Aji WOW is my series of unusual Japanese food/drink reviews. 'Aji' (味) means 'flavour', and the name's also a pun on 'ajiwau' (味わう) - 'to enjoy the taste of'.
This time: Kyushu soy sauce Cheetos.
I've never eaten Cheetos before. And the 'soy sauce' type is exclusive to Japan. So this is a new experience all round. But these aren't a new flavour at all, I'm very late to the party here.
I found these in a supermarket in Osaka, and decided to try them. No limited-time sale. No special offer. No brand new shiny novelty. Just my curiosity, brought on by the terrible sin of 'going food shopping while hungry'.
Yum! Yum! Not sure that Chester Cheetah is always this excited on bags of Cheetos in other countries. Or that his grammar is so... weird. Plus they've used Comic Sans. Instant strike one.
Time to open the bag and actually taste the things.
Today, I learned that Cheetos look like little bits of tempura. I wasn't sure what to expect, really. Wotsits? Yeah, actually. I thought they'd probably look like Wotsits. But these are more like Nik Naks (if you have any idea what any of those snacks are).
The lack of visible sauce/powder coating is a bit disappointing. I mean, you can see it, but it's on the stingy side. Aren't the super hot Cheetos bright red, and more powder than snack? I was expecting these to be much darker. Like Twiglets. I wanted my hands to change colour as I eat.
The taste's more interesting. The Kyushu area produces a sweeter type of 'kanro shoyu' sauce. Which is what's on these. Not the salty, savoury kick you usually get. More sugar-y and light.
Hey, it's not bad. It could be a lot worse.
Overall, the flavour isn't very rich - no coating, no depth. Like caramel popcorn that's all glaze. What I can taste is good, but it's unsatisfying.
Although... when I was throwing away the empty packet, I did notice powder on my hands. Well played, Cheetos, well played.
Verdict: 6/10. Nice, but given the choice I'd pick Twiglets over these.