Little checkerboard squares of rice, corn, and wheat are worth big bucks! In 1996 General Mills paid $570 million to Ralston Purina for the entire brand of Chex cereals and snack mixes. As it turns out, developing these cereals into a convenient snack mix brand was a smart move. When I was a kid the only way to get Chex Mix was to make it myself from a recipe on the box of Chex Cereal. Today Chex Mix comes in nearly a dozen different flavors, including chocolate, cheddar, honey nut, and hot & spicy. But a home version using the recipe on the cereal box never tastes the same as the stuff in the bags. That's because the recipe leaves out a very important secret ingredient: MSG, or monosodium glutamate. This amino acid salt enhances the other flavors in the bag and gives the snack mix its addictive savory taste. You can find MSG in grocery stores near the salt (Accent Flavor Enhancer is one popular brand name). Add a little of that to your creative mix of Chex Cereal, pretzels, crackers, and bread sticks, along with some white cheddar popcorn seasoning, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a few other common ingredients, and you'll have quickly cloned one of the most popular Chex Mix flavors.
Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.
This recipe is available in
- 1/2 tablespoon margarine
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 1/4 teaspoons white cheddar popcorn seasoning
- 1 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (such as AccentFlavor Enhancer)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 6 cups of a blend of Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, pretzels, mini crackers, cheese flavored crackers, thin breadsticks (broken into bite-sized bits), or whatever you like
- Do This
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Melt the margarine in a small bowl in your microwave oven and whisk with the oil, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce.
3. Combine the white cheddar popcorn seasoning, MSG, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl.
4. Pour your blend of Chex, crackers, and pretzels into a large zip-top plastic bag. Whisk the margarine and oil mixture again and pour about a quarter into the bag. Seal the bag and shake. Repeat with the remaining margarine and oil mixture until the dry stuff is well coated.
5. Pour the mix out of the bag onto a large baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes, or until the mix is crispy but not brown. Stir the mix around halfway through baking.
6. Cool the mix for a couple minutes, and then pour it into another zip-top bag. Spoon about a quarter of the white cheddar popcorn seasoning mixture into the bag, seal it, and give it a good shake. Repeat this process until all of the seasoning is gone. Pour the contents of the bag into a serving bowl and dig in.
Makes 6 cups.
I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker
For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.