Happy National Cheetos Day!

Although I have a bit of a cold and I’m a bit sleepy, I am here as your humble junk food servant to celebrate National Cheetos Day.  It would be remiss of me to end the day without reflecting on the deliciousness of Cheetos.  Cheetos have helped me through some long and arduous days.  Best catalyzed with Diet Dr. Pepper, they serve as fuel for concentration and creativity (that is, after you take care of the sticky cheese dust, because you don’t really want that getting stuck in your keyboard.*)  Katy Perry has become the Patron Saint of Hot Cheetos, which many argue are even more delicious than regular Cheetos.  Her influence was apparent when I arrived in London.  I went to a grocery store in Sloane Square and noticed a mountain of Cheetos for sale.  Upon further inspection, I noticed that they were all Hot Cheetos.  I think this is due to Saint Katy’s influence.  Personally, I am an equal opportunity Cheeto Lover.  I must admit, however, that I haven’t yet tried some of the new Cheetos varieties, including Sweetos.  Chester Cheeto should be ashamed of me.  I’ll commit in advance to sampling them the next time I visit the U.S. of A.

I bid you all good night.  May visions of cheesy poofs dance in your heads.

*I’ve noticed that food getting stuck in my keyboard is an issue I’ve addressed in few of my posts.  Do I need a plastic cover that goes over my keyboard?  Should I cover it with saran wrap?  Should I post this question on Quora?

American cheese, cheese food, and queso.

Like any good ‘Murkhan, I’ve been thinking about Super Bowl snacks, even though I won’t have a party, and I’ll probably be asleep for most of it.  These facts are inconsequential.  As long as I have Super Bowl snacks, I can vicariously participate in the festivities.  I’ve been contemplating a new snack invention, which would involve white queso dip.  But, I’m in England, and I correctly anticipated that white queso dip is not readily available here.  Actually, it’s not so much the dip- I bet there are attempts at white queso here- it’s the American cheese for the dip.

I started looking for places to buy American cheese in London, and people were only talking about the yellow cheese slices used for hamburgers, etc.  I’m not talking about cheese food slices in cellophane.  I’m talking about this:

https://i2.wp.com/www.landolakes.com/assets/images/women_ofthe_grill/am_cheese.png

(From landolakes.com)

This type of cheese is THE BEST for making the white queso dip served in restaurants in the U.S., including, I suspect, my beloved District Taco (I miss you, Boo).  But where can I find this colonial cheese in England?  I think I might have to improvise.  I’m going to try a combination of Dutch Gouda and Cheddar cheese.  How did I come up with this combination?  I got really hungry reading about American cheese, which led to this:

Gouda

Nom Nom Dutch Gouda.  I’ll work on my recipe tomorrow, and I’ll keep you all posted on my results!

p.s. Here’s a good article on misconceptions about American cheese: http://thecookinggeek.com/american-cheese/

Homemade “Doritos Dust?”

I started thinking about Doritos dust, and whether one could create it at home.  After a quick search, I found this recipe.  My first reaction was “duh, this is also known as seasoning, not flavor powder” (See prior post).  My second reaction was unbridled excitement.  My third reaction was “uuuggghhh, nutritional yeast.”  This recipe uses nutritional yeast instead of cheese.  Obviously, it’s a vegan site, so they’re not using dairy.  I like experimenting with non-dairy comfort food recipes, like mac and cheese with rice or almond milk.  I’m not knocking non-dairy alternatives generally.  However, I am knocking nutritional yeast as a replacement for cheese.  It just doesn’t do it for me.  I can definitely understand using it for this recipe, because it’s probably easier to get the Doritos dust consistency right with nutritional yeast, because it’s flaky.

I did some more research, looking for alternatives, and most of the recipes for Doritos dust on the web included nutritional yeast.  I realized that it was time for me to figure out how to make real “flavor powder,” because I was all “f’ing dessicated cheese, how does that work?” (See Miracles at 1:53).

Apparently the best way to turn cheese into delicious cheesy powder is to use a dehydratorDo people have dehydrators handy?  I certainly do not.  Enter Amazon.

There are a bunch of cheese powders available on Amazon.  They range from “all natural” to “cheese flavor.”  I looked beyond Amazon, and I found this from The Spice House.  It’s all natural, but it ain’t cheap.  This would be good if you want your junk food real classy-like.  There’s also this white cheddar variety from King Arthur Flour.  It’s also pretty classy.

During my research, I also found this very interesting New Yorker article about the history of cheese powder, it’s “opioid-like effects,” and its use by the U.S. military.  It’s a good, albeit slightly depressing, read.

Wotsits

wotsits

Wotsits are basically cheesy poofs, which means I hold them in esteem. Unlike other types of cheesy poofs, these do taste more like actual cheese, and less like “cheese food,” which can be a bit more…tangy.

wotsits2

They’re also softer and dissolve faster than more artificial varieties of cheesy poof. This is important, because one of the saddest types of unintentional self-inflicted injuries is a food-related palate abrasion. All of you Sour Patch Kid, Lemon Warhead, and jumbo cheesy poof fans know what I’m talking about.  Nacho chips can also cause this problem…depending on the volume and velocity of your consumption (this sounds like a sad attempt at a “real-life” math problem). I also noticed that the Wotsits are all very evenly shaped. In short, Wotsits are the ideal cheesy poof for orderly people with sensitive mouths.