the Krispy Kreme milkshake

I heard that there’s a restaurant that created a Krispy Kreme milkshake.  If you’ve ever had a fresh Krispy Kreme donut (doughnut), your mind has probably already concluded this might be one of the best milkshakes ever.  I wouldn’t be surprised if someone has already left for the store to get donuts to put in your blender.

This Krispy Kreme milkshake is made from two donuts added to a blender with a vanilla milkshake.  How could that not be awesome?

I found a review of the Krispy Kreme milkshake, and the author said he couldn’t finish it because the sugar rush was “formidable”.  I can imagine it being quite rich, but I’ve never met a dessert I couldn’t conquer.

It looks like the inventor of this is the Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta, GA.  The menu looks like a gourmet place, with “burgers” costing between $7 and $21, without a side.  (I say “burgers” because some of theirs don’t even have beef.  In most circles those items would be called sandwiches.)  It seems like an odd fit because the restaurant appears to feature only fancy novelty type foodstuffs.  While a donut milkshake is quite the novelty, it doesn’t seem as “sophisticated” as the rest of their sides.

If I find myself in Atlanta, I hope to try one, solely for research purposes, of course.  🙂

FYI, while researching this story, I saw a news article saying Krispy Kreme had created their own frozen beverages a few years ago, which were effectively a drinkable version of their doughnuts.  I’ve been in a few Krispy Kreme stores and never noticed this, so perhaps they didn’t stay around.  In a way I can see that — while it would surely be great tasting, when you’re in a Krispy Kreme store and can get hot doughnuts that melt in your mouth, why would you pass on that?

it might snow — gotta buy milk & bread!

The weather here in Arkansas can be so random… yesterday I was outside playing tennis because it was 62 degrees, and tomorrow we’re expecting from 2 to 8 inches of snow.  For those of you from the north, that amount of snow probably means nothing.  But here, where it snows maybe once or twice a year, it’s a big deal.  It’s been all over the news.  And there was even a segment on the news dedicated to people buying all the milk and bread because snow was mentioned in the weather forecast.

According to the news program, some people rush out to buy milk and bread before potential snow not because of the snow, but because other people will be buying milk and bread because of the snow.  So who started that cycle?  It’s not like we ever have more than a couple days of wintry weather, and it’s not like you can’t eat if you run out of milk and bread for a day or two.  So why is it such a big deal?

I wonder if that happens anywhere else but the South.  If there’s any readers north of here, do you experience anything like that?  I’d guess not, because road crews clear the roads quickly.  Here, if snow sticks to the road, the town shuts down.  People start leaving work when they see snow falling.  When I used to work for a large IT corporation, I worked with clients in Chicago and New York City, and they would be shocked that people couldn’t get into work for two inches of snow.  But that’s how it is.  The roads don’t get cleared quickly, and there is little to no public transportation, and there’s often some amount of ice, whether initially or the next day.  That may seem weird, the town closing down, but I kinda like it.

Hopefully we’ll get a LOT of snow so I can build giant snow creations (like a snow castle).  And of course, a day or two off work is nice…  🙂

Who invented cheese dip?

cheese dip with chips
Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

Have you ever wondered who invented cheese dip? And when? I don’t always ponder these things, but I did wonder why the World Cheese Dip Championship was held in Arkansas. So I looked it up.

Apparently cheese dip was invented in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1935 by the owner of Mexico Chiquito restaurants. It seems hard to believe, I suppose because it’s so common now (around here, anyway), and it’s the type of dish you just assume always existed.

Let me back up, though, because I realize not everyone knows what cheese dip is (and you should know!). It’s basically melted cheese with spices that you eat by dipping chips into it. It’s important to get the consistency just right so it sticks to the chip while being thin enough to dip into and staying that way throughout the meal. In its most simple form, you can make it with a pound of Velveeta cheese and a can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies. There are countless variations on this, adding various cheeses, spices, meats, chili, etc. The most common chips used are tortilla chips, like Tostitos, or Fritos Scoops. (Doritos works well, too.) Adding lots of spices and seasonings tends to lead to diminishing returns, where it becomes considerably more work while producing marginal gains (if any). At the World Cheese Dip Competition, there are many variations, usually mostly good, but when they try too hard it sometimes doesn’t work well.

At the World Cheese Dip Championship website, there is a video about the history of cheese dip. It is very much amateur in production, but it’s somewhat interesting if you’re interested in such things. (See what I did there?) It’s 19 minutes long, so below are a few highlights if you aren’t going to watch it.

In the video, you meet a chef who trained under Emeril Lagasse and opened a restaurant in central Arkansas after Hurricane Katrina. He said he never even thought of offering cheese dip on the menu because, in his words, “I just don’t even think of it as an actual dish.” Then he started to notice it on menus all over the place, and all his workers started asking about it, so in a staff meeting he asked, “Is there something I need to know about cheese dip?”, and everyone was dumbfounded that he had no clue, because all the regulars here took it for granted. But later on, the chef said he still doesn’t consider cheese dip a “thing”, that it’s just part of nachos. The film director exposed the chef’s ignorance, stating that nachos were invented in 1943 by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya. (Side note: So it took people 8 years to pour the cheese dip over the chips and consider it a dish?) The story of how nachos were invented is at 14:20 in the video. Nachos aren’t the same thing, even if the ingredients are similar. If you also don’t “get it”, I encourage you to try it. It sounds simple (and it is), but it is awesome. And it complements many other foods well. (And by many, I literally mean many — that’s why most restaurants in Arkansas offer cheese dip.)

The editor-in-chief at the Arkansas Times said, “Cheese dip is the national food of Arkansas.” (Don’t think too hard about that… it just means it’s a big deal.) He also said the uniqueness of cheese dip in Arkansas is its ubiquity. (That’s an unusual way to put it.) Later he talked about which chip he prefers for dipping, based on the tensile strength for scooping up payloads of cheese dip (and chunks in some varieties). It does matter, and I have to agree that Fritos Scoops are my preferred choice, though many options are great (like Tostitos and Doritos).

Regarding the nutritional value of cheese dip, well, it doesn’t matter! 🙂 It’s one of those foods worth eating “right” even if you have to eat it less often than you’d like to. 🙂 Actually, you might be surprised to realize it has some healthy qualities to it. Rotel is basically a can of chopped up vegetables. Of course there’s cheese, but some nutritionists are saying the saturated fat in milk products is not as unhealthy as saturated fat in red meat. And if you use Fritos or Tostitos, those are vegetables. I know, no one believes me, but look at the ingredient list for yourself, and you’ll find: corn, corn oil, and salt. (In a discussion on this someone pointed out that corn can be a vegetable, fruit, or grain depending on what state it’s in, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.) So frame it from this angle and you’re dipping veggie chips into a cheesy veggie dip. (That doesn’t sound good at all, but remember we’re talking about cheese dip. I’m just trying to help you rationalize it in case you’re trying to lose weight and eat healthy, like me.)

I saw a website that lists a “cheese dip trail through Arkansas” that features several restaurants which are “famous” for their cheese dip. I haven’t tried all of these yet, so it sounds like a great idea to do someday.

There are even annual awards for the best cheese dip in the state, and every year that category receives more votes than any other category. It’s a big deal, even though we might take it for granted here.

I’d like to hear your thoughts about it. Are you familiar with cheese dip? Do you eat it regularly? If not, are you going to try it? What state/area/country are you from?

Super Bowl randomness

It’s a few weeks after the big game, but that doesn’t matter.  Either you’ll like this or you won’t.  (That could probably apply to any post, although more so for this one, since it’s about football.)  Anyway, I came across a blog where someone wrote a live update of the pregame and game, and it’s not your usual summary.  In addition to being funny, it’s a glimpse into how the game and commentary might look to someone who isn’t accustomed to American culture.  So much of this perspective we normally miss, just because it’s normal to us or we don’t bother to think about it.  Anyway, here’s some excerpts from the Super Bowl XLVII summary: The Superest Bowl Ever.

2:39: Bombshell! President Barack Obama DOESN’T KNOW WHO HE IS ROOTING FOR! We should impeach him! This somehow segues into a story about concussions. I assume they’re implying that Obama has a concussion, but I may be reading too much into it.

3:05: Chuck Pagano, the Indianapolis Colts head coach was hired, then was diagnosed with leukemia, then it went into remission. There is a lot of crying. Most of it is not from me, though, so kudos to me for being manly. Inspirational/depressing story #3.

3:20: CBS asked their Facebook fans which quarterback was the best. That is a great idea for deciding levels of talent. No one on Facebook will vote based on their biases.

3:36: Apparently Obama isn’t concerned about his son playing football since he only has two daughters. Bombshell! OBAMA IS SEXIST AND SAYS HIS DAUGHTERS WON’T BE INTERESTED IN PLAYING FOOTBALL BECAUSE THEY’RE GIRLS! No wonder the right hates him so much.

4:00: Football players explain that they are trying hard to win the Super Bowl while the “Saving Private Ryan” soundtrack plays in the background. I figured they were planning on phoning it in, so now I’m really looking forward to the game.

5:00: “The Kickoff Show” starts. What the crap have I been watching for the past 3 hours?

5:01: A bunch of retired NFL players start stories about their turn in the Super Bowl. They never finish the stories though before someone else starts talking. Either those players are all very bad at interrupting or the CBS editors have serious ADD.

6:05: The first quarter ends with the score 7-3. More importantly, I am eating wings. Therefore, I do not care about the stupid football game for the next half hour.

6:09: The Harbaughs’ parents are at the game. I was wondering if they were watching the game, but thank goodness someone had the answer for me.

6:13: The 49ers fumble and the Ravens recover. They really should have made a game-plan that involved not dropping the ball. I bet they do that next time.

6:28: Baltimore Ravens interception by Ed Reed leads to an awesome brawl. I am starting to sense that these two teams don’t get along. Maybe we should take a quick break, talk things out, then get back to the game after everyone has apologized to each other.

6:42: Subway uses a commercial spot to honor Jared for not being fat for 15 years. He appreciates it, I’m sure, but would probably prefer that they gave him something besides Subway to eat.

7:31: Kickoff for the second half is returned 109 yards for a Ravens’ touchdown. I now will spend the next 15 minutes wondering if I could even run 109 yards. 28-6 Ravens.

7:37: Extended silence from the announcers while they show that lights have gone out in the ceiling. One player is shown yelling at the lights. I’m surprised, but it didn’t seem to work.

7:41: A sideline reporter is telling us that the power is out. It was a very in-depth investigative report.

7:44: CBS sends it to the studio. They confirm that the lights are out. So, to summarized, the lights are out.

7:49: The lights are, according to the studio, still out. According to them, this makes it darker inside and will make the game more difficult. When I was a kid, I knew people who had glow in the dark Nerf footballs. The NFL should look into getting those.

7:52: The sideline reporter spoke to the players. It turns out that they aren’t afraid of the dark, so that’s a relief.

7:59: When the lights come back on, the studio analysts say the game will start again. That is the decision I would make if I were in charge of the game.

9:04: Kaepernick runs for a San Francisco touchdown. They go for a two-point conversion. If you get points for throwing the ball way over someone’s head, they succeeded. Since they don’t get points for that, It’s 31-29 Baltimore.

9:51: Toyota postgame show begins. Sponsored by Toyota.

Lessons learned from commercials tonight:

If you hire Century 21, the realtor will save your life or provide medical care, but only if you are looking for a house.

M&M’s would prefer that you do not eat them.

Parents don’t care about parties as long as you are drinking a delicious low calorie soda.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson cannot save the world from aliens, get cats out of a tree, or stop lions from mauling people without having a glass of milk first.

The Volkswagen makes people speak like Jamaicans. Weird product feature there.

Taco Bell makes old people do things like stupid youths.

Trucks are great for farmers.

Try applying original thinking the next time you’re watching a TV show or commercials.  Just how much is going on that is silly or absurd or random?