The Food of October: Cheese Dip

Arkansas has many native foods that are grown here. We also have a lot of good recipes that originated right here, such as chocolate gravy and sugared rice. The most famous of our products, though, has to be cheese dip.

A few years ago, Nick Rogers did some extensive research and developed a documentary. Titled “In Queso Fever,” the film delved into the history of the popular chip dip. Rogers uncovered a lot of undiscovered truths about cheese dip. He found it was created here in the 40s by a man named Blackie Donnelly, the owner and founder of Mexico Chiquito. Cheese dip outdates nachos.

It’s been adopted universally here in Arkansas. Game days, potlucks, casual get-togethers, you cannot get away from the cheesy emulsion. There are dozens of recipes, many utilizing Velveeta and Rotel. In fact, more Rotel is purportedly sold in Arkansas than in any other state in the Union.

Restaurants love cheese dip, too. You’ll find everything from traditional yellow dip to pale white quesos, deep red cheese dip and light green dip as well in the Natural State. Satisfy your craving for the dish by visiting an Arkansas restaurant with a signature dip, or by making your own.

On October 20th, the 3rd annual World Cheese Dip Championship will be held at the Clinton Presidential Center. Dozens of competitors will offer their version to attendees, who will determine a popular choice for the best. Judges will determine who represents the state at FoodFest, a national food festival held each year in New Orleans.

Kat Robinson is the communications manager for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism's tourism division. She is a lifelong Arkansawyer with years of residency in Little Rock, Russellville and Jonesboro.

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3 comments on “The Food of October: Cheese Dip
  1. Robin says:

    Arkansas is where I learned to love Velveeta and Rotel cheese dip :) I’d never heard of it before then. Who would have guessed?

  2. ChaCha says:

    Love all the cheese dips !!! And don’t forget about the Little Rock Food Truck Festival on Saturday, October 6!! Check it out!!

  3. Some of the hard varieties include parmesan-reggiano, pecorino-romano and asiago.
    The instructions for the Apple brie Cheese Omelette recipe are pretty straightforward,
    even a mere male such as I am able to follow it, and even make it a tasty
    dish. This is my favorite scenic drive in wa & the road winds through sections of tall trees which create a canopy over
    the road with filtered, speckled sunlight, entering through the car windows.

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