History of Cheese Curls

They change the color of our skin. They get stuck in our teeth. But for some reason, we can’t stop eating cheese curls, the puffiest snack food ever created. But these corn-and-powder snacks didn’t just fall like manna from the sky into our bowls. The story of the cheese curl is one of the more unusual creation stories in snack-food history. Let’s talk about it. It’s weirder than you’d think.

Who invented cheese curls? One story involves a piece of agricultural equipment

Wisconsin, the agricultural hub that it is, has given us a lot of food innovations over the years. (Three words: fried cheese curds.)

But some of those innovations, like the process that gave us the modern cheese curl, were complete accidents. The accident proved fruitful for Flakall Corporation, a Beloit, Wisconsin animal feed manufacturer whose owners later switched gears to producing snack foods, all thanks to the way the company cleaned its machines. The company’s approach to producing animal feed was to put the material through a grinder, effectively flaking out the corn so more of it could be used to get as much usable material as possible from the grain, as well as to ensure cows weren’t chewing any sharp kernels.

A Feed Grinder (patent filing)

“This flaking of the feed is of advantage because it avoids loss of a good percentage of material which otherwise is thrown off as dust, and gives a material which keeps better in storage by reason of the voids left between the flakes, such that there can be proper aeration, not to mention the important fact that flaked feed is more palatable and easily digested by the animal,” the firm stated in a 1932 patent filing.

The grinder did its job, but it wasn’t perfect, and periodically required cleaning to ensure it wouldn’t clog. One strategy that Flakall workers used was to put moistened corn into the grinder. During this process, however, something unusual happened: the moist corn ran directly into the heat of the machine, and when it exited the grinder, it didn’t flake out anymore—it puffed up, like popcorn, except without the annoying kernels, in a long string.

By complete accident, Flakall had invented the world’s first corn snack extruder.

Edward Wilson, an observant Flakall employee, saw these puffs come out of the machine, and decided to take those puffs home, season them up, and turn them into an edible snack for humans—a snack he called Korn Kurls. Another way to put this is that when you’re eating a cheese curl, you’re noshing on repurposed animal feed.

How a cheese curl is made (patent filing)

This state of affairs led to the second patent in Flakall’s history, a 1939 filing titled “Process for preparing food products.” A key line from the patent:

“The device preferably is designed so as to be self-heated by friction between the particles of the material and between the particles and the surfaces of contacting metal and to progressively build up pressure during the heating period. Thus the uncooked raw material, having a predetermined moisture content is processed into a somewhat viscous liquid having a temperature high enough to cook the mass and heat the water particles to a temperature high enough for evaporation at atmospheric pressure but being under sufficient pressure to prevent it.”

If that’s a little complicated to understand, a 2012 clip from BBC’s Food Factory does the trick.

In the video, host Stefan Gates takes an extruder and connects it to a tractor, making the extruder move so fast that it puffs the corn out in an extremely fast, dramatic way.

Clearly, Flakall had something big. The firm eventually changed it’s name to Adams Corporation, which helped to take some attention off the fact that it was selling a food product to humans that was originally intended for animals.

While Flakall has the more interesting tale on this front, it’s not the only one. Another early claimant to the cheese curl is a Louisiana firm called the Elmer Candy Corporation, which developed a product eventually called Chee Wees.

Chee Wees

The Big Cheese of New Orleans, as it’s nicknamed, became a local institution. Elmer’s Fine Foods—no longer a candy company—is a family-owned business that’s produced cheese curls almost continuously for roughly 80 years.

I say “almost” because the firm had to deal with the impact of Hurricane Katrina. As the company explains on its website, Elmer’s entire facility was flooded out by the deadly storm, and the company had to stop operation for 16 months while it recovered from the hurricane and completely replaced the machines that produced the snacks.

A challenge like that might have been enough to kill a lot of companies. But Elmer’s bounced back—and it’s still active to this day.

(Another notable cheese curl firm, Old London Foods,came out with its variation, the Cheese Doodle, in the late 1950s.)

Five interesting facts about Cheetos, the brand that took cheese curls mainstream

While Cheetos came along later than its competitors, first being invented in 1948, it quickly overtook the market, in part because it had gained national distribution due to the prior success of Fritos. That company’s founder, Elmer Doolan, worked out a deal with H.W. Lay and Company to market Cheetos to the broader market. It quickly became a massive hit.


Cheetos are by far the most popular brand of cheese curls in the United States. According to Statista, the Cheetos brand had an estimated $969.5 million in sales in 2016, with the next most popular brand being Frito-Lay’s more-upscale Chester’s brand, which garnered up just 7 percent of Cheetos’ total sales.

The success of Cheetos was so impressive that it played a large role in the merger of Frito with Lay in 1961, as well as the company’s later merger with PepsiCo just four years later.

There are two main varieties of Cheetos—crunchy, the most common kind, and puffed, which only came about in 1971 or so. Each is made through different variations on the corn snack extruder process. Dozens of other flavors exist, however, both inside and outside of the U.S.

The reason that Flamin’ Hot Cheetos have such a prominent color that sticks to everything (and turns your fingers red), according to Wired, has a lot to do with the product’s use of food dyes that have an added chemical to make the seasoning oil-dispersible. That’s because the powder won’t stick to the Cheetos without vegetable oils.

Cheese curl cartoons: Why we never got a Chester Cheetah Saturday morning cartoon, despite multiple attempts

These days, Chester Cheetah is trying to goad Beyoncé on Twitter just like every other advertising mascot worth its weight in salt, but there was a time that the cheetah was seen as so impressive that there was chatter it could become a cartoon lynchpin. In fact, Frito-Lay got pretty far down the road with Fox in turning the mascot, launched in 1986, into a cartoon. Yo! It’s the Chester Cheetah Show, as the toon would have been called, was developed as a potential part of Fox’s Saturday morning cartoon slate. (CBS also considered making the show, but rejected it.)

Chester Cheetah

Source: https://tedium.co/2016/11/10/cheese-curls-creation-story

199 thoughts on “History of Cheese Curls

  1. via Bernhard @ MoA

    June 20, 2022

    Ukraine SitRep – Lysichansk Cauldron – Sinking Morale – More Provocations

    The former CIA and intelligence bigwig Graham Fuller predicts a gloomy outcome of the U.S-Russia proxy war in Ukraine. Gloomy for Ukraine, the U.S. and Europe:

    “Contrary to Washington’s triumphalist pronouncements, Russia is winning the war, Ukraine has lost the war. Any longer-term damage to Russia is open to debate.

    American sanctions against Russia have turned out to be far more devastating to Europe than to Russia. The global economy has slowed and many developing nations face serious food shortages and risk of broad starvation.

    There are already deep cracks in the European façade of so-called “NATO unity.” Western Europe will increasingly rue the day that it blindly followed the American Pied Piper to war against Russia. Indeed, this is not a Ukrainian-Russian war but an American-Russian war fought by proxy to the last Ukrainian.

    Contrary to optimistic declarations, NATO may in fact ultimately emerge weakened. Western Europeans will think long and hard about the wisdom and deep costs of provoking deeper long term confrontations with Russia or other “competitors”of the US.

    Europe will sooner or later return to the purchase of inexpensive Russian energy. Russia lies on the doorstep and a natural economic relationship with Russia will possess overwhelming logic in the end.

    Europe already perceives the US as a declining power with an erratic and hypocritical foreign policy “vision” premised upon the desperate need to preserve “American leadership” in the world. America’s willingness to go to war to this end is increasingly dangerous to others.”

    All the above had already been said on this website in late February and March. But it is good to see that seasoned intelligence people are now coming to similar conclusions.

    Two weeks ago I wrote that the Ukrainians will soon reach a breaking point. Today’s ‘clobber list’ by the Russia Ministry of Defense has an additional part about Ukrainian troop loses that supports that take:

    Cont. reading: Ukraine SitRep – Lysichansk Cauldron – Sinking Morale – More Provocations


    Liked by 2 people


    Ukraine Caught Staging False Flag

    15 min ago



    1) Russian Military catches Ukraine faking war footage for western propaganda.

    “It has been confirmed that Ukrainian security forces shot videos that purportedly showed damage caused by Russian armed forces to private households, as well as homeless civilians. The video production used more than 40 actors who were paid USD 25 each,” Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev said.

    Yet another example as to why we cannot believe a single piece of western media coverage about the ongoings in Ukraine. Ghost of Kyiv, Snake Island, Maternity Ward, fake guns, green screens, media using recycled photos from other war zones in the past, using recycled footage from video games. ALL OF THEM WERE FAKE. If Russia is so evil, and committing endless war crimes, why do they have to keep faking all this stuff?

    [Excerpt] Read more at the link above…


  3. Prayer Request:

    My niece Ashley is in labor & there are some complications including meconium. Her grandma Marilyn is being rushed to the hospital by ambulance, we’re not sure why.

    Thanks for praying!

    Hubby’s job situation is still up in the air. We hope this week sees a conclusion…

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Meconium is the waste product in the babies’ bowels at birth and is always a danger sign if it’s found in the amniotic fluid. It is almost always passed soon after birth. That is one of the things one has to watch for when foals are born, too. You have to make sure they pass the meconium – if not, an enema is required.

          EXCERPT: “Meconium present in amniotic fluid is something all pregnant women are told to look out for. Meconium is your baby’s first ‘poo’ and is usually harmlessly passed once your baby is born. In some cases, babies will pass this substance before birth and can potentially inhale it, causing serious complications.

          Understanding what causes meconium in your amniotic fluid can help you to potentially prevent it from occurring, or to make decisions about your care if it does happen.

          What Is Meconium and When Is It Dangerous?

          Meconium forms as a baby swallows amniotic fluid during pregnancy. Most of the fluid is water but there is also debris such as hair, fetal cells, mucus and so on. This debris is left in the intestine when the water is absorbed and removed. What is left behind is a sticky, thick substance called meconium and by the time your baby reaches 40 weeks, their intestine is filled with meconium. You can everything you need to know about meconium here.

          Meconium itself is harmless and most babies can pass it while still in utero or during labour and have no problems. If the meconium is inhaled into the lungs (meconium aspiration syndrome or MAS) it has the potential to be dangerous of even fatal to newborns.”


          Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much Pat. I did a brief update in reply to my initial prayer request. Grandma is in the hospital in Tulsa & Ashley & baby boy (in NICU on vent) are in OKC. Ashley’s mom is perhaps torn between her mother & daughter but we don’t know about Marilyn. My mom thought she’d had a stroke previously & lives near her daughter in a place providing some level of care…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Here’s an update. The baby boy was born by C-Section & is in the NICU on a vent. Mama Ashley is having excessive bleeding & a fever & is not allowed to see the baby. Her mother is between there (Oklahoma City) & Tulsa where her own mother is hospitalized. Her father is on the road from Dallas & his wife (Ashley’s step-mom) is in OKC w/ A after being in Tulsa for a week w/ her own daughter who was injured in a moped accident.

      My brother is in the process of moving from Dallas to Tulsa w/ a pending sale on their TX home & incomplete new construction on their OK home….Lots of needs in this blended family situation. Thanks for praying!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. PR posted a link at M’s about this but it required a subscription. Not sure this is the same article but….

    EXCERPT: “As of a couple weeks ago there were only 7 countries where kids under 5 were given COVID injections, though the WHO now claims that number is 12.

    The seven countries on record are:


    (the territory of Hong Kong, which uses the Chinese-made shots, is sometimes listed as the eighth country on record)

    But that’s only the beginning of the madness. Venezuela and Cuba are the only countries that allow for COVID shots between the ages of two and three. The rest of the countries only go as young as three. Moreover, none of the nations are using mRNA. 5 out of 7 are using Chinese manufactured inactivated vaccines. Cuba and Venezuela are using the Cuban homebrew shot.

    And NONE of these countries are allowing for COVID shots between the ages of 6 months to two years, which means that the United States has become the only country in the world to allow for experimental COVID injections shots for babies and 2 year old toddlers.”


    Another link: “America is now the only country in the world that authorizes COVID shots for infants
    Not what the corporate press told you.”

    Jordan Schachtel
    Jun 17

    It appears that the United States just became the only country in the world to “vaccinate” babies and toddlers with COVID injections. Despite what you are reading in the press, the U.S. seems to be, as of Friday, the only country in the world to partake in experimental COVID therapeutics for infants.

    On Friday, the FDA authorized mRNA COVID shots (both Pfizer and Moderna) under emergency use authorization for children under 5 years old, all the way down to 6 months of age. As you’ll see in a moment, this is unprecedented anywhere in the world.

    The approval made its way through the halls of the federal bureaucracy, regardless of any studies showing a positive benefit for injecting young children with mRNA shots, which, even in adults, do not effectively prevent coronavirus infection.

    Making matters worse, our deceitful corporate press is actively engaged in a cover up operation to make it seem like the new policy is not particularly unique, when in fact, it is exclusively unique.”

    More: https://dossier.substack.com/p/america-is-now-the-only-country-in

    Liked by 2 people

  5. oldie but a goodie

    Afternoon Delight

    Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight
    Gonna grab some afternoon delight
    My motto’s always been ‘when it’s right, it’s right’
    Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night?
    When everything’s a little clearer in the light of day
    And we know the night is always gonna be there any way

    Thinkin’ of you’s workin’ up my appetite
    Looking forward to a little afternoon delight
    Rubbin’ sticks and stones together makes the sparks ingite
    And the thought of lovin’ you is getting so exciting
    Sky rockets in flight
    Afternoon delight
    Afternoon delight
    Afternoon delight

    Started out this morning feeling so polite
    I always though a fish could not be caught who wouldn’t bite
    But you’ve got some bait a waitin’ and I think I might try nibbling
    A little afternoon delight
    Sky rockets in flight
    Afternoon delight
    Afternoon delight
    Afternoon delight

    Please be waiting for me, baby, when I come around
    We could make a lot of lovin’ ‘for the sun goes down

    Thinkin’ of you’s workin’ up my appetite
    Looking forward to a little afternoon delight
    Rubbin’ sticks and stones together makes the sparks ingite
    And the thought of lovin’ you is getting so exciting
    Sky rockets in flight
    Afternoon delight
    Afternoon delight
    Afternoon delight

    Afternoon delight!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Liked by 2 people

            1. I made the pasta today – when I made it last fall for B/K/M, we had it over potatoes. The GF who was from Romania of an Army guy I knew gave me this recipe. He came to me for advice.

              1 package dry Onion Soup
              1 bottle of Apricot Preserves
              1 regular bottle of Russian dressing
              Small can of Pineapple

              Mix it all together and pour it over a couple of chicken breasts for the oven. Depending on the size of the breasts, bake at 350 for 1.5 – 2 hours (huge chicken breasts would take more time). Voila!

              Liked by 1 person

        1. same place where you go to keep an eye on pending comments…on the far right is trash…you just approve it like yoou would a pending comment

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Enjoyed my time with you girls today…

    wishing you both a restful sleep …

    (I know you close the blog soon… which I think is a most intelligent practice 😉 )

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Dr. Fauci: When You’re in an Indoor Setting, You Should Wear a Mask Even Though the Whole World, Including the US and UK Are Worn Out and Tired— Get the duck tape

    Joe Biden Creeps on Little Girls During Rehoboth Beach Stroll—- Ugh reminds me of morocco

    House Democrat Chief of Staff Caught Repeatedly Defacing Poster Outside Office of Marjorie Taylor Greene; Biden DOJ Refuses to Prosecute—- tolerance and law and order

    Missouri State Senate Majority Leader Calls Highway Patrol on Eric Greitens After Former Governor Posts Ad with Guns—- Ummmm ???????

    Bill Maher Slams The Washington Post, Calling Their Newsrooms An ‘Unlicensed Daycare Center’—- Red pilled

    Israeli Prime Minister Bennett’s Office Says Government To Be Disbanded, Nation To Go To New Elections—- Hmmmm first france now this

    Judge Rules Dirtbag AG Mark Brnovich Waited Too Long to Demand Changes to Arizona Election Procedures to Affect 2022 Election—- Law and order what’s that

    Data from National Statistics in England Reveals Almost 530,000 Vaccinated Have Died Including Non-COVID Deaths Between January 2021 and March 2022— Not shocked at all. That vax works

    Liked by 1 person

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