Unless we’re talking Ricky Martin circa 1999, I am generally not a fan of spicy things.  I like wasabi, but only because its heat is fleeting.  It smacks your tongue and sinuses then drives away…in a green 1973 Ford Econoline van.  Obviously.

When I eat spicy things, it’s the lingering pain that I do not enjoy.  Other people love that whole experience, and I certainly do not fault them for it.  I love watching those crazy food shows with the portly hosts sweating into their spicy noodle bowls.  I just can’t do it.

And I think it’s because the spicy tongue-burning sensation reminds me of death, in that there is something extremely unpleasant happening to my body that I am largely incapable of stopping.  That’s what shuffling loose the mortal coil will feel like, but with no glass of milk big enough to save me.  I licked my knife after running it through a habanero pepper at the House of Blues once and thought that it was all over.  I even shouted “What does God need with a starship?!” and everything.

Things just got really grim for a review of a product that has a cartoon cheetah with sunglasses on its bag.

Which brings us to this brand new Frito-Lay joint: Cheetos Crunchy Fiery Fusion.  I hold to a personal belief that Cheetos are awesome.  Mainly because they are.  So spice averse or not, I figured I owed Chester’s new product at least a try.  “Fiery Fusion” is an interesting name as it manages to step up the heat by a factor of 120,000 in the space between the two words.  But the byline of “sizzlin’ cayenne” puts things in a more realistic realm.

Fiery Fusion Cheetos contain top secret Fiery Fusion seasoning, hot sauce made from cayenne peppers, and jalapeno peppers.  Also, with their usual cheddar cheese, they’ve thrown in a little blue cheese as well.  That said, these taste like you’d think they would: spicy Cheetos. Although I like the flavor of Cheetos, I think they could’ve played with the cheese flavor a little more, made it something different.

You can definitely taste the flavor of cayenne hot sauce, though not too much, and there’s a little trace of jalapeno if you concentrate. They aren’t novelty hot, they’re just spicy.  They made me a bit uncomfortable, but I’m sure a seasoned spice aficionado wouldn’t bat an eyelash at these.  Overall, I enjoyed them and with the proper beverage I might even be able to finish the rest of the bag.

Fiery Fusion Cheetos haven’t reinvented anything here, and they certainly won’t be setting the snack world on fire (snort), but if you like your corn-based cheese snacks spicy, you will like these.