Burger King continues to reward the salacious, distinctly orange-hued palette of the American Eater.
And now, the orange Cheetos invasion of the fast-food realm continues with the Cheeto Chicken Fries.
The “dangerously cheesy” spin on Burger King’s ever popular chicken fries are out for a limited time at a recommended price of $2.69 for a nine-piece carton.
Cheetos are an American icon; Mount Rushmore could easily have Chester Cheetah bursting out between Theodore Roosevelt and Lincoln.
But these radiantly orange Franken-fries do not do the proud Cheetos name justice.
The immediate reaction upon first bite generally goes along these lines: “Are these supposed to taste like Cheetos? Where are the Cheetos?”
Multiple taste-testers, myself included, promptly lamented the lack of that celebrated, Chester Cheetah-lauded cheesiness.
Each fry is plenty salty — it’s actually impressive how much saltier Burger King has managed to make these in comparison to the regular chicken fries. Somehow, “dangerously cheesy” has become conflated with “outrageously salty”.
After eating a carton’s worth — that’s nine fries, a decent serving — I feel as though I’ve been adrift in a Cheeto-orange sea for days, surrounded by nothing but endless waves of mouth puckering, salty despair.
Cheetos, Cheetos, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.
The insane levels of saltiness seem to be this item’s albatross about its neck. One simply can’t enjoy the otherwise delicious chicken fry when one’s only wish is a gallon of water to wash it down. And nowhere on my fingers is the precious Cheeto dust found, calling into question its very legitimacy as a Cheetos item.
The success of, say, the Doritos Locos tacos from Taco Bell stands in stark contrast to this. The Doritos Locos embrace the essence of the Dorito, resplendent with cheesy, powdery flavour without putting on airs. If the Cheetos chicken fries had the same dusting of Cheeto powder and relied less on the breading, perhaps it would be a different story.
What could make these more interesting — and truly be a Win for the American Eater, who is accustomed to Winning — would be a special dipping sauce, distinct from the usual suspects. Something cheesy and orange as a solar flare. And deliver us the Cheeto dust we so crave; then it would be a true Cheeto choice.
But for now, these lacklustre Cheeto chicken fries have made a sadder and wiser cheetah.