Cheese straws are a Southern delicacy, for centuries served as the perfect accompaniment to wine, beer and savory mixed drinks. As the story goes, a waste-not cook mixed leftover biscuit dough with cheese, rolling it into long “straws” and baking them. They are traditionally eaten as snacks, and the “straw” shape has since been transformed into anything from a thin wafer, to a crunchy biscuit, to a puffy twist. Although they can be found in some European areas and Northern locales, the South has long held onto the cheese straw as a bite-size symbol of Southern hospitality.

This recipe makes about 100, and you will need every last one of them!

  • 1 pound sharp cheese, grated (don’t buy that pre-grated stuff)
  • 1¾ cups plain flour
  • ¼ pound butter, creamed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Heavy pinch of cayenne pepper (big 1/8 teaspoon)

Cream butter; add cheese, salt and pepper, then flour. Put in cookie press or roll thin and cut in narrow strips about 4 inches long. Bake in 350 degrees oven for about 25 minutes or until light brown. Watch carefully, not to brown.

If you have any, leftovers can be stored in an old cookie tin. You may even have to hide them from yourself!

Charleston Receipts