Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Food

Cheez Doodle Inventor Dies

It’s a rare link that ties together Jews and one of America’s most iconic snack foods. But the recent death of Morrie Yohai, the inventor of the Cheez Doodle, has brought one of those few connections to light.

Yohai, who died last week at the age of 90, according to the New York Times invented “the Doodle” while working for his father’s company Old London Foods in the early 1920s in New York. Yohai devised the snack after realizing a new machine could cut corn meal crackers into three inch tubes that were then coated with cheddar powder and baked (never fried!). (Click here to see just how Cheez-y snack is made.)

“We wanted to make it as healthy as possible so it was baked, not fried,” Yohai said in a 2005 Newsday profile. (It’s remarkable to think that someone once thought a snack that turns not just your hands but likely your insides bright orange was healthy).

In the 1950s, the company was bought by Borden who also makes Cracker Jack, where Yohai became the vice president of the company’s snack division and reportedly helped select which toys went in Cracker Jack boxes. While Yohai, who kept a photo of Julia Child eating the snack in his home, was modest about his invention, his wife couldn’t help but brag about his accomplishment. In 2004, the Yohai family visited a California art museum that had mounted a life-size installation of people eating at a cocktail party — covered in Cheez Doodles. “My mother told everyone in the entire museum that he invented them,” Robbie Yohai, his son, told the Times.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.