For those of us who love snack food, cheese curls occupy a special place in our hearts. They’re light, airy and, most importantly, coated in cheese.
But one origin story of these delightful nibbles will likely surprise even the most ardent cheese curl fan.
Tedium just published a brief history of the cheese curl, and honestly, it will throw you for a loop. Their biggest revelation? Cheese curls are essentially puffed-up horse feed.
Back in 1932, Wisconsin animal feed manufacturer Flakall Corporation accidentally invented the world’s first corn puff snack extruder, Tedium reports. The company built a feed grinder to “flake” their corn-based feed, making it more digestible for animals. In an attempt to clean their feed grinder, Flakall workers added moistened corn to the machine. When the damp corn met the heat of the grinder, it puffed up like popcorn.
Flakall employee and future snacking legend Edward Wilson decided to take the corn puffs home and season them, thus inventing the modern-day cheese curl.
That’s right. Your favorite cheesy indulgence is apparently a byproduct of cleaning an animal feed grinder. And you know what? We’re not even mad about it.
Wilson’s resulting “Korn Kurls” may have been the first cheese curls on the market; a Louisiana snack producer claims otherwise. Either way, Cheetos quickly became the most popular after hitting the market in 1948. And the rest, as they say, is dangerously cheesy.
For more information on the cheese curl’s origin, head to Tedium. In the meantime, we’ll continue munching on fodder.