Whether you prefer them as classic crunchy Cheetos, Puffs, or one of the myriad of other forms that are available on the market today, most Americans love the crunchy cheesy taste of this snack. Even if as an adult you pretend you don't, most of us have fond memories of Cheetos stained fingers as a kid. What many people don't know is that this snack was actually created pretty recently and as a happy accident by a Wisconsin farm equipment company.
Who Invented Cheetos?
Cheetos were invented quite by accident. A company in Wisconsin decided to clean the machine that had produced animal feed. They placed moist corn on a grinder and it puffed up when the machine went through its various gyrations. The owner of the company took the puffed up corn and seasoned it, and Voila the first Cheetos were invented by Charles Elmer Doolin in 1948. Chee-tos (until 1998) were made into a brand of puffed cornmeal snacks made by Frito-Lay, which was a lesser-known company of PepsiCo.
How Cheetos is Manufactured
Making Cheetos is easy as blending corn and water. To prevent spoilage, the germ of the corn is removed and ground into cornmeal. Since it removes the nutritional value, enrichment takes place with the addition of nutrients to increase the product’s overall value. Once the enrichment takes place, the mixture is warmed through pressure and released through just the right size of die. The resulting texture is one that is caused by contact with hot air, which causes a buildup of steam that gives it the kind of texture necessary to create crunchy goodness. Once the product goes through the drying or frying process, flavoring are added and the process is complete.
Cheetos Was Introduced in 1948
Chee-tos or Cheetos was the first product produced in 1948, and remained the lone commodity for 23 years until the Cheetos Puffs came along in 1971. After that, Baked Cheetos came along in the baked variety in 2004.
Richard Montañez Invented Flaming Hot Cheetos
Flamin’ Hot is all about Richard Montañez, who rose on the PepsiCo. ladder from janitor to a chief executive. He invented the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos after a faulty machine spit out the cheetos minus the cheese and dusting powder. So, Montanez took home the undusted Cheetos and sprinkled them with chili powder. He gives credit to the street vendors who dusted grilled street corn with lime and chili powder.
Montañez thought why not take his spicy hack and get it to Frito-Lay’s CEO. He tried the concoction out on his family and then went straight to Roger Enrico, PepsiCo CEO. He pitched it over the phone and was given a couple of weeks to demonstrate the entire thing. He talked his way into the meeting along with a sample bag and a head-full of marketing study. He gave such an impressive demonstration that it catapulted him up the corporate ladder from janitor to an executive vice president position.
Today, as a bestselling author and motivational speaker, Montañez pushes for business diversity. He realizes that there's more to being a janitor than meets the eye, especially when you're striving to be the best.
Cheetos Is A Popular Snack In 36 Countries Worldwide
Other countries have gotten on the Cheetos bandwagon and have other and unusual flavors in the mix. In China, you get ranch dressing, smoked octopus and caramel, while in Japan strawberry is the flavor of the day with a variation of original crunchy Cheetos that are coated in a flavored icing. In Pakistan, there are six flavors that consist of Vegetable, Ketchup, spicy twist and Cream N’ Herb.