"Hands-down the best spicy cheese dip."
When you have the honor of working at a spicy food magazine and the requisite iron stomach there are products always in need of tasting (I know, your heart really goes out to me). Most are good, some are not and then there are those stellar few that remind you why you signed up for this whole affair.
We know a company's onto something when everyone in the office breaks out into a bidding war over the last drizzle scoop of a product. This year the group went nuts for Lonzo's Jalapeño Cheese SpreaDip.
I was practically the last one to try it, as it was hidden in the fridge without my knowledge (a conspiracy, perhaps?). Dubious of the office buzz, I wondered how good could a cheese dip really be? Now, I like cheese dip even better when it's enhanced by a little firepower from chiles. But fabulous cheese dip? I had to see for myself.
A crossover between pimento cheese and queso, this dip contains cheese curds that gently melt in your mouth. Numerous employees ordered boxes for themselves and friends over the holidays. I even ran into a former Chili Pepper magazine intern in a grocery store who asked if we perhaps still had any in the fridge (as if!) that he could use to stuff homemade tamales. Everyone was plotting how to get their hands on more.
The story of Lorenzo's dip began when Lonzo W. Orr, Jr., of Orr's Ready Food Company, created the dip more than 50 years ago in Odessa, Texas. Sensing he was on to a good thing, Mr. Orr continued to make the dip with his family long after his retirement in 1979.
Taking up the spicy mantle was Orr's grandson, Lonzo Smith, who gave the delectable pimento cheese and queso blend as an annual Christmas gift for more than 20 years before getting back into the cheese-making business when he was laid off from his job last year. Now, thankfully for us he is pursuing selling the dip full-time.
Making its debut at Chile Pepper's annual ZestFest last year, Lonzo's spicy cheese was an immediate hit and inspired fanatical reactions among vendors and ZestFest patrons alike. "There wasn't anybody who tried it, who didn't like it," Lonzo said, refusing our numerous pleas to dish out the secret recipe.
In addition to eating it with crackers or chips, he also recommends spreading the dip on apples. Lorenzo's dip can also be an added ingredient in scrambled eggs, homemade macaroni and cheese, and layered in Mexican lasagna.
How Can I Get Some?
He'll be exhibiting the cheesy wonder at the 35th Fancy Food Show in San Francisco January 17 to 19. Lonzo's Jalapeño Cheese SpreaDip is available at select Fort Worth grocery stores and on his website. So if you're not in the Texas area, you'll have plenty of time to get your mail order in to arrive for a Super Bowl party. I know our office will.
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