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National Cheese Doodle Day

Today we celebrate cheese doodles, snacks which are also commonly known as cheese puffs or cheese curls. Cheese doodle is a colloquial term which is taken from a brand of the snack called Cheez Doodle. Cheese doodles are made of puffed corn of various shapes and sizes—they may be curly, straight, made into balls, and more. They are covered with cheese powder or a cheese-flavored powder. The most popular brand in North America today is likely Cheetos, which debuted in 1948 and is made by Frito-Lay.

Two different companies are credited with inventing cheese doodles or puffs in the 1930s. One was the Flakall Corporation in Beloit, Wisconsin. A machine to make them was patented by Clarence J. Schwebke in 1939. The cheese puffs began being sold by the Adams Corporation in 1946, under the name of Korn Kurls. The other early company to make the snack was the Elmer Candy Corporation in New Orleans. They invented their version in 1936. Being given the name CheeWees, they began being marketed by Elmer's Fine Foods in the 1940s, and are still made today.

Cheez Doodles became the most popular brand of the snack on the East Coast. They were invented—or "developed" as he called it—by Morrie Yohai, who was president of the King Kone Company in the Bronx, which he owned with his father and cousin. King Kone made ice cream cones and cheese crackers, among other things. They eventually changed their name to Old London Foods. Yohai came across a machine that "processed cornmeal under high pressure into a long tube shape." He used a blade to cut the product into three-inch-long tubes, flavored it with orange cheddar cheese and other seasonings, and baked it. In 1948, the company released it as the Cheez Doodle. In the 1960s, Old London Foods was bought out by Borden, and Yohai became vice president of Borden's snack division. Wise Foods was one of the snack companies owned by Borden, and Cheez Doodles were under their wing. Wise Foods has since been bought out several times, but Cheez Doodles continue to be made.

How to Observe National Cheese Doodle Day

Celebrate the day by eating the cheese-flavored snacks commonly known as cheese puffs, cheese curls, or cheese doodles. There are many styles and shapes of them you could enjoy. There are also many different brands you could try, such as Cheez Doodles, CheeWees, or Cheetos. You could even try to make your own.

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