A new book by Kat Robinson visits classic eateries in Arkansas, including Russellville's historic diner.
The inaugural Cheese Dip Competition celebrates a food that Arkansas can call its own. by Kat Robinson Arkansas boasts itself as home of the cheese-filled hot dog, rice served with sugar, Grapette and the fried pickle, but so far the state hasn't found anything that truly unites the masses. That is, until last year, when documentarian Nick Rogers came out with "In Queso Fever: A Movie About Cheese Dip." Rogers did extensive research and discovered the origins of cheese dip dated back to the mid-1930s, when a Mexican immigrant by the name of Blackie Donnelly started serving up the dish at a Hot Springs restaurant. His wife apparently came up with the first recipe. Donnelly moved his business to Prothro Junction (northeast of Little Rock) in 1939, and his restaurant Mexico Chiquito, where the original cheese dip is still served, was born. After the documentary came out, Rogers expected some strong opposition from Texans, who claim just about every Americanized Mexican dish. But there was silence. His discovery that dated cheese dip to a time before nachos (which were created in the 1940s in Mexico) seems definitive and strong. And that’s where the idea of the World Championship Cheese Dip Competition came from. After all,