Chester’s Fries Chili Cheese Flavored Corn & Potato Snacks

Today, a seemingly normal snack food that is shrouded in mystery. Chester’s Fries Chili Cheese Flavored Corn & Potato Snacks.

First, the procurement of said snack. I have never heard of these before in my life. Apparently, these have been showing up in the vending machine at my husband’s work off and on for a while now. A strange choice of offerings, given that most work vending machines I’ve seen (and I’ve seen my fair share) usually go with more traditional offerings, like original Lay’s or Rold Gold pretzels. If you’re lucky, you might score some Miss Vickie’s. But not this vending machine. This machine had gone rogue.

Somehow, these Chili Cheese Fries managed to slip in there. Or, more precisely, managed to slip out. The bag says 75 cents, but my husband scored them for free. During an innocent trip to the break room, he spotted them sitting on the counter. Alone, possibly even lonely; I can’t truthfully speak for the state of mind of the snack itself. He looked around, searching for an owner; the room was empty, fluorescent lights buzzing quietly, Formica tables bereft of employees shoveling bland Lean Cuisines into their mouths. No one was there to claim this odd bag of snacks. No one was coming back for them. Chester was officially an orphan.

So, my husband took them under his wing. No snack left behind. And now, like a de facto foster mother who is just in it for the paycheck, I will pass judgment on them.

There’s one more small mystery to this case. Much like whoever abandoned this bag of Chester’s Fries Chili Cheese, Frito-Lay seems to have abandoned them, as well. I couldn’t find them anywhere on F-L’s website, which extensively catalogs each flavor of each brand they carry. And trust me, that is an extensive list. They have Chester’s Flamin’ Hot Fries, but no Chili Cheese. I’m starting to wonder if this vending machine comes from the same magical source as the one that dispenses these.

The bag is pretty straightforward. There’s Chester, keepin’ it cool like he does, lounging around, eating his fries. There’s a picture of the fries, which the bag also informs me have been enlarged to show texture. To be honest, they do look like real seasoned fries. In the picture, that is.

There’s also a cartoon bowl of chili with cheese on top, which actually looks more like a bowl of mud with some yellow seagulls stuck in it. And then there’s the “guaranteed fresh by” date. Jan. 25. My husband only gave these to me a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps this explains the abandonment of the Fries. It also shows that perhaps this is not the most popular snack in the vending machine. I’m just hoping it’s Jan. 25 of this year.

Lucky for you readers, I’m a rogue. I don’t play by the rules. You can take my badge and my gun, but I’ll still conduct my own investigation. Expiration dates are for sissies.

The back of the bag describes these fries as “crispy, crunchy french fry-shaped snacks with a rich, hearty chili & cheese flavor. Satisfy your french fry fix with Chester’s Fries Chili Cheese Flavored Corn & Potato Snacks!” I appreciate a snack that actually uses the ridiculously long full name of their product anywhere other than on the front of the bag. It also says I can learn more at www.fritolay.com. This is obviously a lie. I always obey what the back of snack bags tell me to do, so I feel a little betrayed. Of course, if these expired Jan. 25, 2005, perhaps they were on Frito-Lay’s website at that time. We’ll never know.

Chester’s Chili Cheese Fries do not taste like french fries. They will not satisfy your french fry fix. They are, however, pretty good. The fries seem to be designed to each be a uniform 2.5 inches long, but given the various transports my bag endured, I’m not surprised some of them were broken. As you can see, they aren’t exactly the same color as the fries on the bag. The texture and density of them are pretty similar to Planters Cheez Balls, which no longer exist, which not only breaks my heart on a daily basis but also makes the comparison relatively useless. Let’s just say they’re less dense than Cheetos, but a little more dense than Cheetos Puffs.

I was surprised by the flavor. Considering they are, or perhaps were, part of the Frito-Lay family, I expected them to have the exact same flavoring as Chili Cheese Fritos. Instead, I got a much more subtle flavor. The cheese tasted a lot like Cheetos cheese but not as strong, and the chili seasoning had the flavors of other chili-flavored snacks, but again, it’s more subtle, which actually allows the cheese a little more room to shine.

I don’t know if you’ll ever be able to find Chester’s Fries Chili Cheese Flavored Corn & Potato Snacks. Maybe they’re everywhere and I’m just unobservant or live in the wrong area. Either way, Frito-Lay seems to deny their existence. I may never see them again, but I have to say, I enjoyed the bag I had. In a world of snacks that punch you in the mouth with aggressive flavoring, these fries had a subtle but pleasant flavor, which also allowed the flavor of the corn (and potato I guess, I couldn’t really taste much of that) and the tasty texture to come through. Chili and cheese have obviously been done before, but it’s the Cheez Ball-esque composition that I really enjoyed.

And for the record, they weren’t stale at all. Expiration dates are bullshit. Unless you’re dealing with milk. Don’t fuck with milk.

  • Score: 3.5 out of 5 Internet petitions to bring back Planters Cheez Balls
  • Price: Free, but someone else allegedly paid 75 cents
  • Size: 1 1/2 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Lovingly rescued at an undisclosed break room location
  • Nutritional Quirks: Expired by 3 months (or 10 years, depending), but still tasting fresh!

28 thoughts on “Chester’s Fries Chili Cheese Flavored Corn & Potato Snacks”

  1. They still sell these at my sister’s elementary school and even when I was in elementary school (7 years ago). I love these, but I never see them at stores or gas stations so I always make my sister buy them for me lol

  2. Omg I love these . They only sold them for one summer during 2009 or 2010 and stopped . I ate a bag every day that summer I miss them

  3. I LOVE THESE FRIES AND I CANT FIND THEM ANYWHERE ANYMORE! Georga used to have them but now I can’t find them their either. I love them so much my husband sometimes just ride around to every store he can think of when we visit Georgia, but no luck! SHAME ON YOU FRITO LAY!

  4. I have been to numerous stores here in milwaukee, wi and jackson, ms looking to purchase the chester chili cheese fries. I purchased them last year when I was in Jackson, Ms on vacation. Can you PLEASE tell me where I can purchase this product or order online here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Thank you

  5. hi i am also a big fan of these chips but the only place i find these chips are in school and they are in a different ag thats orange and has the cheeto jaguar on it and i really love these chips!!!! why arent they selled in stores???!!!!!!! please reply back….

  6. Im addicted to these, and am now in full withdrawal, as more of the flaming hot versions get in my local gas stations, none of the chili flavored, I just tried again, I fail, none in sight, I’ve begged store owners here in cache, ok to please get more, they say they will, but they haven’t got them… I’m calling frito-lay tomorrow, going to dig deeper into this! If I find any, I’m buying all of them!! They are the best ever!!!

  7. I ran accross these chili cheese fris. And darn it I hooked and I cannot find them anywheres it makes me mad too cause I don’t like many other chips is there anyway u can put them at all gas stations and truck stops. There a huge hit and very delicious thank you

  8. They sell these in my son’s high school cafeteria. He brought a bag home and got me hooked on them. Only problem–I can’t find them in a store ANYWHERE! I am on the case, though, and will not rest until I find a store selling these!!!

  9. Your Attention Please!!
    CHESTER’S CHILI CHEESE FRIES are alive and satisfying taste buds in the Las Vegas, NV Valley….
    found a bag in a Terrible’s Herbts Store
    1/24/2012

  10. I have seen these in one vending machine in the Joliet area. One of my coworkers will buy every package in the machine when there is some. They are awesome, I wish I could find them in a store.

  11. This is my favorite snack. I cant find them in most stores. Thanks for creatimg this wonderul snack

  12. These are the most amazing snack ever. I recently tried some in a bag of chesters snack mix and fell in love. Delicious!

  13. Manda, I’m going to have to ask for weekly updates on everything that’s in your vending machine. I’m sorry, but it must be done. Your stipend will be delivered via plain manila envelope on your desk every Monday morning.

  14. Yup, they ARE akin to the vending machines that dispense the Baby Back Ribs chips, because we get the ribs AND these very same “fries.”

  15. I was trying to shake free a bag of Skittles from my dorm’s vending machine this afternoon, and a bag of these fries randomly fell down. I wanted to see if I should avoid them or give them a shot, and based on this review I guess I’ll be trying them tomorrow. :P

  16. I’ve seen Andy Capps at my local convenience store, but always had the feeling they were more east coast and were there somewhat accidentally, since I haven’t seen them anywhere else. I’ve also seen Wise chips at a local Philly sub joint, and I know for sure those are east coast, but I’ve never seen Cheese Waffles there. I love regional snacks, maybe I’ll pick up some of those Capps one day, you never know when they’ll disappear forever.

  17. These things look like Andy Capps Fries Snack. I was never a huge fan of those (the texture was…off for me). Cool review though, I too regard snack expiration dates as more of a guideline as it were. Have you ever tried Wise Cheese Waffles? They used to display in most stores around here (SWVA) right next to the Andy Capp Fries snacks. Those are crazy good!

    Looking forward to your next review.

    S.S

  18. That is one long-ass name, but at least that it informs you of A( the endorsee, b}the flavors that are supposed to be involved, 3] what they are made of, and $0 that they are, indeed, snacks. That is always helpful. AND, unlike the case of Armored Star Potted Meat Food Product, they pull it off without sounding ominous. Ominous is not good for food.

  19. Damn Steve, I should hire you on my next mystery food product case. You’ve obviously got the chops. And the…moxie. And a bottle of whiskey in the bottom drawer of your desk. And it’s raining. Things just got noir!

  20. Everyone knows that Chester Cheetah was big into the late 90s rave scene, as evidenced by the glowsticks in his hand. He cleary homebrewed these out of his recreational vehicle and traveled from rave to rave selling them to fuel his ecstasy habit. Case. Closed.

  21. “As you can see, they aren’t exactly the same color as the fries on the bag.”

    Actually, I cannot see, since I see two (2) pictures of the bag and zero (0) pictures of the fries.

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