Have you ever had a cheese straw? No? Yes? They are a total staple of an old-fashioned Southern appetizer tray, so if you're from the South you probably know what we're talking about right now. We have had them on our to-try list for a long time, so when we finally got around to making them we went straight to the authority on all things Southern: Edna Lewis.
Edna Lewis, "the South's answer to Julia Child," always has the perfect recipe for any Southern-inspired food, and we've been enjoying her recipes a lot lately. This one, for cheese straws, is a perfect snap, and a winner with guests young and old. Cheese straws come together as an easy, buttery dough, and then you roll and cut them out into long cheesy sticks. (We added a little twist just to, you know, make them fancy.)
They taste remarkably like a goldfish cracker, with a bit of zing and a true cheesiness from good Cheddar cheese. We cut them into short, twisty sticks and served them standing straight up in little tumblers, along with pitchers of lemonade and platters fruit at an afternoon party. They went quickly — there were gone in nearly as little time as it took to make them, which isn't saying much!
We love these little snacks, and given that they're easily made ahead and can be stored for a few days in an airtight container, we think that they are an ideal low-stress yet homemade appetizer.
Do you make cheese straws? Do you have any particular recipe you like? We liked this one because it was all homemade; other recipes we've seen call for pre-made puff pastry dough.
• Get the recipe: Cheese Straws by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock, at Food & Wine
(Images: Faith Durand)