Alton Brown Says This Is The 'Best Flavor On Earth'

As a well known chef who's been sharing his extensive culinary knowledge on "Good Eats" since 1999, Alton Brown knows what he's talking about when it comes to ingredients. You might assume therefore that his favorite flavor is something along the lines of truffle oil or black salt, but the truth is it's nothing gourmet at all. Even with his refined palette, Brown shared in a blog post that he considers the leftover chip dust from the Cheetos bag to be "the best flavor on Earth."

Cheetos dust, or Cheetle, its official name, is a neon orange and in some cases bright red powder that is used to flavor the various Cheetos snacks including the popcorn, Puffs, and crunchy varieties (via Food & Wine). It isn't necessarily the powdered cheese that makes Cheetle taste good, but rather a chemical reaction between the different ingredients. As The New York Times shared, it took Cheetos manufacturer Frito Lay nearly 500 chemists to develop the formula.

You can recreate Cheeto dust at home

Check the list of ingredients on the back of any Cheetos product and you'll find a handful of natural ingredients and chemical additives alike (via BuzzFeed). In addition to enriched corn meal, vegetable oil, and salt, there's also a cheese seasoning containing whey, maltodextrin, and monosodium glutamate, lactic acid, citric acid, and food coloring. Per Buzzfeed, you can technically recreate this at home, but it'll definitely be a struggle to find all the ingredients at a local grocery store. That's where Alton Brown's expertise comes in hand.

To mimic the flavor of Frito Lay's recipe, Brown combines powdered cheddar cheese along with powdered "parmesan" cheese (the processed kind that comes in the green plastic container), nutritional yeast, buttermilk powder, and kosher salt. Brown claims this tastes almost exactly like his favorite Cheeto dust, so if the bottom of the bag isn't enough for you, you can make as much of it as you want at home. That said, Brown did issue a warning to those creating this magic dust, saying, "Be forewarned, the resulting mix is extremely habit forming. Placing it on popcorn only makes it better...I mean worse."