Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Elmer's Bar-B-Que CheeWees - (Gift) New Orleans, LA

Elmer's Bar-B-Que CheeWees - (Gift) New Orleans, LA
A few months ago my boyfriend went down to Louisiana, and when he returned, he had a bag full of goodies for me to review. I already made a post about the Beignet mix, but the rest of his foodie gifts got lost in my monstrous food stash. Now that I'm preparing for the pumpkin-pocalypse of 2014, I'm working my way through the foodie back-up, and now we'll finally get to see what these little cheese puffs taste like!

The packaging for CheeWees consists of a foiled plastic bag with a heat seal at the top, which is normal for bagged snack foods, but this bag is a bit taller and skinnier than average. Now, maybe it's because I haven't grown up with this brand, which has quite a lot of history in Louisiana, but the design looks very no-frills and store-brand-y to me. The layout uses the go-to color scheme for any cheese-based snack (orange, black, yellow & white), and there is a little mousey mascot in the lower corner. Judging a book by it's cover, I am not expecting too much from these little cheese curls. The bag's design works, but to me East-coast eyes, it's looking pretty rough.

I checked out the back of the bag, and the nutritional information was there, but not in the same standardized format as other American foods. The different design threw me off a little, but the information doesn't look too bad. Since there are no preservatives and these snacks are baked instead of fried, the entire bag is only 80 calories of fat. When you compare that to the same amount of Cheetos, which would be 180 calories from fat, this seems like a healthier choice. (Although the overall calories only between both bags only differ by 10, so this is by no means a health food, it's just the lesser of two junk-foodie-evils.)

I opened up the bag, and inside there were little corn puffs that were heavily coated in BBQ spices and a bright orange cheese-powder. At a glance, these might look like crunchy Cheeto's and other crispy cheese snacks on the market, but these CheeWees are a lot less orange in-person, and they have a lot of BBQ seasoning on them. (You can even see it in the photos.)

Admittedly, I went into this with low expectations, but these turned out to be pretty great! The crunch is very similar to a Baked Cheeto, which is a little styrofoamy, but the flavoring is really addicting. CheeWee's BBQ seasoning is bold, sweet and a bit spicy, which reminded me a little bit of the Korean BBQ chips from Archer Farms I reviewed a while ago. When that BBQ flavor is combined with the cheddar coating and crunchy texture, the end results are some pretty addictive little cheese snacks. I wish more BBQ flavored chips and snacks had this much seasoning!

This is one of those products where you (really me) shouldn't judge a book by it's mouse-mascot-covered-cover. These little baked snacks were really satisfying and the BBQ flavoring had a nice amount of spiciness without being overwhelming. I ended up enjoying these way more than I ever thought I would, and I can see why they are so popular in the South. If they marketed their spicier flavors here on the East Coast, I bet they'd do really well!

If you see these while you're out and about in Louisiana, I'd say they are definitely worth trying, and I might try and get my hands on a few of Elmer's other flavors next time my boyfriend has a trip! (If any of you are curious, I saw that there is a promo on this company's website to get 20% off your entire order.)
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