Bizarre Cheetos Flavors You Can Only Find Internationally

American snack lovers are used to their Cheetos being dusty, cheesy, and seriously flavorful. If the corn puffs ever reach beyond the bounds of its core flavor set, it's with a savory taste that plays it safe, something like Cheddar Jalapeño or White Cheddar. Sometimes, Frito Lay even goes afield and drops an unexpectedly sugary flavor like Sweetos, a sweet and cinnamon version that abandoned all pretense of cheddar goodness. In general, Chester Cheetah's favorite munchie knows better than to tweak the formula too much and risk losing fans to fancy formulations. With such a winning creation already generating its own snack buzz, why take the risk? Better to give your fans what they know and love than roll the dice on something strange that garners bad reviews and lost revenue.

Outside the U.S., however, the Cheetos flavor engine is an entirely different machine. Countries abroad churn out one unexpected flavor after another. Many of these options adopt the cultural tastes of the region. Some are intriguing, some are wild, and some are just plain weird, pushing the boundaries of what a Cheeto needs to be. We went on a search and gathered a selection of the most bizarre Cheeto flavors found outside of the U.S. If you think Flamin' Hot Cheetos is an envelope-pusher, wait until you see the unusual flavors abroad that tear up that envelope altogether.

Cheetos Spicy Chicken Red Pepper

There's no hate for a little spice thrown into the cheesy Cheeto dustbin, as the Flamin' Hot Cheetos movement attests. A little red pepper makes a willing partner for the super-cheddary powder coating. Adding chicken to the mix may sound like a bit of a further reach. But Cheetos Spicy Chicken Red Pepper dares to be bold, and not just because of the picture of Chester Cheetah doing rodeo tricks on a fried chicken leg while clutching a red pepper (though his full pike is bold, indeed). This limited-edition flavor from Japan combines the hottest of the Cheetos flavors with a spicy fried chicken seasoning that doubles the mouth-scorching heat for snackers who can't get enough of the familiar savory goodness.

How reasonable is it to think fried chicken and fiery pepper flavors go together like Cheetos and ... well, cheese? Cheetos' website features a recipe for a Flamin' Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich, encouraging fans who have the capsaicin-laced snacks available to create a coating that uses not only super-hot Cheetos, but Louisiana hot sauce and cayenne as well. The brow sweats just thinking Cheetos Spicy Chicken Red Pepper might be in similar standing on the Scoville Scale. We're all for hot flavors, but when it comes to treating your digestive system with the respect it deserves, there can be such a thing as too much heat. Cheetos Spicy Chicken Red Pepper sounds like it may cross that line.

Cheetos Shrimp

Cheetos finds an unlikely flavor partner in shrimp in several Asian countries, resulting in seafood-adjacent variants found around the region. Cheetos Fresh Shrimp from China not only bucks the traditional shape with a lenticular scoop contour, but it also uses cassava root instead of corn, removing cheese from the recipe entirely, relying on only the shrimp essence to entertain hungry snackers. In other words, what comes in the bag is a Cheeto in name only. A taster at Taquitos tried these alternative Cheetos, detecting a slow shift in the taste buds from a sweet to a shrimp essence, which sounds mildly intriguing.

In Taiwan and Japan, Cheetos Garlic Shrimp takes the idea of savory twists a step further with an additional aromatic zing that seafood fans almost never say "no" to. This variant keeps the knobby shape while adding layers of what we imagine as shrimp scampi flavors. YouTuber Food Abyss gave them a try, finding that powerful garlic notes rise above the shrimp elements, with zero cheese detected. All of this tinkering and toying with the base of what Cheetos fundamentally is begs the question: If you take away the cheese to put in shrimp and other savory flavors, are you even eating Cheetos at all?

Cheetos Paprika Spinners

It isn't only the addition of paprika to the familiar formula that makes Cheetos Paprika Spinners an intriguing inclusion on the international snack scene. That combination makes sense in a savory-on-savory way, and sounds like something U.S. Cheetos lovers could try by sprinkling the popular spice over their own bags. What gives these Cheetos a more surprising modification is the whirlpool shape of the snacks, like a galaxy of flavor or a throwing star ready to wallop your tongue with dangerous flavor. Imagine Dutch snackers tossing these back and forth, trying to chomp their Spinners out of mid-air like a snacking warrior. Intense!

Sadly, the ingredients list has no cheese elements, just paprika flavoring, which also includes garlic and onion powder — not bad company for paprika to be in. Without cheese, though, these become just crispy corn pinwheels delivering spice flavor, if they even do that. At Rob's Homemade Food & Reviews on YouTube, a review of similar paprika take on Cheetos doesn't even seem to include paprika flavor, just cheese ... which makes them just Cheetos. They are bent in an oddly worm-like shape, too, which begs the question: Is there something special about the standard shape of Cheetos that helps the flavors adhere? Does the cheese whirl away from the spinning star shape or wiggle its way off the zigzag, based on the ratio of curves to bumps? It's a question for science to answer. Maybe someday.

Mountain Dew Cheetos

Our first reaction upon hearing there were Mountain Dew Cheetos in Japan was a resounding "What?" How do food formula fabricators even arrive at the notion that a citrus soda flavor would translate into a crunchy corn snack covered with powdered cheddar? The answer is: there is no powdered cheddar, only a sweet lemon-lime flavor that sounds for all intents and purposes like a Mountain Dew Kool-Aid sprinkled all over naked Cheetos. Getting past the corn flavor of the Cheetos base isn't so tricky when you consider breakfast cereals that add all sorts of flavors to corn-based pieces. The real challenge is deciding if a tangy flavor belongs on a savory corn puff at all.

It turns out the weirdness is real, and not entirely appealing. A review at Snaxtime determined the combination to be a little lemony, a little sour, a little salty, a little tangy, and all the way unusual. It sounds more like a novelty to be tried if found in the wild, but not added to the regular snack rotation. So much for conquering the snackable cereal angle. There's more fun to be had in a box of Trix, with whatever less-than-natural fruit flavors that rabbit is always chasing. Considering these treats were a temporary Japan-only situation that came and went roundabout 2014, there's no danger of accidentally developing a craving for Mountain Dew Cheetos. Whew.

Cheetos Just Salt

Simplicity is a great thing, and if you're a snacker who isn't much for flavor and wants to cut straight to the heart of your treats, Cheetos Just Salt is probably a winning creation for you. The fact that snackers in Japan were given the option of having all the cheesy magic sucked out of their Cheetos for a corn-only cruncher sounds like some kind of consolation prize for those who find cheddar flavoring just too darned exciting. How can a snack that depends on Cheetle (the company's official name for Cheeto dust) dismiss its most distinctive characteristic? 

It turns out that Cheetos Just Salt is its own flavor sensation that falls in line with other corn chips like Fritos and Bugles. Chip Review calls them "Pure, simple, crunchy, salty, deliciously tasty!" While we're not inclined to argue with the satisfaction found in a bag of corn snacks, we have to wonder what Cheetos was after putting these simple snacks on the market. Maybe it was cheaper to leave the cheese off, or maybe there's a call for competition in the corn-only fried snack market in Japan. It could also be the name choice. While we wouldn't be averse to trying a no-cheese Cheeto, answering the call to snack by grabbing a bag of something called Cheetos Just Salt sounds like a swing and a miss when something snazzier like "Where's the Cheetle?" was within reach.

Cheetos Japanese Steak

What makes steak from Japan distinctive enough to become an official Cheeto variant? Snack fans in China may be able to answer best after trying Japanese Steak Cheetos. The description at Umami Cart calls out a char-grilled quality, which sounds pretty tasty. With no further information from Cheeto to go on, we have to assume it's a spin on wagyu beef, the ultra-expensive specialty steak derived from Japanese-bred cattle. If there's a seasoning that adds a touch of Japanese flavor to steak, then perhaps a mix of sesame seeds, ginger, and garlic with a touch of soy sauce is the blend that Cheetos has tapped into for these curious crisps. The possibilities sound savory and delicious, right?

The reality is far less impressive. YouTube reviewer Scott Vs Box explains that, despite what the name implies, the meat flavor isn't really steak, but an odd essence given by an off-colored powdery seasoning applied to a pale version of crunchy Cheetos. Another YouTuber, Robs Homemade Food & Reviews and Much More declares the lack of steak flavor in his review as well. Neither sounds like the elite reputation for the fine flavor of Japanese steak has come to be enjoyed globally. It sounds more like something worth trying once before having your memory reset, Eternal Sunshine-style.

Cheetos Japanese BBQ

If you're a long-time Cheetos fanatic, classic Cheetos and BBQ may not be the first flavor combination you think of when you're hankering for something snack-worthy. The folks dreaming up new Cheeto flavors in Japan are out to change hearts and minds with Cheetos Japanese BBQ. These crunchers don't have quite the concentration of Cheetle content as their American counterparts. What they do have is 100% more BBQ flavoring merging sweet and savory elements — a mix that sounds remarkably generic, if not pretty much on the nose for classic BBQ balance.

We have to admit, the description of this one doesn't sound too bad. Who hasn't slathered their cheeseburger with BBQ sauce at some point in their lives? The blend is a natural partnership that should make an easy transition to the world of puffed corn snacks. Snoop introduced a signature cheddar BBQ tortilla chip for the Rap Snacks line with a bag that bears his laid-back mug, and chip company Herr's has its own Sticky Sweet Bar-B-Q Cheese Curls that emulates the Japan-only Cheetos snack. If this flavor were to come stateside and join the usual Cheetos selections, we wouldn't say no.

Cheetos Angus Roast Beef

Imagine the essence of succulent Angus roast beef added to the sassy Cheetos tang. The mind reels at the mouthwatering possibilities of a snack that recreates a roast beef sandwich nestling a slice or two of cheddar in its midst, similar to what Arby's makes, but better. Taiwan-based Cheetos Angus Roast Beef flavor aims to provide such an experience. Steak lovers may already know that Angus beef comes from Angus steer, a muscular breed that originated in Scotland. Though Angus beef is preferred in the U.S. for its superior flavor, the idea of Angus being a higher quality than other beef may be more of a meat industry marketing scheme (we're looking at you, Black Angus). Still, the name is associated with tasty beef closely enough to make it recognizable on a Cheetos package.

The best description found for how this Cheeto derivative tastes is that it adds a rich and savory Angus beef flavor to the beloved cheese-crusted corn snack. While it wouldn't warrant a ticket to Taiwan to hunt down a bag or paying outrageous overseas shipping to buy one online, it does sound like an inspired combination.

Cheetos American Turkey

It isn't the pale, sometimes flavorless sandwich slices from the prepackaged deli section that flavor American Turkey Cheetos in China. Oh no — it's the full-bodied essence of roasted turkey found on Thanksgiving tables from coast to coast. A review of these unusual goodies found on Umami Cart describes the flavor as not overpowering, and closer to the flavor of stuffing. Since stuffing is often cooked inside the turkey, the overlap may be a mistake, or it may be that savory flavors from the spice cabinet all blend together in an American turkey dinner. Either way, familiarity seems to play a big part in the enjoyment of a fabricated version of turkey added to a cheese-flavored treat.

You say you aren't convinced by this description that Cheetos American Turkey flavor adheres to the time-honored tradition of turkey in America? Just look at some of the delicious ingredients found in the "American turkey flavoring" listed on the package: sugar, MSG, edible glucose, soy sauce powder, something called edible essence, and vegetable grease. Mmm ... sounds just like the turkey you'll be enjoying during the holiday season, doesn't it? Yeah — it doesn't sound like it to us, either.

Cheetos Peanut

You may have to stretch the imagination of your taste buds quite a bit to understand the value of Cheetos Peanut found on grocery store snack shelves in Holland. Picture a Cheetos puff stripped of its cheese powder, and sprayed with some form of a peanut paste instead. This isn't a sweetened crisp; there's no sugar mentioned among the ingredients. But the resulting treat sounds awfully similar to a cereal rather than a snack from the chip aisle. Without a stroke of sweetness in the mix, it's difficult to imagine what these taste like, other than a dry peanut-flavored Styrofoam curl. It sounds suspiciously like biodegradable packing peanuts made from plant starch, but with a peanutty kick.

If consumers have anything to say, Cheetos Peanut are far superior to packing peanuts as a snack. These unexpected delights receive largely 5-star ratings from online reviewers, many written in French, which leads us to believe these oddball bites have found an audience beyond the intended Dutch snacking contingent. Good on Cheetos for finding a weird, cheeseless twist that works. And if fans tire of the taste, they can always use the leftovers to pack their Amazon returns.

Cheetos Cinnamon Banana

When Cinnamon Banana Cheetos enter the conversation as they do in Japan, you know you've stepped out of the world of crunchy cheese snacks and into an unfamiliar flavor realm. And when you see Minions on the front of the bag, you might as well throw yourself headlong into the world of weird cinematic food cross-promotions and take the ride. Back in 2015, snack marts and grocery stores in Japan stocked this rare sweet Cheetos variation as a tie-in to the Minions movie. Tying the plump shape of Cheetos' puffier version and the Twinkie silhouette of your average Minion would be an easy visual connection to make. Too bad these sweetened snacks use the lumpy, bumpy crunchy Cheetos form as a vehicle for its cinnamon banana flavor.

Chip Review called out the artificial flavor and super-sweetness of these cereal-like puffs, confirming our sneaking suspicion that a Cheeto-sized snack piece is too big to handle such a heavy-handed sugary sprinkle. YouTube reviewer Sarah Star favors the flavor, though she describes it as cinnamon apple rather than cinnamon banana, and with a churro-like essence helped along by the Cheetos crunch. Alas, these promotional packs are a bizarre Cheetos flavor consigned to the past.