Iowans love snack mix. From puppy chow to Chex mix, we like to munch on meldings of cereal as a snack — both sweet and savory.
In fact, Delish.com compiled a list of "most saved recipes" from Pinterest's page of state-by-state favorites: The Foodnited States. And Chex mix is Iowa's thing. But not just any Chex mix — instead of that premade bagged stuff, we like to make our own and get all creative.
"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."
AllSpice has sponsored the AllSpice Snack Mix Competition at the Iowa State Fair for five years. "What we're looking for is something that is unique and easy to eat — something that's not sticky or messy and that has that … we call it 'addictability.' That thing that you just can't stop eating."
The contest is one of the largest at the fair, and Brown's personal favorite to judge.
"I have to report in the five years that I have been judging at the Iowa State Fair, I have not eaten anything that I have regretted eating or considered inedible," Brown wrote on the AllSpice website. "Maybe that’s as much a reflection of the tastes and skills of the people entering the AllSpice contests as anything else."
Last year's winner was Matthew Phoenix with his Truffled Parmesan Snack Mix. Coming in at second place was was Larry Mahlstedt with his Pig Powder Party Mix, and Bridget Lottman took third place with East Meets West Crunch. Contestants were required to use only seasonings and spices from AllSpice.
We look forward to more miscellaneous mixes in the months ahead. Munch on.