Move over, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos! There’s a new spicy, cheesy orange snack in town, and it’s gonna give you a run for your money.
That’s right. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are one of America’s most beloved junk foods, and have been known to kick everything up a notch — from Bloody Marys to Thanksgiving turkey to movie popcorn. But Spicy Cheese Crunchies from Trader Joe’s might just become a new favorite.
Baked Spicy Cheese Crunchies are described by Trader Joe’s as “charmingly cheesy” and “satisfyingly spicy.” Like the Frito-Lay version, the Trader Joe’s cheesy curls are also made with cornmeal, so that they are gluten-free.
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Spicy Cheese Crunchies are made without any artificial flavors or synthetic colors. So, yes, you might still end up with orange-stained fingers, but at least you know that they are being stained with real food and not lab-created coloring!
While undeniably delicious, the ingredients in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos include red and yellow food coloring and MSG (monosodium glutamate). Although considered generally safe to eat, MSG has been linked to several health complaints such as heart palpitations and chest pain.
Calorie-wise, you also get more bang for your buck with the Trader Joe’s version. You can munch on 33 Spicy Cheese Crunchies for 130 calories, whereas just 21 Flamin’ Hot Cheetos add up to 170 calories. Spicy Cheese Crunchies also have only 6 grams of fat whereas Flamin’ Hot Cheetos have 11 grams of fat.
Of course, these nutritional tidbits don’t mean that Trader Joe’s Spicy Cheese Crunchies are healthy for you. But if you’re craving a spicy, crunchy snack, they could be a better bet for your waistline in the long run.
Price-wise, the Trader Joe’s option is only slightly more costly than its orange-dusted peer: A 6.5-ounce bag of Spicy Cheese Crunchies is $1.99 at Trader Joe’s, whereas a 8.5-ounce bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is $3.00 at Target.