An ode to those giant barrels of Utz Cheese Balls (2024)

An ode to those giant barrels of Utz Cheese Balls (1)

They grace the snack table at almost every party. They’re always present whenever drunchies necessitate a trip to a convenience store. They’re the unsung heroes of every food-fueled social gathering, and there are more than 1,100 of them in any given barrel. I’m talking, of course, about Utz Cheese Balls -- specifically, the giant barrels of them you can find at Walmart or Target or Sam’s Club (pretty much wherever giant barrels of things are sold). It’s time they got their just desserts (or appetizers, or whatever).

Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day? I probably shan’t, mostly because comparing a snack food to a time period is a kinda awkward analogy.

But you’ve gotta admit: both a Summer’s day and a giant barrel of Utz Cheese Balls are sure to satisfy anyone’s fix for something bright and airy.

An ode to those giant barrels of Utz Cheese Balls (2)

My love affair with Utz’s Cheese Ball barrels began, as most people’s did, back when they were introduced in 1999 (spurred on by a suggestion from Sam’s Club, that most noble and exclusive of retailers), and I first sighted those magnificent plastic-encased orbs from across an elementary school classmate’s birthday party. The attraction was instantaneous and undeniable -- I had to have them. And I did. And I got orange dust all over my extremities, and when my mom picked me up she was really pissed that I got it all over the car.

What began that day as a dalliance soon blossomed into a lifelong commitment. Whenever I had a gathering with friends in high school, the giant barrel of Utz Cheese Balls was there. Whenever I had a party in college, and I realized that I totally forgot to eat something earlier that day, the giant barrel of Utz Cheese Balls was there. Mind you, it wasn’t the same giant barrel of Utz Cheese Balls, because that would be gross -- alas, a human being and a large container of dairy-based snacks have vastly different lifespans. Can you blame me?

An ode to those giant barrels of Utz Cheese Balls (3)

Anyone who’s also partaken of a bag of Utz Cheese Balls can attest to the fact that they’re one of the most delicious cheesy snacks on the market. They’ve got an unmistakable, sharp cheddar tanginess because they’re made with real cheese, and they practically melt in your mouth. But having one bag of them is never enough, which is why you always need to get the giant 35oz barrel. Also, your friend Jeff usually finds out that you’ve got some, and you’ve got to account for the fact that he’ll eat at least half.

O, how can one malign your suggested retail price of $7.99? One cannot, because that’s a value that can’t be beat.

Data says that there’s usually around 1,100 cheese balls per barrel, which means you’re getting each individual cheese ball for less than a cent apiece. There is no cheaper date in all the universe. Not even a cupcake on Tinder.

An ode to those giant barrels of Utz Cheese Balls (4)

I’m not saying there is no better snack out there than Utz Cheese Balls -- but they are definitely up there, and they were one of the first snack companies to experiment with serving vessels larger than those little, weird, greasy tins and your garden-variety bag. For that, I salute them.

Maybe there are better uses of my tender words. But giant barrels of Utz Cheese Balls have saved so many events from fading into obscurity by virtue of their day-glow orange hue, endless availability, and eminent edibility. A group of people can take a barrel of these suckers down faster than they can demolish a barrel of almost anything else, and I'm including cracker barrels.

The bottom line? Utz made it a whole lot more economical to fill up a bathtub with cheese balls. And if that isn’t worth lauding, what is?

Adam Lapetina is a staff writer for Thrillist, and his keyboard is forever stained orange. Read his musings at @adamlapetina.

An ode to those giant barrels of Utz Cheese Balls (2024)


How many cheese balls are in a Utz barrel? ›

Data says that there's usually around 1,100 cheese balls per barrel, which means you're getting each individual cheese ball for less than a cent apiece.

Why are UTZ cheese balls so good? ›

The cheddar flavor on these is even stronger than the white cheddar baseballs. It's the kids' favorite for sure. And putting it to a vote, all six of us agree that the giant tub of Utz Cheddar Cheese Balls is the favorite.

Are UTZ cheese balls fried or baked? ›

The Utz Red Hot Cheddar Cheese Balls are made with real cheese and are baked for a taste of irresistibly combination of spicy cheesy goodness.

Where did Utz cheese balls come from? ›

Utz Quality Foods has been around since 1921, when Bill and Salie Utz began making potato chips out of their home in Hanover, Pa. As Utz grew, it started to branch out to make other snack foods, such as pretzels and its incredible cheese balls.

How big is a barrel of cheese? ›

In the United States, cheese is primarily priced based on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) spot cheese market. The only cheese that trades on this exchange is fresh cheddar in 40-pound blocks and 500-pound barrels.

Are cheese balls discontinued? ›

The iconic Cheez Balls are back and Planters is giving away shakers of Cheez Powder to celebrate. Recently, Planters announced that the formerly discontinued Cheez Balls are now a permanent addition to its product line-up.

Why are cheese balls addicting? ›

A lot of highly processed foods have ingredients that hit your bloodstream quickly and spike your blood sugar. And the study reports there's a link between blood sugar spikes and the brain regions that are active in addiction.

Is cheese ball good for health? ›

Cheese balls are healthy? Beyond delicious, the cheese balls have a good balance of nutrients, with high-quality carbs and fat, rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins. So, we can certainly say it's a healthy and nutritious snack.

Do UTZ cheese balls taste like Cheetos? ›

Most importantly, I think Cheese balls win the flavor battle. Despite having less sodium per serving that Cheetos Puffs (260mg vs 300mg per 1oz ), UTZ Cheese Balls taste saltier and cheesier. I think this is due to the use of actual cheese by UTZ rather than the cheese seasoning used in the Cheetos.

What is a good cracker for a cheese ball? ›

What to Serve with Cheese Ball. That's an important question and I obviously have a strong opinion. Here are some options: Crackers – Ritz Crackers, Wheat Thins, Multi-Grain, Milton's.

What are Cheetos cheese balls made of? ›

Corn, Canola Oil Whey Powder (Milk), Wheat Flour, Cheese Powder (Milk), Salt, Flavour Enhancer (621), Mineral Salt (Potassium Chloride), Maltodextrin, Flavours Natural Colours (Paprika Extract, Turmeric), Food Acid (Lactic Acid).

Why are Utz chips called Utz? ›

At first, William and Salie Utz cooked the stuff right in their home. A Hanover couple by the name of William and Salie are responsible for the Utz empire. The Utzes started cooking their chips (initially called Hanover Home Brand Potato Chips) in their own kitchen at a rate of about 50lbs an hour in 1921.

Can dogs eat Utz cheese balls? ›

Can Dogs Eat Cheese Puffs or Cheese Balls? Although eating just a couple of cheese puffs or cheese balls isn't toxic for your dog, it's not healthy either. These types of foods are filled with lactose, preservatives, fat, and lots of sodium.

Why are Grandma Utz chips so good? ›

In short, they're packed with fat without being greasy. There is actual potato flavor here, too. Unlike a classic Lay's potato chip, these chips taste earthy and reminiscent of the actual root vegetables from which they're made.

Are Utz chips German? ›

(/ˈʌts/), more commonly known as Utz, is an American snack food company based in Hanover, Pennsylvania. The company produces a variety of potato chips, pretzels, and other snacks, with most products sold under their family of brands. Utz is also a snack supplier to warehouse clubs and merchandisers.

How many is in a pack of cheese balls? ›

Cheese Balls - 100 Pieces.

How many cheese cubes are in an ounce? ›

How do you measure an ounce of cheese? For semi-hard or hard varieties of cheese, an ounce is roughly the size of two dice-sized cubes.

What is a serving of cheese balls? ›

Cheese ball contains 64 calories per 15 g serving. This serving contains 5.7 g of fat, 2.7 g of protein and 0.8 g of carbohydrate. The latter is 0.3 g sugar and 0.2 g of dietary fiber, the rest is complex carbohydrate. Cheese ball contains 2.2 g of saturated fat and 11 mg of cholesterol per serving.

What cheese is Cracker Barrel? ›

A mild, creamy cheddar cheese. Tastes delicious on it's own or on top of your favourite crackers.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jeremiah Abshire

Last Updated:

Views: 6194

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jeremiah Abshire

Birthday: 1993-09-14

Address: Apt. 425 92748 Jannie Centers, Port Nikitaville, VT 82110

Phone: +8096210939894

Job: Lead Healthcare Manager

Hobby: Watching movies, Watching movies, Knapping, LARPing, Coffee roasting, Lacemaking, Gaming

Introduction: My name is Jeremiah Abshire, I am a outstanding, kind, clever, hilarious, curious, hilarious, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.