Walk around most any part of urban Los Angeles and amongst all the trash you’re likely to find many empty bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. As it turns out, FHC’s are the most popular “salty snack” in the country. WTF? It’s kinda shocking that it’s become so popular, having just been introduced to the market in 2002, specifically targeted to Latino tastes. Being the occasional consumer of this particular poison, I’m gonna speculate as to it’s popularity.
For starters, chile improves most foods. My co-worker thinks Mexicans ruin good fruit by sprinkling it with chile, sal, y limon but she is wrong, we all know it only makes it better! Regular cheetos are kinda boring, but with the Flamin’ Hot caustic powder, they don’t necessarily taste better but they do become addictive. Just like garbanzos con chile, not much taste but you can’t stop eating them!
But the major attraction of these calorie curls (and I think the crucial one) is that FHC’s are sold at bargain prices and in large sizes. They go for about 1 dollar for the 10 oz size, for a whopping 1700 calories! When you are poor and hungry what you want in a snack is a good value, to “feel full” at a bargain price, and that applies across the board. This can explain the popularity of Jack in the Box tacos (2 for $1) which is a lot of food, over a normal, real taco ($1 at the truck across the way) which is smaller and not as filling. The substantial bulk of the FHC’s beats out any old bag of chips. Do some comparison snacking, you’ll know what I mean. Poverty teaches you that eating is for abating hunger, not for improving health or dabbling in foodie experiments. It’s an approach to eating that is hard to break, and that prevalent attitude begins to explain the chubbiness of ghetto kids.
It’s safe to say that Flamin’ Hot Cheetos should not be part of anyones diet but unhealthy foods like these will continue to be popular so long as the social inequities that cause poverty continue to exist. What a grandiose statement, que no? But it’s true, ese! Poor folk will eat better once they lose the fear that they’ll go hungry, which I doubt will ever happen in this country. If you ever spot some Westside gringo party sporting a bowl of FHC’s, snap a pic and send it to me, you’ll have proved my class analysis wrong. Either that or you’re just trying to prove me wrong, grovelling for some cred. Whatever, same difference.
Nuts to you. EL CHAVO!