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Queso or Cheese Dip?: A Texan's Debacle of Explaining Queso to Out-of-Staters

Is it cheese dip or queso, shorthand for chile con queso? Of course, for the Texan, the answer is quite obvious but what happens when you are dealing with people who aren't familiar with the origins? How do you go about it?

The Texanist gives us a bit of help in this regard. Not to mention, it's just queso that's being name-butchered but guacamole is also being called "avocado dip".

(Image credit: Wackyrussell/Wikimedia Commons)


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I've been binging on Cracker Barrel cheese lately. I blame my local supermarket tho - they keep putting it on sale.
Also shoutout to Ro-tel tomatoes, you can mix that stuff with anything.
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Interesting. I'm all-in on #2. I'm not a Velveeta fan - melted pre-processed cheese - yuck to both. As for the difference between pre-shredded/block cheese - I didn't know that. . .
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Actual Texan here.

What we call queso is per this recipe:
https://www.readyseteat.com/recipes-RoTel-Famous-Queso-Dip-2693?brand=23
And, yes, it really is a dip. Ro-tel habanero is my favorite. I use blue corn tortilla chips.

Chili con queso is simply chili with cheese, the same way that chili con carne is simply chili with meat. Note that chili does not have to have meat in it, but chili con carne has just become known simply as chili. Ro-Tel's recipe for chili con queso is as follows:
https://www.readyseteat.com/recipes-Chile-Con-Queso-8792?brand=23
And it's still a dip although many a Texan eats it like soup, using tortilla chips instead of croutons. To further confuse there issue, Texans often use either queso or chili con queso when making Frito Pie.
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