Rarely, if ever, has there been a flavor pairing as beautiful as potato and cheese. Cheese and potatoes play a pivotal role in the cuisine of many countries. In Polish pierogis, potatoes and cheese fill a pillowy dumpling. In French cuisine, sliced potatoes mix with a creamy béchamel sauce and cheese for potatoes au gratin. But rest assured, you need not leave the country to get a delicious cheese and potato fix. Here in the U.S., the best way to mix the two involves a deep frier: Burger King is bringing back Cheesy Tots for a limited time, per Chew Boom (and confirmed to Bustle by a representative from Burger King).
Before you keep reading, something needs to be made abundantly clear: Cheesy Tots are in no way just cheese fries that have swapped out the fries for crunchy, compact potato nuggets. Rather than merely being topped with a layer of melty cheese, the tots are FILLED with cheese. Then when the entire tot is fried, it melts the cheese filling, cooks the potato, and crisps up the exterior.
Basically, cheesy tots are the crispy-cheesy-mushy-salty, bite-sized potato snack of your wildest dreams. Further, that is only what cheesy tots are like in their purest form. Just imagine the extra layers of flavor you add when you dip the tots in sauce.
Burger King has a pretty impressive menu of side items available year-round. The most notable choices include onion rings, tater tots, hash browns, chicken nuggets, and of course, French fries. But when the chain first debuted Cheesy Tots for a limited time, it was clear the King had struck (liquid) gold. As reported by Fortune, Cheesy Tots were initially removed from Burger King’s lineup in 2009, after which the public voiced a strong disdain for removing the menu favorite. There is even a Facebook page with 2.7 thousand fans called “Bring Back the Cheesy Tots from Burger King,” that is going strong today.
Depending on how you look at it, the explosive popularity of the simple cheese and potato dish is either surprising, or wildly predictable.
One might say there is a method to Burger King’s madness. The chain has been know more than once to debut a new food, have it be adored by customers, only to remove it from the menu shortly thereafter, leaving the king’s followers disappointed and hungry.
Perhaps the most notable example of this is Burger King’s beloved Chicken Fries. Chicken Fries were originally added to the Burger King menu in 2005, but were discontinued. In 2013, the chicken fries placed fourth on a Business Insider list of fast food items that need to be brought back. After a few short stints here and there of Chicken Fries being re-added to the menu as a limited time offer, Chicken Fries reclaimed their rightful throne on the permanent Burger King menu in 2015.
Though Cheesy Tots are only back for a visit, perhaps one day they, too, will reclaim a permanent position on the Burger King menu. Until then, be sure to stop in for some before they are gone. An order retails for $1.99.