No, it’s not! The current “original” recipe includes bagel chips and seasoned salt. Bagel chips did not exist in the 1950s, when Chex Mix was invented. I’m fairly certain the seasoned salt blend had not yet been invented, either, but I cannot find any data to support my theory. Chex Mix was a staple and a tradition in my family’s holiday treat collection. I remember being very impatient about how long it took to make, since you could smell it in the oven after about 25 minutes. I admit, when I made it tonight, I dipped into it before the instructed 60 minutes of baking was completed! Chex cereal was introduced in 1937 by Ralston Purina. By 1952, recipes for “Chex party mix” appeared on boxes of Chex cereal. It is reported that, in 1955, the wife of a Ralston executive in St. Louis served the snack at a holiday function, which launched its popularity. Apparently, the invention of television spurred creativity in developing recipes for snacks that could be enjoyed without interrupting television watching. The commercially packaged versions of Chex Mix came about in 1985. While the commercially packaged product can serve as an emergency fix, it does not compare to the oven roasted version. A few years ago, I consulted my mother to find the true, original recipe; or, at least the one she used when we all were kids. She did use pretzel sticks, which I always found very annoying. The inside of my mouth was continually stabbed with the pretzel ends. Seriously, how could a mom do that to her children? I chose to replace the sticks with tiny twists – oh, so much safer! Here is Chex’s current link to the Original Recipe http://www.chex.com/recipes/the-original-chex-party-mix/4698168d-747c-4f96-8f7a-521736e49071
Here is the recipe from my mother. When you compare them, you immediately notice the difference in the amount of butter or margarine.
Original Chex Mix – circa 1965-1975
1 cup butter
4 Tb Worchestershire sauce
3 tsp celery salt (another missing ingredient in the current original recipe)
3 tsp onion salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1 lb Virginia peanuts
4 1/2 cups Rice Chex
4 1/2 cups tiny twist pretzels
4 1/2 cups Corn Chex
4 1/2 cups Wheat Chex
In case it is not obvious, Chex Party Mix is not Weight Watchers friendly. However, it is one of my favorite indulgences and a weakness. I delayed making it until I knew I could get it out of my sight quickly. I will be packing and shipping much of it and storing the rest well out of my reach. I had 3 large handfuls this evening!
If you choose to use the oven instead of the microwave, follow the instructions on the Chex cereal boxes. Be sure to melt the butter and stir the seasonings in before adding cereal, etc. Bake at 250 degrees for one hour and stir every 15 minutes.