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Taste-Test: We Ate Burger King's Insane New Mac N' Cheetos

Cole Saladino/Thrillist

If you felt a powerful mix of excitement, horror, and hunger last week when Burger King first revealed its new Mac n' Cheetos side, well, you probably weren't alone. And now, with the "dangerously cheesy" menu item landing in Burger King restaurants nationwide on Monday, we decided to focus on that latter feeling and ordered a crapload of them for a taste-test. 

Burger King describes Mac n' Cheetos as "portable" mac and cheese that's coated with a "dangerously cheesy" layer of bright orange Cheetos dust and deep fried into mozzarella stick-like pieces. In other words, if you've ever crushed up Cheetos and sprinkled them on a bowl of mac and cheese at home (you know who you are), you were basically eating a damn kale salad compared to these things.

Can you see now why we had to eat them now? Yeah, we don't either actually, but we did it, and here's what we learned:

Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Eating them

Before we get into how these things taste, let's start with how they smell; mostly, because the greasy "cheddar" aroma is going to hit you like a truckload of cheese wheels when you first open the Burger King bag. The smell is a powerful mixture of deep-fried food, hot and salty cheese, that inexplicable signature Burger King smell, and of course, Cheetos. It'll instantly transport you back to the roller rink of your pre-teen years -- minus all the falling on your ass and that weirdo who owns his own skates.

And yes, like many foods, the smell does much to inform you of the way Mac n' Cheetos taste. And by inform, we mean warn you. At first bite, they taste salty, cheesy, and deliciously processed like all fast food -- especially stunt fast food -- should be. In fact, they taste almost exactly how they look in the photos, although they're missing one key thing: the Cheetos flavor. 

That's right: they hardly taste like actual Cheetos. Instead, they taste more like a Cheeto from which you've sucked all of the bright orange cheese dust and are left with a soggy puffed cornmeal nugget that -- in this case -- is also filled with creamy mac and cheese. This is not to say that they're not good, because they're actually dangerously good, but the classic Cheetos cheese dust flavor that you know and love is oddly either absent or just not strong enough. Basically, they taste like Cheetos as much as a Doritos Locos taco from Taco Bell tastes like a handful of Doritos... not much. 

Your fingers will not turn orange. 

Cole Saladino/Thrillist

The verdict

Let's look at the facts here, folks: Mac n' Cheetos are stick-like portions of macaroni and cheese that are coated in a bright orange, Cheetos-inspired breading, deep fried, and served in packages of five. With a combination like that, you can hardly go wrong, and Mac n' Cheetos certainly don't go wrong. However, they'd be 1,000 times better if they were actually covered in actual Cheetos dust, and perhaps a ZILLION times better if they were covered in Flamin' Hot Cheetos dust (you can have that idea for free, Burger King). 

As far as stunt food from a fast food chain goes, Mac n' Cheetos are kind of like a monster trucks in the sense that they're flashy, overly hyped, and the destruction they cause is mostly predictable. And yet, they're totally worth the price of admission. 

This is all to say that if you don't recklessly subject your body to an order of them, you're probably not living your best life. Of course, that's entirely up to you. 

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and officially needs to get on some sort of cleanse routine. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.