WTF Fun Fact 13452 – Canadian Cheeto Statue

Next time you want to salute your snack, you can make a pilgrimage to the Canadian Cheeto statue in Alberta. It’s even a testament to the dust the orange cheese puffs leave on our hands. But somehow, not everyone is a fan of the “art.”

The story behind the Canadian Cheeto statue

In the quaint town of Cheadle, Alberta stands a colossal statue of a Cheeto. Standing at 20-feet tall, the statue is an unexpected sight, to say the least.

This larger-than-life statue was born out of an unusual collaboration between Cheetos Canada and the local community of Cheadle, a town with a population of fewer than 200 residents. The idea was to boost tourism and put Cheadle on the map—literally and figuratively.

The statue features a giant, crinkly Cheeto, intricately designed to mirror the snack’s iconic look, elevated on a stand that boasts the Cheetos logo. The structure even lights up at night!

What’s in a name?

Adding to the whimsy of the project is the fact that the Cheeto statue is not just any ordinary snack. It’s a representation of the “Cheetle,” a term coined by Cheetos to describe the cheesy dust left on your fingers after enjoying a bag of the iconic snack.

As with any novel concept, the public reaction has been mixed. Some locals view it as a quirky attraction that has brought a new sense of vibrancy to the town. Others, however, see it as an outlandish eyesore.

Critics argue that the funds used to erect the statue could have been spent on more practical community initiatives. But whether you see it as an eyesore or an art piece, there’s no denying the Cheeto statue’s buzz-generating power.

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Source: “A Small Canadian Town Is Now the Home of a 17-foot-tall Cheeto Statue” — Food & Wine

WTF Fun Fact 13370 – The Origin of Cheetos

When you think of Cheetos, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the cheesy, crunchy snack that leaves your fingers orange. However, what many people don’t realize is that the origin of Cheetos is tied to the military.

The origin of Cheetos

Cheetos were invented by an unexpected source—military food scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In the early 1940s, during World War II, scientists were tasked with finding a way to utilize surplus cornmeal. These products also needed to be shelf-stable, lightweight, and provide nutrition to soldiers on the frontlines.

The driving force behind the creation of Cheetos was food scientist Colonel Bob, a.k.a. Colonel Edward Blewett. His objective was to find a cheese that could be transformed into a powder, providing a burst of flavor when added to various food products.

In the early 1940s, Colonel Bob and his team succeeded in developing a breakthrough process that transformed cheese into a powdered form. This cheese powder became the key ingredient for what would eventually become Cheetos. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that the cheese powder was combined with cornmeal and shaped into the signature Cheetos form we know today.

From rations to snacks

In 1961, Fritos, the well-known corn chip brand, acquired the rights to Cheetos. Frito-Lay, the company behind Fritos, recognized the immense potential of Cheetos as a snack food. They further refined the recipe, improved the manufacturing process, and launched Cheetos into the snack food spotlight.

Cheetos quickly became a sensation. Cheetos’ popularity soared with the introduction of different flavors. For example, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos became a cultural phenomenon in their own right.

The military’s pursuit of portable, and long-lasting food options for soldiers led to the creation of Cheetos. So next time you enjoy a bag of Cheetos, take a moment to appreciate the military origins behind the snack.

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Source: “How the US Military Helped Invent Cheetos” — Wired