I pulled my hand from the bag gracefully — the kind where you manage to reach in and pull out without touching the bag itself, or any chip other than the single one you were aiming for. I relished the small rush of pride that comes with any minor accomplishment, and maybe that’s what prompted me to take it a step further and ask for a paper towel to wipe my hands instead of licking the Cheeto dust from my fingers.
Like drinking the sugary milk after a bowl of cereal, sucking the Cheeto-dust from your fingers is part of the joy of the craft. But I was being classy. And then, within an instant, I felt like a savage as I looked up to see my beloved friend sitting at the dining table, a white bowl of Cheetos in one hand, chopsticks poised in the other.
I recall it as if it happened in slow motion: her pinching a single Cheeto and raising it to her mouth, and my realisation that the graceful pull I’d been so pleased with was the snacking equivalent of the early episodes of an anime — I hadn’t even begun to discover true power. I might as well have been slouched in bed eating Doritos off of my stomach. Why hadn’t I thought of this? (I once lived in Japan, for god’s sake!) But I decided to redirect my disgust with myself toward a more constructive evangelism. People need to know, and I’m going to help spread the word: eating Cheetos with chopsticks is the way to go.
Let its merits be known! Eating Cheetos with chopsticks — or eating most any bite-sized snack that way, I would wager, especially those covered in salt or flavour dust — meets the highest standard of tiny hack excellence. We’ve discussed various creative uses of chopsticks before and this is, by far, my favourite, so much so that I’m astonished it isn’t a practice more widely employed.
Recently I wondered if I was the only one late to the party, but it appears we Americans are still largely using our hands to snack, like monsters. I met with one of the friends in my quarantine bubble this past weekend for a long-awaited movie night. When she asked what snacks I wanted, I went straight to Cheetos (of the Flamin’ Hot variety, to be precise), but only under the condition she had chopsticks on hand. After I arrived she confessed that while she had the Cheetos, she’d failed at the chopsticks, and I lived the snack-eating equivalent of Flowers for Algernon, forced to revert to eating with my hands.
So throw your Cheetos in a bowl — Flamin’ Hot, puffs, crunchy or whatever your thang — pick up your chopsticks, and feel elegant and cultured while you consume your favourite snack. Do it in slow motion. If you have long hair, let it blow in the wind. Dip it in something, just because (the Cheeto, not your flowing hair). Wear white gloves. Cheeto dust can’t hold you back anymore. No paper towel necessary.