Despite a warning to keep news that Arkansas is “laying claim to queso” out of the ears of Texans, melted cheese has a way of seeping through the cracks.
The Wall Street Journal’s Wednesday article asserts that although Arkansas “has long lived in the shadow of neighbors such as Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee” when it comes to food, the state has, in queso, finally found “something to call their own.”
If that’s enough to heat your Crock-Pot, you’re probably not going to like this: In Arkansas, they call it cheese dip. “Cheese dip and Bill Clinton, I think, have started to provide that sense of unique identity for Arkansans,” Nick Rogers, the man behind “In Queso Forever: A Movie About Cheese Dip” told the Wall Street Journal. While an interesting pairing, here in Texas we usually prefer our queso with chips.
The Wall Street Journal acknowledges that Arkansas’ claim generally receives a “quizzical response across the state line with Texas, since Texans are pretty sure they invented cheese dip.” It also mentions that we call it, “chile con queso and say it is part of the Tex-Mex canon.” Most likely because, as the article later confirms, it is.
Since many simple queso recipes feature a can of Ro-Tel, the Wall Street Journal sought out company spokesman Dan Skinner, who refused to side with either state and instead said, “We like to think queso brings people together. Queso doesn’t tear people apart.” Notice what he called it, though…
Maybe now isn’t the time to focus on our cheese differences. Maybe the shared love is a chance to swap regional recipes and find commonalities, even if they mostly involve Ro-Tel. Maybe some Arkansans will make their way out to Austin sometime to chat over a bowl of queso.
But no, we won’t call it cheese dip.