Tag Archives: Arkansas Gourmet Foods

Janis & Melanie Original Cheese Straws

Southern Living magazine claims that cheese straws are like deviled eggs–every Southern cook wants to make great ones.  I’m happy to simply eat great cheese straws, and Janis & Melanie Original Cheese Straws make me very, very happy!  First, they have the perfect crisp texture.  In my humble opinion, some cheese straws lean a little too far toward crunchy rather than crisp, but not so with J&M.  Second, their cheddar is better.  I’ve had cheese straws with the pronounced taste of artificial cheese products, but the Original Cheese Straws are the real deal.  Finally, the spice is just right.  Cayenne pepper provides the pivot point between flat, fabulous or fiery flavor, and J&M found the balance.  Now that I love Original Cheese Straws, I’ll have to try their Asiago, Bleu and Jalapeño flavors!

The holiday season provides many opportunities to enjoy and share Original Cheese Straws.  They are great on an appetizer buffet, or with wine and cocktails.  They are super complements to soup or salad, and they are addictive straight from the box.  Jamie Parham, the creative baker behind J&M, even suggests trying Original Cheese Straws with jams and chocolate sauce!  I’ve noticed them in upscale gift baskets, so keep them in mind for business gifts, or as a perfect partner to a bottle of wine for a host gift.  Check out the gift tins available on their website.

Janis & Melanie is a family-owned business started with the recipe for their Original Cheese Straws.  Jamie’s daughters, Janis and Melanie, are involved in the company that bears their names.  The family also makes delicious cookies, and we shared their key lime cookies with you in an earlier post.  J&M’s gourmet food line has become one of our favorites!

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Filed under Crackers, Chips & Snacks

Janis & Melanie Key Lime Cookies

Jamie Parham founded J&M Foods with the help of her daughters, Janis and Melanie, more than twenty years ago. It is inspiring to see a family turn a passion for their traditional family foods into a successful business, and this mom and daughters team did exactly that, using a 100 year-old recipe for cheese straws.  Today, they have four varieties of cheese straws:  original, asiago cheese, bleu cheese and jalapeno.  They also make traditional and tea cookies, and we tried their key lime tea cookies.

Tea cookies sometimes seem to be the underrated segment of the cookie kingdom.  They aren’t stuffed with chips or nuts, or slathered with icing, but their light, crisp taste and texture have their own special appeal.  J&M’s petite key lime cookies have a very nice balance of sweet and tart, and are dusted with confectioners’ sugar.  Although we enjoyed them straight from the box, they would be great with coffee or tea.

The Parham family takes pride in using natural ingredients and they have gone the extra mile to assure their customers of quality by being certified by the Safe Quality Food Institute.  The certification provides confidence that food is handled, prepared, and processed in compliance with international food safety requirements.

J&M’s website offers an online store for ordering their tea cookies, traditional cookies, and cheese straws.  We enjoyed the key lime tea cookies so much, we may have to try the white chocolate key lime cookies next!  The cheese straws would make excellent holiday buffet additions or hostess gifts.  There are attractive holiday gift tins for family or business associates.  Jamie, Janis, and Melanie can be very proud of their family’s great line of products!

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