Welcome to Drunk on Chips. I'm a potato lover whose potato-loving father always kept our snack cabinet stocked with a carefully curated collection of chips. Here, I give you an honest review of a specific bag.
I can't say #ads on social media never did anything for me. Whilst scrolling through a few weeks ago, a tweet from a very influential one-percenter caught my eye. No, not the one you're thinking of. The other one. With the monocle and a peanut for a body.
"Hell yeah," I genuinely and impulsively responded. Soon a can of Planters Cheez Balls was on my desk. Soon after that I was inviting friends over for Cheez Balls, just as I did in the old days when a trip to Giant Eagle yielded a can or two. It felt like 1995 again.
The only moment of disappointment happened while opening the can. See, back in the day, these babies were sealed up with an aluminum lid. Peeling that lid back—just like on a can of tuna or Chunky Soup—provided one hell of a one-time ASMR trigger. Only better, because instead of smelly tuna or a sad excuse for soup, you get light, airy, beautiful Cheez Balls.
In 2018, they've replaced the lid with a paper seal. That's fine. I'm sure it has positive environmental implications, seeing as most people probably tossed these cans in the regular trash in the 90s, but it's now a little less satisfying to open a can of Cheez Balls.
What's inside one of these cans is a truly beautiful thing. First of all, they are a snack more vibrant in color than any I've seen. The orange hue of these little angels makes the president's skin tone look like that of Dracula. The color reflects off of the inside of the metal can in a million different directions before it reaches the depths of your retina, sending a signal to your brain: Eat me.
And so I did. And these little balls of nothing brought boyhood joy to my heart. They are so salty, so cheesy, yet, exist of nothing. A single serving of Cheez Balls is 37 balls. Thirty seven! Through one serving, you've only racked up 150mg of sodium. Is that a lot? I don't know. Have I given you, dear reader, the impression that I'm someone who gives a damn?
The mess Cheez Balls induce is not to be taken lightly. The optimal way to consume this snack is naked with a running shower close by—but that's rarely the situation you have available. I suggest settling in for an uninterrupted session. Think of how much you could unplug over the course of consuming 37 Cheez Balls—for me, it was almost 25 whole seconds. A new record.
Some Tasting Notes
Size: Consistent. Love it or hate it, every ball is the same size. I think it'd be cool if it varied. The thrill of The Big Chip is lost, but you feel safe, at least.
Crunch: Powerful, and short lived. Like the NBC shooting star moving across your screen, it's gone before you know it. I think these are 97 percent air, but they still provide a more-than-adequate crunch.
Seasoning: Glorious. The evidence takes one to two washes to get rid of, but the extreme saltiness of its cheese flavoring drives their addictive nature.
Aftertaste: A little stuck in your teeth, a little damage to the roof of your mouth if you don't crunch right away, but overall, satisfying.
Pairing One: A ham sandwich. Because it's what my dad made me as a kid, which is the last time I ate these, and because the cheez on your fingers makes its way onto the bread and that's very okay.
Pairing Two: A Zest-O in Orange. Because we're throwing it back. Just make sure you install the straw before you dive into the Cheez. It can get difficult with greasy fingers.
Pairing Three: Tide or any other laundry detergent. Not to eat, kids. To wash your navy blue chinos after specs of radioactive orange set in. (I got a little excited, I ate fast, what are you gonna do?)
So far, they're not available in the Philippines yet, but if you're desperate, you can buy them from the Planters website.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.