Flamin' Hot Cheetos have been leaving their trademark red trail all over the news lately as some schools throughout the U.S. have set their sights on eliminating the snack – which was one-half of the inspiration for the awesome viral video above – from within their walls.
According to a recent Chicago Tribune article by Monica Eng:
Yet there is something about Flamin' Hot Cheetos that inflames critics in a way that other snacks — including regular Cheetos — never did. Some schools and districts, including the Noble Street Charter School Network and the entire Rockford school district, have banned Flamin' Hots by name, citing nutritional concerns.
"We don't allow candy, and we don't allow Hot Cheetos," said Rita Exposito, principal of Jackson Elementary School in Pasadena, Calif. "We don't encourage other chips, but if we see Hot Cheetos, we confiscate them — sometimes after the child has already eaten most of them. It's mostly about the lack of nutrition."
It seem silly to me for schools to focus on Flamin' Hot Cheetos when just last year the U.S. House of Representatives essentially declared pizza in school lunches to be a vegetable. But banning fads come and go for school district. When I was a kid, it was pogs. Now, it's Flamin' Hot Cheetos.
This did get me thinking – however – about which bagged chips I would have missed the most had my school district decided to ban it instead of pogs. The following are the ones I would have been most loathe to see go:
1. Cool Ranch Doritos:
I very, very rarely eat bagged chips these days. But when I do, I prefer Cool Ranch Doritos.
These fantastic alternatives to the classic nacho cheese Doritos represented everything I wanted to be growing up.
"You wanted to work on a horse farm?"
No, no, no. Cool, cool. I wanted to be cool. (I had a better chance of working on a horse farm.) And nothing said cool like Cool Ranch Doritos … well, except for maybe good looks, athleticism and charm.
Despite their lack of success in changing my social status, Cool Ranch Doritos remained delicious. And, really, that's what's most important.
2. Lay's Sour Cream & Onion:
If Cool Ranch Doritos were 1A in my bagged chips pitching rotation as a kid, Lay's Sour Cream & Onion certainly were 1B. Which was amazing because I didn't like either sour cream or onions growing up. (Or I refused to try them. Same difference really.)
Furthermore, nothing went better with a bologna and cheese sandwich – my staple meal from the ages of 10-14 – than Lay's Sour Cream & Onion chips. That's a fact. Look it up on Wikipedia. Hopefully, I will have changed it to a fact by the time you do.
Ah, Fritos. Never your first choice. Never your last choice. Which was exactly how I was picked for sports teams through childhood. Like the Frito, I was the smallest around, but made up for it by being competent at what I was doing. Fritos and I are like brothers in that way. We also both love being around chili.
4. Lay's Barbecue:
I didn't really like Lay's Barbecue through most of my childhood since I didn't like barbecue and that shaded my view of the chips, as well. (Yes, this is completely different logic than I used with Lay's Sour Cream & Onion. I was a child. I tried to talk to Abraham Lincoln with a stick. I didn't care that much about logic.)
But as I hit my teenage years, I discovered that I liked both barbecue and Lay's Barbecue. Still not my first choice, but a worthy alternative if none of my favorites are available.
5. Lay's Classic:
There's no other chips around? Fine, I'll eat Lay's Classic.
• Going for Gusto is a blog by Joe Grace. Columns, videos, lists and quick thoughts posted throughout the week. Send questions, comments and blog ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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