Cheetos Pretzels Are The Savory Snack We've Been Missing

The new pretzels come in classic Cheetos cheddar and Flamin' Hot flavors.

Cheetos come in various shapes and sizes, from crunchy curls to pillowy puffs, and its flavors span from Flamin' Hot to Pepsi. But over the past few years, Cheetos has explored some entirely new formats, including a KFC crossover and a grocery store mac and cheese lineup. But today, Cheetos officially released a whole new vessel for its signature Cheetle and Flamin' Hot flavoring: the good old fashioned pretzel.

Pretzels are a somewhat surprising choice since they're baked rather than fried, and they have a smooth surface to which flavor powder doesn't always adhere very well. But Cheetos has already thought of that: These pretzels are split in half so that their interior texture is exposed, allowing the flavor powder to stick to every nook and cranny.

The Cheetle is the best part of a Cheeto, but does it translate to pretzels?

How do the new Cheetos Pretzels taste?

One side of each (surprisingly large!) pretzel is much like the kind you'll find in a snack mix, smooth and unsalted. The other side is hacked open, exposing the rougher, more mottled interior. If you look at the photo above, you'll see that this side is capable of taking on a whole lot of seasoning powder.

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I'm happy to report that Cheetos' decision to bisect the pretzels actually works pretty well. Each piece is well dusted, and even the shiny side is absolutely coated in an impressive amount of flavor powder.

That being said, of the two flavors, the Flamin' Hot is far superior. At first I thought it was simply due to my preference for spicy food, but that's not actually the case. It's because, when eating Cheetle on pretzels rather than corn puffs, it's made clear that Cheetos' cheddar flavoring really isn't as intense as I thought. It's certainly there, but once you start chewing, the malty quality of the pretzels quickly overtakes the cheesiness.

The Flamin' Hot seasoning, meanwhile, is so punchy that it breaks through the pretzel and even provides a lingering citrusy heat afterwards. Flamin' Hot aficionados are going to find these pretzels pretty satisfying. Cheddar fans, not so much.

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Are the new Cheetos Pretzels worth buying?

It's very hard to compare these pretzels to regular Cheetos, because these are two completely different creatures. (They don't even chew the same way; pretzels take more work, whereas corn puffs dissolve in your mouth with very little effort.) I'm generally not a pretzel fan, but I ate way more of these Flamin' Hots than I was anticipating, absentmindedly eating several handfuls before I told myself to stop. My coworkers and fellow taste-testers were all pretty delighted, too.

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Cheetos Pretzels will pair well with a movie or football game, specifically because of their absentminded crushability. So yes, even this pretzel-hater will happily buy another bag, and so should you.

The Cheetos Pretzels are slowly rolling out nationwide, and a representative for Frito-Lay confirmed that the product will be a permanent part of the lineup going forward, not a limited-time-only release. So, as James Brown might sing, pretzel fans have got a brand new bag.

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