Cheese straws are a delectable cocktail snack: cheese crackers raised to their most sophisticated form.
No one can pinpoint the exact origin of cheese straws, but they are credited as a Southern invention.
As the likely tale goes, an inspired cook mixed leftover biscuit dough with some cheese, forming it into long narrow strips that were baked along with the biscuits.
But instead of being served at meals with the biscuits, they were enjoyed as snacks.
Their popularity spread: You can find cheese straws in recipe books, beginning in the 1800s.
The most basic recipe is an easy cheese dough made from flour, grated cheese, a teaspoon of salt and baking powder, cut with a pastry wheel into long, narrow strips (“straws”).
In more recent times, with better cutting apparatuses, they are also made in squares or shorter sticks; and called cheese straws, cheese sticks or cheese crisps.
Cheese straws are usually served at cocktail parties or instead of crackers or bread with soups or salads.
While early recipes are non-specific, simply stating, “cheese,” flavorful Cheddar has become the cheese of choice.
Some producers also make varieties with Parmesan, Romano, Swiss and other cheese varieties.
Southern Straws is a mother-and-son bakery in Georgia, making cheese straw squares with a recipe that is generations-old.
Rather than the old-fashioned long straws, Southern Straws are cut into bite-size square wafer that enable people to just have a bit (or, in our case, empty the whole bowl).
They are made in three flavors:
Nicely packaged, there’s a size for every occasion:
Cheese straws are a food gift for everyone: to be enjoyed as a personal snack or served to guests.
Cocktails, anyone? Bring the cheese straws!