food & drink

Hot Cheetos Lovers Should Check Out These Delicious And Outrageous Recipes Using This Go-To Snack

okipokila / rads247 / Instagram

Hot Cheetos have been the go-to snack for teenagers and young adults since they were released in 1992. These spicy corn based snacks are worth every hot and painful mouthful. How many times have you eaten too many of these delicious snacks that you questioned your very existence? You can thank an entrepreneurial janitor at the Frito-Lay plant in Rancho Cucamonga, California. That’s right. In case you didn’t know the history of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, here’s a crash course.

Richard Montañez was a janitor at the snack factory and realized there was an opportunity to elevate the brand and the flavor profile of some of the most iconic snacks. That’s when he started playing with recipes of spicy chile powders until he landed on the flavor we love today. He was inspired by the iconic and classic snack elote because if it is good on the corn, it is good on corn chips, right? Exactly. After setting up a meeting with execs and getting the snack approved, Montañez is living large. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are Frito-Lay’s highest grossing snack and it is not hard to see why.

As with all things, the fans and consumers of Hot Cheetos have given the snack new and unexpected life. Sure. Many people eat them as they are and really enjoy them on a basic level. However, so many other people have taken the snack and turned them into a culinary treasure. Here are some of the recipes and dishes people have done with Hot Cheetos given their immense popularity.

Peanut Butter, Jelly and Hot Cheetos Sandwich

CREDIT: jonathans_ka24 / Instagram

People just love some sweet and spicy flavor combos because they are some of the best combos. It really is a flavor palate that cannot be beat. You savor the sweet and nutty flavor while feeling your temples start sweating from the pepper kick from the delicious Cheetos.

Hot Cheetos Covered Corn Dogs

CREDIT: lesbefoodies / Instagram

It seems like a legit partnership. If that kind of spicy flavor is good on corn on the cob, wouldn’t it be good on corn dogs? Thankfully, we have county fairs across the country that are able to give us our wildest food dreams. After all, these places give us deep fried Oreos, Kool-Aid balls and Twinkies. Obviously someone in a fair would be able to come up with Hot Cheetos covered corn dogs.

Tempura Shrimp

CREDIT: happyfoodthoughts / Instagram

Tempura is one of the best Japanese culinary techniques. Now, many things in Japanese food tend to stay as they are but every now and then, someone gives things a little kick. This tempura shrimp using Hot Cheetos in the batter is worth the bizarre food journey.

Hot Cheetos and Doritos Esquite

CREDIT: elotitoh / Instagram

Hot Cheetos dust on full corn cobs is delicious and a classic go-to. However, to save on the mess, you can have it sprinkled on top of esquite. What’s the different between elote and esquite? Literally just the way the corn is presented. Esquite is the same grilled corn but it is cut off the cob and held in a cup and then covered in all the same goodness. Elotes are the full corn on the cob covered in more flavor than most people can handle.

Sushi Burrito

CREDIT: okipokila / Instagram

Sushi is a dish everyone knows. So many people around the world love their bite size pieces of rice, fish, seaweed and veggies. Thanks to the internet and Instagram, it wasn’t long until we saw the sushi burrito. It seems messy to eat but it is a thing that will be around for a while. However, the person who decided to roll the burrito in Hot Cheetos dust needs to be honored for their ingenuity.

Regular Burritos

CREDIT: fatimas_grill / Instagram

Textures are a major part of food. Flavors are important but what makes dishes and foods interesting are the different textures. A crunch in the right place can really help dishes set themselves apart. By adding some Hot Cheetos to a burrito, you are adding texture and some spice. It’s almost like you wouldn’t need any salsa or hot sauce to enjoy this meal. But we all know you’ll add some spice to the burrito before it’s over.

Fried Chicken

CREDIT: santi11y / Instagram

Buffalo chicken thighs and wings is cute but let’s take a moment to consider these Hot Cheetos thighs and wings. Buffalo is able to deliver a serious punch when the chicken is smothered just right. We all know the delicious tang of the Hot Cheetos. Now, just picture that flavor all over your fried chicken. When’s lunch?

Tacos

CREDIT: jennkopp / Instagram

Obviously someone would take this flavor palate and put is with tacos. Now, we aren’t talking about adding Hot Cheetos to the tacos, which is something that can definitely happen. We are talking about using crushed Cheetos into the masa to make Hot Cheetos infused tortillas to hold your scrumptious taco goodies. Who’s bringing these to the next family reunion?

Hot Cheetos Ice Cream

CREDIT: rads247 / Instagram

You might be confused, maybe offended, by this treat. However, let’s not forget that people have created fish-flavored and mayonnaise-flavored ice creams. If those outrageous flavors are allowed to exist, then so is this. Low key, who doesn’t want to try this just for the Instagram post? Imagine the comments and reactions the post will get when your mom sees it.

Macaroni and Cheese

CREDIT: dinewithbell / Instagram

Macaroni and cheese is one of the most interesting and versatile dishes you can make. People add all kinds of stuff to the *signature* mac and cheese dishes. Some people love to add butternut squash to add a creamy texture. Why not add some crushed up Hot Cheetos onto your own macaroni and cheese to punch up they flavor? It gives it a better flavor profile and totally shows off your love for spicy food.

Tamales

CREDIT: jonny98cis / Instagram

Some people have serious issues with their favorite foods getting changed but this is one that is hard to argue against. It is literally the same technique as regular tamales but this time you add ground up Hot Cheetos into the masa. You can make a few of these for the upcoming Friendsgiving and show off your culinary skills. Tbh, any time someone shows up with tamales, everyone immediately considers them way more adult than anyone else at the party. That’s just a fact, okay?

Hot Cheetos Smothered Tater Tots

CREDIT: foodie_mary / Instagram

Who doesn’t enjoy some nostalgic tater tots after a long, hard day? Fortunately, the internet is giving you some inspiration to create unique and unexpected tater tots for the 21st century. Ketchup and mustard are so 1990s so you might as well give some spicy, cheesy tots a try. After all, you don’t know what you do and don’t like unless you try it. What have you got to lose?

Elote and Hot Cheetos Pizza

CREDIT: foodventureswithsylvia / Instagram

Everywhere in the world uses their own toppings for pizzas and this is no different. There is just something that is so delightful about spicy pizza. The pizza dough, tomato sauce and spicy toppings really do go together like a beautiful food union. Pro tip: you can take any frozen pizza and add the toppings you want to make it something magical. Add more cheese, Hot Cheetos, hot sauce, whatever you want to make it yours.

Elote

CREDIT: phatfoodiess / Instagram

Elotes already call for chile powder. That kind of spice is perfect for this kind of dish but crushed Hot Cheetos really changes things. It is one way to make your elote if you don’t have chile powder, these Cheetos are the perfect substitute in a pinch.

Hot Cheetos Fries

CREDIT: fooddiere / Instagram

We all know about carne asada fries. However, for all of you sweet baby vegetarians, use Hot Cheetos to change things up. Instead of using meat, this snack add another layer to the very popular french fries dish. You really can’t go wrong with fried potatoes, cheese, sour cream and Hot Cheetos.

Mozzarella Sticks

CREDIT: imbabyzchen / Instagram

Mozzarella sticks are an after-school staple. It was one of the easiest dishes mom could make to feed us after we would run home to watch cartoons and lay around the house. Now that we are adults, we can make our own mozzarella sticks and instead of bread crumbs, you can use crushed Hot Cheetos. Dip them in sour cream to have a very interesting snack on your hands.

Hot Cheetos Bagel

CREDIT: hot975phx / Instagram

Flavored bagels are all the rage and have always been all the rage. The more flavor on a bagel the more intense the experience, especially when you add some flavored cream cheese. Definitely worth a chance if you want to see just how far a basic bagel and cream cheese can go.

Musubi

CREDIT: leimusubi / Instagram

Musubi is a wonderful Japanese rice ball snack that can carry all kinds of flavors. The Spam musubi is exceptionally delicious and notable and Hot Cheetos is likely to be even better.

Arepas and Gorditas

CREDIT: abuelastacos / Instagram

Remember the tacos we showed you earlier? Take that same technique with the tortillas and use them on arepa and gordita dough. If Hot Cheetos tortillas are good for tacos, they would be just as good for arepas and gorditas.

Crepes

CREDIT: wolfpackray / Instagram

French food isn’t known for being spicy but that doesn’t mean you can’t change that. It seems like Hot Cheetos are so versatile when used in doughs and batters. What a delicious and exceptional idea.


READ: The Janitor Who Created Hot Cheetos Is Having His Story Turned Into A Movie

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Latinos Never Do Basic Snacks And These Elotes And Esquites Prove Why They Are The Greatest Snacks

Culture

Latinos Never Do Basic Snacks And These Elotes And Esquites Prove Why They Are The Greatest Snacks

@masons.den | Instagram

We don’t know what the rest of the world does with corn, but Latinos know how to treat corn right. That’s probably because corn comes from Mexico, and through colonization and globalization, the juicy vegetable has spread to all corners of the world. The corn industry is massive–used to create ethanol fuel, alcohol, cornstarch, and even animal feed. Nope. Not for us.

Mexicans and other Latinos have a more one-on-one relationship with the crop. We’ve turned corn into a staple dish–using the masa to make tortillas, tamales, and desserts. Eloteros have been lovingly feeding us elotes and esquites for a century. Before the elotero proper, it was all of our mamis turning one husky crop into a delicious variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Only a Latino could turn this…

@GtoMeConquista / Twitter

Typically, the elotero will boil corn in their husks (to retain the most flavor) and transport them for the elotes. For esquites, they boil the corn in the husk and then dehusk and kernels are taken off of the cob. It’s typically seasoned and kept warm in a big pot, ready to be scooped and topped with cotija cheese.

That said, an elotero with a grill on hand has been feeding us for generations. There’s nothing better than an ear of crispy charred corn on the cob drenched in cheese and Taki dust.

Into something so beautiful and drool-worthy: 🤤 🤤 🤤

@elotefinder / Twitter

Throughout the years (and the advent of Instagram), we’ve gotten a lot more creative with presentation. We’re trying all different kinds of dustings and flavorings for the Instagram post and the flavors.

How’s it done? Chef German Correa, the possible source of the “Unicorn Elote,” said that he uses food coloring to dye mayo and then “paints” the elotes. The blue is made of blue mayo, and the rest is actually multi-colored cheeses. Rainbow elotes don’t have to be your thing.

The Pavlov test works best with a classic elote, imho.

@eloteslapurisima / Twitter

If you didn’t feel a pang of hunger or a little extra drool than usual, you haven’t had a good elote. The classic fixings of butter or mayo, melted cheese, and chili powder are enough to make anyone an addict. It’s not the worst vice. 😉

In Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, elotes are topped with lechon, cheddar cheese and bacon. It’s no snack or side dish. It’s the whole main meal. The further North in Mexico you go, the more toppings you’ll get on the elote. That isn’t quite true in the U.S., but you get the picture.

Latinos are the most creative and resourceful people. Don’t @ me.

@elotefinder / Twitter

Like everything else in our culture, there are a million different old wives tales about the origins of this brand of elote. More specifically–the variety of accounts range in who came up with the idea. We all know it was someone who shamelessly pours the Taki dust into their throats at the end of the bag and realized if it sticks so well to my fingers… imagine on an elote.

Regardless of which Latino came up with the idea, it’s going down as a Wonder of the World. Only our generation could combine a traditional Mexican food staple with junk food to make its own food group. It’s kind of our generation in a nutshell–the foundation comes from our padres with a sprinkle of the 21st century.

Only a true elote fan could taste test the difference between a Flaming Hot Cheetos and Taki elote.

@elotefinder / Twitter

To be honest, this seems like a low bar for our people but watch anyone else try one of these and start crying because of the spice. It’s how corn was meant to taste, honey. Spicy.  😛

Cuidado, apparently doctors are alerting the public to an influx of children in their emergency rooms because they ate too many Flaming Hot Cheetos. Not to fear–the base spice is chile and it’s the spice that helped all our ancestors flourish. Spice is in our blood.

Let it be known that San Francisco has an Elote Festival coming up this June 22-23.

@liamslemonaid / Twitter

For all you NorCal Latinos who are missing the Angelino luxuries of an elotero or five in almost every neighborhood in Los Angeles, some relief is coming your way. Prepare yourself. It’s called “ELOTE–The Corniest Festival Yet!”

Apparently, it’s the first elote festival in NorCal but promises to have all the classics plus elote tots, esquite topped corn dogs and more. There will be at least ten eloteros serving “elote specials,” plus a Mercadito del Encanto. All vendors are Latinx and dogs are welcome! You can find tickets on Eventbrite or search for the “Corniest Festival Yet” on Facebook. So corny.

In our world, there’s no competition between the elote and esquites.

@elotefinder / Twitter

They’re both literally cut from the same tasty cloth, and frankly, the choice almost always comes down to whether you feel comfortable looking like a slob in your company or not. You have esquites on your lunch break and you bring that elote home to eat while watching Vida. Either way, you need 4-47 napkins handy to wipe up a very beautiful mess.

Fun fact: the word esquites comes from Náhuatl’s word ízquitl.

@Gerardo80842511 / Twitter

Ízquitl and icehqui both mean “to toast.” You would do that on a comal (which means griddle). The story goes that esquites were created by Tlaxocihualpili, the woman ruler of Xochimilco from 1335 to 1347.

The truly ‘classic’ esquites is made with chopped onion, fried green chile, and pollo. It’s topped with lime juice and mayo or sour cream, cotija, chile, and salt.

The classic esquites is comfort food like no other.

@eloteslapurisima / Twitter

I don’t know how we do it, given that Latinos are far more likely to be lactose intolerant than many other races, pero ya estamos. Traditional elotes have evolved in the U.S. to include an abundance of cheese.

Different states in Mexico make it in different ways. In Aguascalientes, the esquites are called chasks and have bacon, mushroom, and strips of chile in them. In Tampico, they’re made with boiled instead of fried corn. In Sonora, they’re sweet–cooked with molasses. In Hidalgo, they’re made with pulque, onion, chile, and epazote.

In Puebla, it looks more like a soup and is called chileatole.

@king_rugge  / Twitter

That’s because it’s made with ground serrano peppers and even has a bit of corn dough to make the soup thicker. Add corn, epazote, salt and more water than usual and it’s Puebla’s version of esquites.

Even Dodger’s Stadium, in Los Angeles, is serving up esquites in little helmet bowls.

@LADExecChef / Twitter

There’s a reason we root for the Dodgers so hard. The stadium’s menu includes a ‘Dodger Dog,’ which is famous for being topped with esquites. You can also order esquite fries with your michelada.

While there are a couple of healthy carts, the vast majority of Dodger Stadium food consists of carne asada fries, tacos, and so much esquite.

Another beautiful example of the resourcefulness of our people:

@Vaainilla_ / Twitter

We’ve been saving plastic containers for eons by using husks and plantain leaves to wrap up our version of a sandwich (read: tamal). These husks make decent napkins, too. Don’t play like you haven’t done it before.

READ: Latinos Never Do Basic Snacks And This Incredibly Photogenic Elotes Are Just Part Of The Wonders Of Latino Foods

The New York Times Honestly Just Discovered Tajín And Their Love For It Is Kind Of The Sweetest

Culture

The New York Times Honestly Just Discovered Tajín And Their Love For It Is Kind Of The Sweetest

tajinusa / Instagram

Tajín is a special chile y limon spice mix that is as much a part of Mexican culture as elotes and paletas. You can use it on so many different foods and the most obvious choice is on fresh fruit. That brand of salty sweet crystals that you put on top of pieces of fruit is fast becoming the recognizable spice of choice for chefs and foodies around the U.S. It is just one way that Latino culture is permeating American culture.

The New York Times is finally giving Tajín, the most iconic Mexican kitchen staple, a moment to shine in the national spotlight.

Any Mexican and Mexican-American will swear by this seasoning. It is everywhere and on everything. The taste of the spicy-lime flavor amplifies the naturally sweet flavor of ripe fruit and gives a deep profile to frozen paletas on hot summer days. The aroma wafting out of a freshly opened bottle will change the world as you know it.

The New York Times recently published an article praising the bright red chile salt and, honestly, it’s about time.

Tajín has been around for over three decades, since 1985. However, the iconic concoction didn’t break into the U.S. market until 1993. It is literally as well-known and adored by Mexican families as Chamoy, a sauce created using fermented chiles and fruits also used on all kinds of foods.

Legit, people never leave their house without this seasoning because you never know when you’re going to need it.

Legions of ride-or-die Tajín fans have been sprinkling the seasoning since they were kids. It’s almost a rite of passage—start off with fruit and then as you get older, rims of margarita or cocktails get a dash of Tajín. It’s the cycle of life so many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans have enjoyed.

The article, written by Daniela Galarza, gave people a look at the history of the incredible seasoning.

If sprinkling tajín is a lifestyle, then everyone from your corner bionicos shop that has just the right amount of red dusting on your spears of pepino and chunks of sandia, to Bon Appetit magazine’s recipe listings, are stanning tajín—just the way food royalty should be treated, tbh.

It’s one of the most spectacular fandoms known to the food world.

The article explains that even though the company was founded in Guadalajara in 1985, the U.S. has become a massive market. According to The New York Times, 40 percent of the market for Tajín is in the U.S. where Mexican-Americans make up 11.3 percent of the total U.S. population. Mexican-Americans also make up 63.2 percent of the Latino population in the U.S.

In case you weren’t sure, the love for Tajín is so strong and transcends man-made borders.

“I can’t even imagine a time before Tajín, or before salts flavored with lime and chile,” Mariana Gomez Rubio, a culinary consultant in Mexico City told The New York Times.

This social media user said the red seasoning was there for her when she had a health condition.

The popularity of this chile-flavored salt (its main ingredients include dried chiles de árbol, guajillo and pasilla, dehydrated lime and salt) that has its roots in Zapopan, Jalisco.

And it looks so good when it is used appropriately, which it is hard to use it inappropriately.

It is a great way to make sure that you are eating all of your fruits and veggies. After all, we could all be eating more of the heathy stuff and is this makes it easier, then why now.

Imagine coming across these spice and citrusy cucumbers in your house after a long day at work.

Grab a tissue so you don’t drool on your phone. We know you can’t get enough of Tajín and that is normal. We all have a love affair with this one-of-a-kind treat.

Recipes for everything from desserts (this innovative chef paired the chile-lime salt with chocolate and bananas to make fluffy banana bread) to NYT reader-suggested pineapple chunks have been making the Internet and social media rounds from true fans.

The sight of red chile sprinkled #TajinMoments is only going to increase. The brand has announced collabs with Pinkberry, On the Border spiced tortilla chips, and Snak Club for peach ring candy, peanuts and trail mix.

The company is betting on its continued success and is expanding into a larger facility in Jalisco later this year. It has also started looking into making a push into Pakistan, India, and Japan—countries that also like to use spices in their cooking.

Nice, nice—getting worldwide, Tajín!

Along with its buddies chamoy and Tapatio sauce, we see Tajín enjoying its golden days for years (and perhaps decades) to come around the world.

Are you a fan? Tell us your favorite tajín recipe in the comments and share this article with your friends!

READ: These 20 Delicious Latino Snacks You Need To Be In Your Life Permanently

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