"If you love cheese, this is the Cheeto for you. It's beyond dangerously cheesy."
-- Kevin Cogan, Frito-Lay
On February 26, 2003, Navy Petty Officer Mike Evans popped open a bag of Cheetos, a brand of cheesy poofs produced by the Frito-Lay corporation, for his three year old son. Peeking into the bag, Mike saw something amazing.
Inside the bag was a single Cheeto, a sphere roughly three times the size of a quarter and weighing more than half an ounce. Yes,
The World's Largest Cheeto
Being a clever entrepreneur, Mike ran home and started an eBay auction for his newly found prize. Including a photo of the lemon-sized Cheeto next to a quarter and a regular sized Cheeto. Clicking Submit, Mike hoped that his prize might garner a few chuckles and maybe earn him a dollar or two.
But The World's Largest Cheeto would not be denied.
By February 28, the auction had begun to garner significant attention, and notice of the auction spread across several newsgroups. That morning, Mike logged on to Ebay and noticed the auction was creeping towards $25 with a handful of bids.
Meanwhile, in the small farming community of Algona, Iowa...
radio disk jockey Bryce Wilson was flipping music at the city's lone radio station. Bored, he went to check some auctions on EBay and stumbled upon the Cheeto auction. When the song finished, Bryce Wilson stepped out of obscurity and into the fiery limelight of Algona, Iowa. He was now a man with a mission...
He would bring The World's Largest Cheeto to Algona, Iowa!
As the awareness of the Cheeto increased, Bryce got deeply into the auction, contributing $100 out of his own pocket and $60 worth of donations to push the auction ever higher. But by March 1, 2003, Cheetomania had begun to set in, with pranksters quickly bidding the auction to well over a million dollars. EBay cancelled the auction, but not before hundreds of copycat auctions sprung up, featuring t-shirts and hand puppets of The World's Largest Cheeto, among other more disturbing items.
But, oh yes, Algona would have its Cheeto.
Hearing of Bryce Wilson's quest to bring The World's Largest Cheeto to Algona, Iowa, on March 3, 2003, Mike Evans donated The World's Largest Cheeto to the city.
The city plans to build a museum around The World's Largest Cheeto, purchasing a velvet lined, glass-encased container to hold the miraculous foodstuff. It is believed that the presence of the Cheeto will increase tourism in the town by more than 500%.
During a press conference, a Frito-Lay spokesman had only this to say on the subject: "We have very high standards and practices in place. It's never happened before. Not in our lifetime."
So what caused this massive anomaly? I inquired to the Frito-Lay Corporation with the following inquiry:
Dear Sir or Madam,
Like many others in the world community, I could not help but stare in slack-jawed wonder at the miracle that is The World's Largest Cheeto. What kind of horrible machinations were responsible for the production of such a blessed object?
Shortly thereafter, I received this electronic reply:
Dear Sir or Madam:
The Cheeto recently discovered by Mike Evans is indeed impressive. It is the result of something we call Seasoning Accumulation, a process in which individual Cheetos are provided with their amazing cheesy goodness.
Hopefully, this answers your question!
The Frito-Lay Corporation
So there you have it, folks. This miracle is the result of