Entry in progress—B.P.
Arkansas—Trips & Trails
Cheese Dip Trail
Did you know Arkansas is believed to be the birthplace of cheese dip? Little Rock lawyer and filmmaker Nick Rogers has done his research and believes it to be. He tracked the background of the spicy concoction to see if it could be “the dish” for which Arkansas could be famous. Rogers discovered the original Mexico Chiquito restaurant, though it was named Little Mexico at the time, opened in Hot Springs in 1935 and introduced cheese dip. This predates Rotel by at least 10 years. Mexico Chiquito is still alive and kicking in Arkansas with both full-service and drive-through locations. Cheese dip is served pretty much in every nook and cranny restaurant of The Natural State. Here are some suggestions.
Arkansas-based Tex-Mex chain; where cheese dip was invented; serving Central Arkansas since 1935; created after a visit to Mexico, based on American and Mexican cheeses; spice mix, which gives the dip its distinctive flavor, includes paprika, cumin and others
(Oxford Engish Dictionary)
A savoury mixture into which biscuits, etc., are dipped.
1960 J. Kirkwood There must be Pony! viii. 57 We were up to our asses in dips: clam dip, cheese dip, mushroom dip.
1962 L. Deighton Ipcress File xxi. 143, I was loaded with anchovy, cheese dip, hard egg and salmon.
23 May 1940, Seattle (WA) Daily Times, “Potato chips lend zest to picnic meal” by Dorothy Neighbors, pg. 15, col. 2:
1 package cream cheese.
4 tablespoons Roquefort cheese.
1 package pimento cheese.
1/2 tablespoon horseradish sauce.
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.
1/2 clove garlic.
Mix all ingredients together and add the finely minced garlic. Add enough milk to make a soft consistency and place mixture in a bowl. Set bowl on a large tray flanked with big crisp-fresh potato chips. Let your guests “dunk” into this mixture with the chips...it’s a party sensation.
31 March 1942, Seattle (WA) Daily Times, “Chips and Cheese ‘Dip,’” pg. 19, col. 4:
Easy to make a tasty is the cheese “dip” shown here with Williams potato chips—a favorite combination for parties for a mid-afternoon “snack.” The ingredients are a package of cream cheese, 4 tablespoons of Roquefort cheese, a package of pimento cheese, 1/2 tablespoon of horseradish sauce, 1/8 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, a half-clove of garlic, mixed together with enough milk to make a soft consistency. The potato chips are “dunked” in the cheese mixture.
9 February 1975, Dallas (TX) Morming News, “Tolbert’s Texas: About ‘The Gabriel’ and a Cheese Dip"by Frank X. Tolbert, pg. A31, col. 2:
Some time ago I received a letter from R. D. Fitzgerald of Baltimore, the maestro of an annual crab cookoff in Maryland. He wrote, praising “a fantastic cheese dip I sampled at the Stagecoach Inn restaurant in Salado, Texas. It was not only warmed in the carafe but it warmed the taste buds! I must have the recipe!”
Well, I’m a bit sorry I ever mentioned the cheese dip. For Dion Van Bibber, the 91-year-old physical and mental prodigy who, along with his red-haired wife, Youree, founded the modern Stagecoach Inn, had this to say: “Youree isn’t too eager to give the Inn’s prized recipes. However, here is the basic formula, or foundation from which the cheese dip can be formulated.”
THE INGREDIENTS are one pound of good cheddar cheese; a fourth cup of warmed butter; a little less than one half cup of finely chopped onions; a little less than one half cup of finely chopped pimentos; salt; dry mustard and dashes of Tabasco sauce in amounts suited to your taste; a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce; slightly less than a half cup of Heinz chili sauce; one half cup of good sherry wine. (’The wine is important,” said Van.)
Mix all the ingredients into a smooth paste. Then place in a serving dish on an electric trivet at low heat. THat’s all.
Seems like a good “foundation” to me, Mister Van.
“In Queso Fever: A Movie About Cheese Dip”
from Nick Rogers 4 years ago NOT YET RATED
A light-hearted documentary exploring the birth and popularity of cheese dip in central Arkansas.
The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook:
100 Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Table
By Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence
Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2013
According to In Queso Fever: A Movie about Cheese Dip, cheese dip as we know it was invented in central Arkansas in the 1930s by an Irishman known as “Blackie” Donnelly, a guy who owned a restaurant called Mexico Chiquito.
The Huffington Post
The Thing To Eat In Arkansas
By JEANNIE NUSS 10/08/13 12:35 PM ET EDT AP
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Memphis and Texas have barbecue. Mississippi has fried chicken. Louisiana has, gosh, what doesn’t Louisiana have when it comes to food?
But Arkansas, surrounded by these Southern foodie hot spots, has long been overshadowed by its neighbors. So, in an assertion of culinary pride, the state has tried to stake its claim as the home of a somewhat unlikely dish: cheese dip.
That queso you’ve eaten in a kitschy, Mexican-ish restaurant? Arkansas says it started here when a restaurant called Little Mexico opened in 1935 and introduced the dish.
Some Texans take issue with that claim, but whether Arkansas really gave rise to cheese dip seems beside the point