Orange you glad we chose to celebrate cheese doodles today, rather than Absinthe? (Actually, I have to confess to a curiosity about the “Green Fairy.” Absinthe was banned in many areas of the world up until recently. I almost bought a bottle, but I despise black licorice (it supposedly tastes like anise or fennel) and so we decided, instead, to honor National Cheese Doodle Day).
Which, in itself, almost proved a challenge. There are cheese doodles and there are Cheez Doodles, a brand of cheese doodles. Confused yet? Cheez Doodles, the brand, are manufactured by Wise and available on the East Coast, but tough to find out West. Believe me, I tried. One of my trusted research sites said, “Common brands in the United States include Cheetos, Cheez Doodles, and Chee-Wees. They are called by something else in other parts of the world.” Since it’s cheeSE doodle day and not cheeZ doodle day, we were able to get away with eating Cheetos, which are fortunately easy to find out here.
I’m not sure if the fact that there are dueling brands of cheese doodles means “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” or is a testatment to the collapse of western civilization as we know it. Nothing in Nature is that orange – not even oranges! Neon color aside, cheese doodles are pretty damn irresistible. They are made from puffed corn (and heaps o’ orange dye) and have been around since the 1930s. Two people claim to have invented cheese doodles. One is Edward Wilson, whose Flakall Corporation in Wisconsin manufactured animal feed but one day decided to deep-fry, salt, and add cheese to a batch of the puffed corn made by their machines. He applied for a patent in 1939 and named his creation Korn Kurls. The Elmer Candy Corporation of New Orleans claims to have invented the same product in 1936. Sales manager Morel Elmer held a contest to name the new snack, and the winning entry was CheeWees (still manufactured today by Elmer’s Fine Foods). In the battle between Cheetos and Cheez Doodles, Cheetos debuted first (in 1948) and were invented by the same guy who pioneered Fritos, Charles Elmer Doolin. Cheez Doodles followed a few years later, developed by Morrie Yohai of the Bronx.
It wasn’t real tough to honor cheese doodles. Tara and I both had a handful with lunch. Good stuff, and our fingers were a luminescent shade of day-glo orange for hours afterwards! Or would have been, if we hadn’t licked them clean afterwards. Let’s face it, that’s the best part about eating cheese doodles, right?
- National Cheese Doodle Day: The finger-licking cheesy treat we love to eat (examiner.com)
- 7 Things (sassone.wordpress.com)