Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Planter's Cheez Balls - Typing "Balls" This Many Times Made Me Uncomfortable


 Planter's Original Cheez Balls - CVS

Historically I'm very picky when it comes to cheese-based snacks. I like crunchy-style Cheetos, but only the Cheeto's brand version. (Love you Aldi, but your "Cheetos" are sad.) I don't like Cheese Curls, or Cheddar Fries, or Nacho Cheese Doritos. (I'm a Cool-Ranch girl through-and-through with a side of Spicy Sweet Chili.) So I only really like Crunchy Cheetos and White Cheddar Smartfood Popcorn. And yet, I just couldn't ignore this tiny can of retro Cheez Balls at CVS. 
I remember eating cheese balls out of a similar container as a little kid, like single-digit-age-young, and I think it was this brand? I'm not entirely sure because it was so long ago, but something about the retro feel and the pseudo-nostalgia just won me over. (It didn't hurt they they were tiny, cute, and cheap either.) Into my cart they went!

Just look at this adorably tiny thing. It fits right in my (admittedly huge) hands, and it just looks so stinking cute. We have Mr. Peanut (who may or may not be dead right now?), and some retro-looking graphics on a paper can with a foiled lining. Outside of Pringles, you don't see packaging like this all that often. (Or maybe I'm just not looking in the right places.) Let's open these up and give them a try!

Oh...no. I had to double check the date on the bottom to make sure these weren't expired. Nope! They should be good until May of 2021, so no issue there, but these definitely taste off. Thankfully, whatever it is, it's subtle. 

These are a bright neon orange color, like the ones I remember eating as a kid, and they have a delightfully airy crunch, again just what I remembered, but the flavor just isn't there. I vaguely remember these tasting intensely cheesy, like instant mac & cheese powder, but these mostly taste like corn, which isn't bad, but definitely not what I'm looking for. Then there is this aftertaste that is milky and tangy, kind of like unsweetened, powdered, coffee creamer. Not spit-take-worthy, but it definitely doesn't leave me wanting more.   

Thankfully this container is tiny, because if I had bought the full size I would have been really disappointed. About 6 Cheez Balls in, I felt like the aftertaste subsided, but it's easy to avoid an aftertaste if you just keep stuffing your face. (Accidental rhyme!) 

I could be tasting these through heavy nostalgia-tinged taste-buds, after all if it even was this brand, I haven't eaten these in about 2 decades. (They were discontinued in 2006, but I am pretty sure the last time I ever ate these was during snack time in elementary school.) Even without knowing the original version, as a stand alone snack in 2020, I don't find myself enjoying these all that much. I would much rather have a bag of classic Crunchy Cheetos. 

I paid about .45¢ for this adorable retro container, and for that price, I'm not too mad, but I wouldn't buy these again.

If you're looking to recapture the joys of your Cheez Ball-youth, you might find this lacking, like I did, but fans of cheese curls might feel differently. (I'm a cheese curl hater.)
Fans of these would also like: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Curls, Korean Honey Cheese Cheetos, or Deep Dish Pizza Curls
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