Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I have never had a blog header in all caps before. I have never needed to shout before. But now I do. Because NOBODY IN KC HAS EVER HEARD OF CHEESE STRAWS! I am beyond flabbergasted. I feel as if my whole world has been rocked. For the past year I have patiently explained what smocked dresses were and I have endured people calling ski caps some funny word called a toboggan, but this is the last straw. No pun intended.

I went to a Super Bowl get together at my friend Jessie's house. I volunteered to bring cheese straws. Of course. That's what you bring to sporting events. She asked me if I was going to bring marinara. I didn't understand. Then I thought she must have confused cheese straws with mozzarella sticks. I took them anyway. Her husband had never had them either. I decided to enlighten rather than judge.

The next day I gave the rest of the batch to Rob to take to his co-workers. He came home and told me that not one person there had ever heard of a cheese straw. WHAT? And to add insult to injury one of them said that it really tasted like a baked Cheese-It. My head exploded.

THESE ARE CHEESE STRAWS, people!! My grandmother made them every single time I came to her house. They are at every grocery store in Alabama. Right up front with the produce. Mrs. Rolena makes them at every single event at my former church. Heck, my Mom had them served at her wedding reception. They are a national treasure.

Not so, my husband has informed me. He went to college in Kentucky and spent six years in North Carolina. Apparently he had never heard of them either until he moved to Alabama. I have discovered within the past 48 hours that they are only a deep south thing. I had no idea. And I spent my teenage years in the DC area and spent a lot of time in the Pacific Northwest and in New York. I still had no idea. I am reeling with the fact that most of the country has never heard of a cheese straw.

And now to know that they just taste like a cheese-it- well, it's just sad. It is a fine art to make a cheese straw. I practiced for years to make them like my Grandmom and now I realize that I can just go to Piggly-Wiggly and grab a box of Cheese-its. This is just like when I went on and on about a frozen hot chocolate from a restaurant called Serendipity in New York only to take my husband and be told that it was just like a Wendy's frosty. Except a frosty doesn't cost 7 bucks.

What's next, I ask? Clowns? Ponies? Apple Pie? Is nothing sacred?


Kara said...

First, kudos to you for making them from scratch. There is no way I could make them the way Grandmom did. And second, they taste NOTHING like cheezits! Especially when grandmom used to put an entire bottle of cayenne pepper in them trying to get them to have just a hint of spice!lol
Lenny had never heard of cheese straws until he married me. (Of course, he had never had grits, biscuits, or chickfila either). People outside the south just don't know what they are missing!:)

Brittny said...

I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN!!!!!! We have lots of friends here that are from all over the country and I've had to explain the same things you have! I even had to go into my kids closets and pull out clothes to show them what "smocked" and "john johns" were. And don't get me started on that foul language that man used. Cheese straws do NOT taste like that imitation crap!!! If my grandmother were dead (thank the sweet Lord she isn't) she'd be rolling over in her grave for that one. And like Kara said, the cayenne pepper is key. We had these things (and still do) at every single family gathering. You can't get in without 'em! Can I come visit you sometime? Brandon told me I could and I really wanna.

Unknown said...

As you may remember, cheese straws were the one specification I insisted on for my wedding reception. Sure, they were shaped like stars, but they were still made of cheese-strawy goodness. I weep for the benighted parts of our nation that do not know from cheese straws. Clearly, those of us in the know have a new mission in life.

The Scott family said...

Hey Lauren! I just found your blog and as I was reading it, Leighton was emptying my wallet of EVERY SINGLE THING in it! It was worth it to catch up with you. Hope you're doing well!

Kristin said...

OK, not sure what Rob was doing during his days at Carolina, but we DO eat cheese straws in NC! But we pretty much reserve them for showers so maybe that's why he never stumbled upon them.
Of course homemade are best but the ones at A Southern Season are amazing.

starnes family said...

I LOVE cheese straws. Find them at Target, people!

terrymary said...

Kara is right... cheese straws taste nothing like cheese its! I wish I could make them. My mom made the best cheese straws. Glad she was from the South. In fact, the South just raises better cooks in my opinion! Thank goodness Chick Fil A brought sweet tea to Kansas City!

Anonymous said...

i feel your pain, lauren...
no one that i have encountered in cali has a clue what a cheese straw is...save my co-workers at williams sonoma who see the boxed version (imitators!) in the food hall!