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I want to know where cheese dip was invented. Based on this article it was invented in Arkansas.

This documentary goes into more detail about it being from Mexico Chiquito, a restaurant in Arkansas.

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As an Arkansan, I can tell you we love our cheese dip more than anywhere else. I wouldn't shock me in the least to find out we're responsible. –  rfusca Sep 23 '11 at 22:08
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From your second link: "In 2009, local attorney and filmmaker Nick Rogers researched the history of cheese dip in Arkansas..." That says nothing about the actual origin. I don't know for sure about dates, but chile con queso is eaten in Mexico, and it seems unlikely they waited until the 1930s to think of melting cheese. (Plus, if it was a Mexican immigrant who opened that restaurant, where do you think he got the idea from?) –  Jefromi Sep 23 '11 at 22:23
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"Cheese dip" needs a more solid definition before you start talking about origins. –  FuzzyChef Sep 24 '11 at 6:31
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@Guanome I think their premise, "as we know it today", is a vapid claim. That is, it's like saying in this one instance it was invented by this guy. They may have been making fondue in Switzerland in the 1860s but that's not really cheese dip as we defined it in 2009. –  mfg Oct 3 '11 at 17:43
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@Guanome but to wear chee-z dip blinders to melted cheese as a medium for laminating ones throat to the sublime threshhold of choking would be to truly cheat oneself. –  mfg Oct 3 '11 at 18:50

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If we're going to define "cheese dip" as "some substance made from cheese for the purpose of dipping other food in" - which seems like the only rational definition given no other context - then I'd have to pinpoint its origin as being fondue.

According to Wikipedia, the earliest known recipe for fondue comes from the Swiss cookbook, Kochbuch von Anna Margaretha Gessnerin, ein gebohrne Kittin, first published in 1699.

That predates the Arkansas claim of 1935 by at least a few centuries, if we assume that Wikipedia does indeed list the earliest source.

There's also Queso Chihuahua which was supposedly brought to Mexico by the Mennonites, which would place its origin in Mexico sometime in the 1920s - assuming that the Mennonites themselves did not simply adapt the recipe from something known even earlier.

I'd have to say that the Arkansas tourism board seems to be trying to pull a fast one on us, laying claim to this "invention". Maybe they're defining cheese dip as the specific kind of cheese dip they came up with, which would of course be a tautology.

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That's was a great answer to a "cheesy" question. –  guanome Feb 4 '12 at 14:27

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