okay, guys, real talk: i eat an INTENSE amount of chips & queso. this is probably my favorite snack, hands-down. i’ll use any excuse to heat up some queso and hunker down with a bag of chips, and it got to the point where i talked about queso so much that one of my grad students gave me several jars as a thank you gift once. ❤
i think i have my austin days to thank for this obsession; when we lived in austin there was an abundance of queso in restaurants, and i got hooked on the idea pretty quickly. my two favorites were at guero’s and kerbey lane, and i ordered them quite regularly. after moving back home to milwaukee, it just sort of left my life, but then when the vegan quesos started cropping up, it was a fun re-discovery process for me.
i’ve tried several brands of prepared queso. way back when, i had the chicago vegan foods nacho teese sauce, and i quite liked it. it’s reminiscent of “pump cheese” (i say that with love), like what you’d get with your chips at taco bell, or with your soft pretzel bites at the movie theatre. it won me over with nostalgia points. i also like nacheez. it reminds me of mac & cheeze sauce, which is not a bad thing, but it also didn’t quite capture the queso memories i had from austin. fittingly, my favorite, favorite, favorite queso is from food for lovers, which is based in austin. they have two flavors, original (my preference) and mild:
once i tried food for lovers, i was sold. plus, the couple behind the company, chris and crystal, are pretty much the sweetest, most adorable couple you’ve ever met in your entire life. so FFL became my One True Queso, and i made it my job to have a couple of jars in the house at absolutely all times. now, here’s the part where everything gets all heart-break-y: food for lovers isn’t making their queso anymore these days. *sob* they were in the process of building and moving into their own facility, as well as tweaking their queso recipe to be gluten-free, as well as introducing a line of salsas… only to run into super sad problems with the city that thwarted them at every turn. as a result, they’ve decided to take a break and regroup (you can read the details on their facebook page, linked above). i can’t say that i blame them (it sounds like they really got put through the wringer), but i also am sooooo very sad. i had been hoarding queso when i noticed it was getting harder to procure, and then after they announced they were officially taking a break, i found one jar of mild, and bought it instantly. so behold, two of the last jars of FFL queso in the entire world, y’all:
i’ve been hanging onto these for awhile now, but i just checked the dates and they’re technically getting long in the tooth now, so i should probably eat them. it will be bittersweet. i really, really hope that things clear up for chris and crystal and they can resume their business someday when it suits them. ❤
meanwhile, erik has taken to trying out homemade queso recipes and surprising me with a fresh batch now and then. woo! below is a batch he made just today:
it’s so nice to have queso in the house on a regular basis again! in keeping with today’s “snack” theme, i typically just eat queso with chips (those yellow ones in the picture up there are my favorites), but i need to do a better job remembering to use it for other non-snack things, like a big ol’ plate of deluxe vegan nachos, or as a topping for tacos or burritos. queso makes everything a little better.