There may be controversy over whether or not Arkansas is the birthplace of cheese dip, but the delectable dish has certainly found a home in The Natural State.
The seventh World Cheese Dip Championship is set for Oct. 28 at the Clinton Presidential Center parking grounds. The competition, with professional and amatuer categories and People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice awards, benefits Harmony Health Clinic while some of the best recipes in the business go head-to-head in an event where the real winners are anyone who likes sinking a sturdy tortilla chip into melted, buttery gold.
Last year a Wall Street Journal article ignited a controversy when it traced cheese dip’s origins to 1930s Arkansas. Neighboring Texas, which claims to be the birthplace of queso, quickly took offense, and it took intervention by the U.S. Senate to settle the issue with a taste test set up by members of each state’s delegation.
Defending World Cheese Dip Champion Scott McGehee, of Heights Taco and Tamale Co. fame, pitted his winning entry against a sample from Dallas-based Uncle Julio’s. McGehee’s dish won the Senate showdown, but he admitted people had likely been melting cheese for consumption since the days of the ancient Greeks. Little Rock natives, however, will tell you the modern style of cheese dip with corn tortilla chips originated in Blackie Donnelly’s North Little Rock Mexico Chiquito in 1935.
The 7th Annual World Cheese Dip Championship
Where: Clinton Presidential Center
When: Oct. 28, 12-3 p.m.
Benefitting: Harmony Health Clinic