When I think of the original Fritos flavor, it seems pretty unremarkable. Salt. Corn. Oil. Then I realize I've eaten an entire bag of them while thinking about it. Such is the addictive nature of whatever the hell these are supposed to be. They're perfectly delicious on their own, become infinitely better when purchased in Scoops! form and dipped in peanut butter (try it!), get nuanced with the Honey BBQ Twist, and are damn near perfect in chili-cheese form, which taste like neither chili nor cheese and are all the better for it. You can ponder that for days, but I'm not gonna recommend it. Two bags in one sitting is probably a little much. -- AK
9. Haribo gummies
So, there are many fine varieties of gummy candy given to us by the good German folks at Haribo, but we're mostly going to discuss the bears here, because come on. Also I realize our discussion of foreign snackage has been limited, as discussed earlier, but these have achieved a level of American prominence that is impossible to ignore, proving themselves a much superior German import to Jürgen Klinsmann.
Oft-imitated but never duplicated, Haribo gummies have an unmistakable texture that's far more substantial than the average gummy candy. Call it charisma. Call it gravitas. Call it one of the more underrated theme songs in cartoon history. They're the undisputed king of gummy candies, and everyone else is just chasing the crown. Well, they're either chasing the crown or soaking a bunch of gummy bears in vodka because who takes shots the regular way anymore? -- ML
A year or two back Cheez-Its rolled out an "Extra Toasty" variety and they were a revelation, not only in their own right, but in how they made me see a food that had always been near the top of my snack list in an entirely new light. Cheez-Its always tasted more, for lack of a better word, "real" to me than most of your mass-produced snack foods, and that isn't just me being persuaded by the "100% Real Cheese" marketing. At least I don't think it is.
Anyway, the Extra Toasty rendition had that extra-dark hue and depth of flavor on it that you get when you order a pizza well-done. It was as though they'd taken a special order just for me. I'd never even really taken much time to think about how much I liked the fact that there were always a few extra-dark outliers in a box of Cheez-Its, and here they were laid out for me dozens of times over. The roasty outside. The gloriously cheesy inside. The perfectly sized flecks of salt that tell your taste buds "it's OK, just one more handful." The more I write about Cheez-Its, the more I think we could have put them all the way at No. 1 and not been wrong about it. To paraphrase the Farmer in the Dell, and, more recently, Omar Little (*removes sunglasses*)... the cheese stands alone. -- ML