Creator Of Cheez Doodles Dies At 90

In a sad bit of news, Morrie Yohai, the man behind longtime snack fave Cheez Doodles — responsible for millions of orange-stained fingers each year — passed away last week at the age of 90.

The genesis of the puffy orange snack can be traced back to the end of World War II, when Yohai returned from service as a Marine in the South Pacific and took over his father’s snack-food business in the Bronx.

“We were looking for another snack item,” Yohai recalled in a 2005 interview. “We were fooling around and found out there was a machine that extruded cornmeal and it almost popped like popcorn… We wanted to make it as healthy as possible, so it was baked, not fried.”

Eventually the Cheez Doodle became a big hit for Yohai, who sold the company to Borden in the mid 1960s. Morrie, a graduate of the Wharton School of Business, stayed on as group vice president in charge of snacks, which involved “sitting around a conference table with other executives and selecting the toys inside Cracker Jack boxes.”

He left the company when Borden relocated to Ohio, eventually becoming the associate dean for the school of management at the New York Institute of Technology.

Yohai also published two books of poetry and founded the New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival.

Says his daughter, “His life took many turns… He did whatever he set his mind to and he was incredible.”

Morrie Yohai, 90, inventor of the Cheez Doodle, dies

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. c!tizen says:

    You, my friend, shall be missed.

  2. Sunflower1970 says:

    Never had them.

    Although my mom did buy something called Cheese Curls. I think they may have been a generic brand of these. They came in a yellow bag. I lived in Minneapolis at the time (late 70s) and it may have been a store brand. But they were the best darned snack food I remember as a kid.

  3. TheGreySpectre says:

    I have never even heard of these before

  4. PanCake BuTT says:

    Those ‘had’ to be created ? I thought they were a natural occurring element, such as ore, gold or platinum and crystals. Jeez, you learn something new everyday.

    P.S. = I wish I could live til’ 90! It’d be the dreamiest !

  5. White Speed Receiver says:

    QUITE FRANKLY, THIS IS TERRIBLE NEWS!

  6. yessongs says:

    Let us all bow our heads…..

  7. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    “Due to his having indulged in his creation. Consequently, he will lie in perpetual state at NYIT in a perfectly preserved state, ala Vladimir Lenin.”

    Oh, and when viewing him…please don’t touch the glass–yellow fingerprints, you know.

  8. HogwartsProfessor says:

    RIP. Mr. Yohai. Thank you for the cheesy goodness.

  9. TehQ says:

    Dang, need to go get a bag.

  10. brianary says:
  11. ZacharyTF says:

    I’m a Cheetos man myself.

  12. alfassa says:

    Morrie was a modest person, a traditional Sephardic Jewish gentleman that lived his life immersed in the world around him as well as a life revering the Torah.

    Morrie was born to Spanish-speaking Jewish parents from Ottoman Turkey. He was a kid from New York City who loved Coney Island. He grew up to be an American patriot. He joined the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor and became a Marine Corps pilot during the war. He became a successful businessman (he invented the Cheese Doodle!), a poet and a leader in the Jewish non-profit world. His loss is a loss to the Sephardic community and the greater Jewish and non-Jewish world.

    Shelomo

  13. Philip says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Morrie at Old London Foods in the late 60’s and always respected him for his moral and ethical convictions in both his business and personal lives. Of all the positions I held in my professional career, my tenure at Old London was my favorite. I still remember him having salmon for lunch almost every day and looking forward to horseback riding on the weekends and never owning a green car. Very pleasant memories of a very unique gentleman. Rest in peace, my friend.