. We headed to the closest Wallgreens and Cub Foods locations (next door to each other on West Broadway Avenue) to stock up.

Hot Cheetos and Takis: A taste test
Hot Cheetos and Takis: A taste test

About $15 later, we had the makings for a feast. And once the bags were ripped open, fingers were red like Elmo all over. An unnamed staffer was caught licking his cuticles soon after.

Just to get things straight, these snacks are not the same in size, look or texture. There's a similar bit of seasoning on each snack, but the basic appearance of any Cheeto is more of a cloudy puff of corn, and Takis are like rolled up tortilla chips.

Here are the flavors we tried:

Hot Cheetos and Takis: A taste test

And here are the combined thoughts from several editorial staffers:

Takis Fuego:
"Turds," was all Nicholas Rupar could say about this bag, and most of us agreed. This flavor was not as hot as advertised, and probably the most over-hyped of the Takis. A bit like the Lil B of snacks at this point.

Takis BBQ:
These garnered mixed results. Strictly if you're already a pro-barbeque flavor snacker. But for Olivia LaVecchia, these won the day. Niche, but satisfying.

Takis Crunchy Fajita:
The Takis team starts gaining some momentum here. Don't be surprised if there's a breakout success story for this flavor. Who doesn't want more "crunch, crunch, crunch" in their fajita?

Takis Nitro:
Gimme Noise couldn't stop eating the Nitro, which turned out to be just as thrilling as the American Gladiator character of the same name. Kevin Hoffman and Andy Mannix were both spotted going back for more. Each bite had a squirt of very real-tasting lime flavoring inside. Why does the roof of my mouth feel like an all-season tire right now?

Chester's Fries:
Reportedly "Flamin' Hot" if we were to believe the bag, but not in practice. Most staffers were confused because these were neither Cheetos nor Takis. Chester the Cheetah dragged his tail between his legs on this one -- soggiest of the bunch.

Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos:
Another split decision. Gimme Noise and Blotter approved, but not much traction from the rest of the staff.

Hot Cheetos:
Although Nicholas Rupar called these "classic redness," it seems that most of the love for these stemmed from the color of our fingers than the flavor.

See Also:
"Hot Cheetos & Takis" video features young Minneapolis rappers from Beats And Rhymes program

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