[1] Original: cheesy with a kick of cayenne (all photos © Southern Straws).

[2] Don’t want any heat? Go for Mild.

[3] Like lots of heat? Spicy is for you.

[4] Want a nice gift? Go for the Holiday Box.


Cheese straws are a delectable cocktail snack: cheese crackers raised to their most sophisticated form.

They pair perfectly with wine, beer, cocktails and spirits on-the-rocks. Warning: Like potato chips, you can’t stop eating them.


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:

  • Original, The most popular flavor, a traditional recipe that has a nice kick of cayenne spice at the end.
  • Mild omits the cayenne. It’s perfect for people who don’t want heat, including serious wine drinkers who don’t want cayenne to interfere with the flavors of the wine.
  • Spicy, on the other hand, ramps up the cayenne. It pairs nicely with beer, Bloody Marys or Martinis.

    Nicely packaged, there’s a size for every occasion:

  • The three-ounce box is an ideal stocking stuffer or party favor.
  • The six-ounce box contains two three-ounce bags, for freshness.
  • The Holiday Box is filled with three three-ounce bags: You pick the flavors and specify what to say on the gift card
    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!


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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