Cheesy Tots! I don’t know why I like those words so much, but I do. Say it out loud and with enthusiasm. CHEESY TOTS! CHEESY TOOOOOTS!
Okay, well that just looks like “Cheesy Toots”, which, while even more fun to say, is getting off-topic. I have the mind of a child.
“Tots”, besides being a synonym for “children of an annoying age”, is short for tater tots. Upon further research, I found out that “tater tots” are not as simple as they seem. I’ll let Wikipedia explain: “Tater Tots, a registered trademark of Ore-Ida, are a commercial form of hash browns, a side dish made from deep-fried, grated potatoes. They are widely recognized by their crispness, cylindrical shape and small size.”
Here we learn not only what tater tots are, but also that Ore-Ida is a total dick. Really, you’re going to trademark Tater Tots? Way to hamstring every fast food chain that sells deep-fried potatoes, which is pretty much all of them.
Of course, fast food marketers are clever, which is why Arby’s has “Loaded Potato Bites”, Jack in the Box and Whataburger both went with “Hash Brown Sticks”, and McDonald’s just skirted the issue altogether by going with hash brown patties.
Sonic threw the middle finger at Ore-Ida and just went with “Tots”, a smart move that Burger King has obviously adopted. These ain’t just regular tots, though. These are Cheesy Tots!
Honestly, I would have been satisfied with just tots. Who doesn’t like a deep-fried grated potato? By adding cheese inside, however, BK upped the ante. Now I have cheesy expectations. I’ve tried Arby’s Loaded Potato Bites, which are supposedly filled with cheese and bacon, and they were a big letdown. Can Burger King rise above?
Yes, yes they can! I was pleasantly surprised by my Cheesy Tots. The outside was nice and crispy, which is a must for tots. Nobody wants a soggy tot.
There was a nice cheese-to-tater ratio inside, and you could actually taste the cheese, which was my main worry. The potato was just the right texture – not mushy but also not raw-crunchy – and the creaminess of the cheese worked well with it.
As a point of comparison, the overall taste and texture was more like McDonald’s hash browns than Sonic’s Tots, which I liked. I find Sonic’s Tots to be a bit dry and crumbly, and McD’s patties to be crunchier and moister, which is pretty much what BK’s Cheesy Tots were like, with the added bonus of cheese.
This may sound paradoxical, but I liked Cheesy Tots enough to want more from them. My first thought was that adding some jalapeño bits in with the cheese would be perfect. My second thought was that Cheesy Tots were begging for some dipping sauce.
Burger King’s Cheesy Tots deliver what they claim to be: “Crunchy bite-sized snacks perfect at any time of the day – featuring a crispy outside and a warm mixture of potatoes and creamy American cheese on the inside.” They’re not bland or boring, per se – I just want more out of them. I’m like the overbearing parent who frowns at an A- on her kid’s report card.
In other words, I’m a jerk. You’re a good snack, Cheesy Tots. I’m being a little unreasonable.
…Hey, wait a second, here. Take a look at Cheesy Tots’ page on Burger King’s website.
What’s this, now? Cheese Tots? Excuse me? Last I looked, you were Cheesy Tots, through and through. What happened? “Cheesy” Tots was too, well…cheesy for you? Trying to take all the fun out of Cheesy Tots and be all “adult”?
I’m not buyin’ it. I smell a conspiracy. I…have no idea what that conspiracy is, but I smell it. Coincidentally, it smells like grease.
Update: So curious was I about this Cheesy/Cheese thing that I decided to go back to receipt to see what it said…
AHA! Proof of the cheesiness! In fact, they were so set on getting that “y” in there that they even sacrificed an S for a Z! I’M WATCHING YOU, BURGER KING. Just like The King used to watch people through their bedroom windows, before they “retired” him.
Also proof that I dug this out of my trash, since you can see the wet coffee grounds on the bottom of the receipt. You gotta get your hands a little dirty when you’re doing real investigative reporting.
Burger King Cheesy Tots
- Score: 4 out of 5 name-changin’ flim-flammers
- Price: $2.49
- Size: Medium (10 Tots)
- Purchased at: Burger King #17145
- Nutritional Quirks: Not much unexpected here, but expect a blast of 880 milligrams of sodium for a medium order. May I also suggest adding to that number by having a little sriracha with your Tots?