And today in Underrated Snack Food Flavors That Deserve Their Moment In The Sun, we have this: Jalapeno Cheddar Chex Mix appears to be the spicy, dark horse of the snack food world many of us didn’t even know we were missing out on. Now that we know about it, though, we owe it our allegiance, for it, and only it, may lead us to victory in this sad, bland world of ours.
Or, y’know… we just… should maybe give it a shot. Whether or not it turns out to be a sword-and-sorcery, high fantasy hero, it does sound pretty tasty. Just sayin’.
As Delish (who get the credit for bringing this flavor to my attention) recently noted, Jalapeno Cheddar Chex Mix doesn’t appear to be new; however, when I started looking into how long exactly I have been ignorant of this delightful snack’s existence, I was not prepared for how far back my research would take me.
That is oldest mention of this stuff I could find online.
It has been around for a decade and I had no idea.
That mention is incredibly brief, by the way — just three sentences in a short news item on Junk Food Blog. However, it does seem to imply that 2008 was the year Jalapeno Cheddar Chex Mix was launched: In the post, which is dated Jan. 23, 2008, the snack food site wrote, “General Mills continues to expand the flavor line of their popular pre-made Chex Mix snack with Jalapeno Cheddar Chex Mix.” The post goes on to describe the mix as consisting of “Chex pieces, cheese crackers, mini breadsticks, and salty pretzels”; at the time, 3.75-ounce packages retailed for $1.39, while 8.75-ounce packages were priced at $2.99.
The price, interestingly, hasn’t gone up since then; indeed, according to most listings, it’s gone down: Retailers including Amazon and Walmart have the 8.75-ounce package available for $2.63 these days. As far as I know, though, the mix is pretty much the same — which brings me to the best part: By all accounts, Jalapeno Cheddar Chex Mix is actually spicy.
With few exceptions, snack foods that claim to have the power of capsaicin behind them are often disappointing, registering as tangy, perhaps, but with no real bite to them. A couple options have bucked the trend over the years, of course — 3rd Degree Burn Doritos, for example, were legitimately painful to eat (although also delicious) — but by and large, I’ve found “spicy” snacks to be quite tame.
Review after review of Jalapeno Cheddar Chex Mix, however, note that it is not for the faint of heart. “These really are damn good. Very spicy. I love spicy, but if you're the least bit sensitive stay away! Very good though,” wrote one anonymous reviewer on Junk Food Blog. “If I buy a bag of something that says ‘jalapeno’ on the front and it’s not spicy, I feel fooled,” wrote Gas Station Gourmet in 2012, praising the “zest” level of the snack as “exactly what I’m looking for.” “Good jalapeno taste, nice and vegetable-y. … Good spice too, for the Chex pieces,” said The Junk Food Guy in 2011.
And on Amazon? Well, here’s a small selection:
“This salty snack is delicious! Very spicey (sic) as expected for a jalepeno (sic) snack. I can't get enough of the jalepeno (sic) flavor but have to stop eating so my mouth can cool off for a minute. These are as spicey, (sic) maybe spicier than the good old hot Cheetos. So good!!!!!!!!” – Jeneratoron
“Hot as hell. If you like spicy food, buy it.” – KELLY ANN SULLIVAN
“Good taste and kick to this but it is a little too spicy for my taste.” – Vladimir Ivanov
“These taste really good. Just be warned that the spiciness of these has a tendency to go into your nose, kinda like wasabi.” – Allen L.
I realize that this kind of spiciness isn’t to everyone’s taste. I, however, am Here For It — and I’m willing to bet that other spicy food enthusiasts will be, as well.
As previously mentioned, these suckers can be ordered online via Amazon; you can also always call up your local grocery store to see if they’ve got ‘em in stock. Even if you have trouble finding them locally, they're definitely still around, as a tweet from the official Chex Mix Twitter account sent on Aug. 1, 2018 underlines. Happy snacking, folks — especially if your hobbies include joyfully obliterating your taste buds with fiery heat.