Iowa’s Chex Mix Obsession

Eva_making_Sweet_Caramel_Snack_mixWe have this “thing” about Chex Mix: we’re crazy about it.

Crunch + Seasoning + butter/oil/fat. First of all, Chex mix (or more generically, snack mix) is ridiculously simple. It’s just crunchy breakfast cereal, toasted with seasonings and butter (or oil, or bacon fat omg), and tossed with your choice of small crunchy add-ins (sweet, salty, savory or spicy – it’s all good).

Choose your own snack adventure. What’s more, Chex mix recipes are super adaptable / flexible. As evidenced by the number of categories in the annual Chex Mix recipe contests AllSpice sponsors at the Iowa State Fair — and by the number and variety of entries into those contests, year after year — there’s no end in sight for creative and delicious new snack mix combinations.  Just look (look!) at all these different Chex Mix / Snack Mix recipes in the AllSpice recipe database.

And perhaps best of all, we’re not alone in our obsession with Chex Mix. We’ve known for years that snack mixes are among the most popular recipes we serve here at the shop on “Sample Saturdays.” But it turns out, that love for Chex mix extends beyond just us and our customers.

An article in last week’s Des Moines Register reports that Chex Mixes are the “most searched recipes” among Iowa foodies on Pinterest (citing an article from Delish).

AllSpice's Snack Mix contest
AllSpice’s Snack Mix contest

Register reporter Brian Taylor Carlson asked AllSpice owner Rory Brown about Iowans’ preoccupation with the eponymous snack mix:

“I think that people here look for new ways to do a Chex mix,” said Rory Brown, president of AllSpice Culinarium at 400 E. Locust St. “And it’s pretty easy to make it sweet or savory.”

Carlson cites the popularity of the annual AllSpice Chex Mix contests at the Iowa State Fair, and mentions last year’s winner, Matthew Phoenix with his Truffled Parmesan Snack Mix.  Carlson also mentioned the 2016 runners-up, Larry Mahlstedt in second place with his Pig Powder Party Mix, and Bridget Lottman in third place with her East Meets West Crunch.

The 2017 Iowa State Fair (and the AllSpice cooking contests!) will be coming up August 10 – 20. Individual contests and events surrounding this year’s Fair will be announced May 1.

Stay tuned!