Pop food edifice

Today’s Rhymes With Orange, with a 7-layer composition of popular American appetizers, snacks, and sides (side dishes):


From 9/5/16 on this blog, “A Minneapolis fling”, with a Zippy on some of America’s favorite appetizers (and snacks): sliders, Walleye bites, huevos rancheros, grilled BBQ chicken wings (aka Buffalo wings, hot wings, or just wings), Polish sausage (note emphasis on Minnesota specialties).

Meatballs (in #1, presumably cocktail meatballs, speared with a toothpick or a plastic cocktail pick) and chili I’ve posted on several times before. That leaves us with Chex Mix, Jalapeño Poppers, and Cheese Doodles (all are, or have been, brand names).

Chex Mix.


Chex is a brand of breakfast cereal, introduced in 1937 and currently manufactured by General Mills. It was originally owned by St. Louis, Missouri-based Ralston Purina, and the Chex name reflects the “checkerboard square” logo of Ralston Purina. The product line was part of the spinoff of the Ralston portion of Ralston Purina into Ralcorp in 1994. The product line was sold to General Mills in 1997. For many years, advertisements for the cereal featured the characters from Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip.

… Chex is also known as the basis for a baked snack called Chex Mix, in which various kinds of Chex are mixed with other grains and nuts and baked crackers/chips, then often re-baked with butter and various other spices (Worcestershire sauce in the original mix) to add flavor. Both commercial and homemade varieties exist and the dish [is] a common holiday snack … in the United States. Chex Mix recipes were regularly featured on Chex cereal boxes, and later, commercially prepared Chex Mix snacks began to be sold in supermarkets. Chex can also be used to make a chocolate snack called Chex Muddy Buddies, also known as Puppy Chow. [Neither of these names is, to my mind, particularly appetizing.] (Wikipedia link)

Jalapeño Poppers. Background: Sp. jalapeño ‘s.o. or sth. from (the Mexican city of) Jalapa; specifically a chile jalapeño, a Jalapa chile’. So Jalapeño poppers is a play on Jalapeño peppers.


Jalapeño poppers, or jalapeño bites, are jalapeño peppers that have been hollowed out, stuffed with a mixture of cheese, spices, and sometimes ground meat, breaded and deep fried. Sometimes called an armadillo egg, especially if wrapped in bacon, a term in use since at least 1972 in Texas, antedating the trademark on “Jalapeno Poppers”. As chile relleno can be made with jalapeño, the jalapeño popper is probably a Tex-Mex version of that dish. The name Armadillo Eggs likely comes from the perceived similarity to Scotch Eggs.

Primarily when smoked or grilled and stuffed with sausage they are also sometimes known as A.B.T or Atomic Buffalo Turds. [A truly unappetizing name — not, I think, trademarked.]

… [The commercial story is quite complex here’s probably more than you really want to know:] On April 30, 1992, Anchor Food Products applied for and later received a trademark on “Jalapeño Poppers”; on “Jalapeno Poppers” used for “processed vegetables” however, the word “Poppers” had been trademarked in 1983 by the Poppers Supply Company of Portland, Oregon, for use with popcorn. On September 27, 1993, the Poppers Supply Company successfully applied for a trademark on “Poppers” when used for “coated and breaded vegetable pieces”, which they held until the trademark was transferred to Anchor Food Products on September 12, 2001.

On September 25, 2001, H.J. Heinz announced that it had completed the acquisition of the Poppers brand; however, a third party, McCain Foods, acquired Anchor’s production facilities.

Leon’s Texas Cuisine launched a line of cheese-stuffed, breaded, fried jalapeño product in 1985 called Jalitos [LatAm Sp., conveying roughly ‘little things to gorge on’]; the company claims it is the original such product that was nationally distributed. (Wikipedia link)

Chex Mix has always struck me as silly, and I much prefer cheese-flavored tortilla chips (like Doritos) to commercial cheese puffs, but I’m genuinely fond of jalapeño poppers. De gustibus etc.

Cheese Doodles.


Cheez Doodles are a cheese-flavored cheese puff — similar to Frito-Lay’s Cheetos—produced by Wise Foods.

The snack debuted several years after Frito-Lay’s snack in the 1950s. Originally developed and manufactured by King Kone Corp. of the Bronx (owned and operated by Morrie Yohai), it became the prevalent cheese puff snack on the East Coast.

Like Cheetos, Cheez Doodles are produced in many varieties.

The 7-layer dip in #1 is, of course, a monstrous mess. Putting the Cheese Doodles in between the chili and the sliders (both wet layers) is especially appalling. And then hot wings aren’t dippable at all, and most of the other ingredients are only marginally treatable as dips. Some of them — wings, meatballs, poppers, sliders — could be put together to make a nice platter of meze, but a layered dip, no way.

[On mez(z)e, see my 10/13/13 posting “Small dishes”. Excerpts:

Meze or mezze … is a selection of small dishes served in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Balkans … Meze go everywhere from a side dish or two to an assortment of choices for an entire meal.

Meze then fall into the rich world of “small dishes” in many cultures: appetizers, snacks, hors d’oeuvres, tapas, zakuski, dim sum. The function (and of course the instantiation) of small dishes varies from culture to culture.]

One Response to “Pop food edifice”

  1. chrishansenhome Says:

    I used to like Chex Mix. Unfortunately, there is no form of Chex that is available here in the UK except at huge expense from specialty retailers. I also thought that Chex was a good non-sugary breakfast cereal when I still ate such things. There is a Chex-like product here called “Shreddies”, whose advertisements feature grannies “knitting” the cereal’s little squares like patchwork quilts. I’ve never tried them, sadly. The most popular Shreddie is loaded with sugar.

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