The world was shaken when one hero at the Yankees game decided to create the greatest marvel of our time: the hot dog straw. Not everyone was on board, but managing editor Marnie Shure suspected that we actually all secretly love the concept—and the suggestions we received from readers for other deliciously edible straws seem to prove her right. Maybe if we just give up the ruse and openly admit it, we can enjoy a little snack every time we sip through a straw and perhaps even help the environment in the process.
One of the first snack foods I ever used as a straw was a Twizzler. It’s a classic with simple construction: just bite off both ends of the Twizzler and stick in the drink of your choice (I prefer pairing it with an orange soda). This goes for all long pieces of licorice, no matter the flavor.
Pirouette cookies are another already existing treat that seem tailor-made for sipping, so long as you buy the kind without the cream filling. These pastries are perfect for milkshakes, coffee of all kinds, and (if it’s your thing) a tall glass of milk.
Commenters EJNMN and PungentSauce introduced us to another marvel: the Bloody Mary meat straw. These are like the hot dog straw’s more purposefully formed brethren, perhaps more beloved because their shape resembles an actual straw (as opposed to the comparably thick tube of a hot dog). While this accoutrement is a regular addition to the Bloody Mary in Wisconsin restaurants, Benny’s Original Meat Straws come in original and smokin’ chipotle flavors for your at-home Bloody and other savory sips.
There are all manner of cylindrical foods that are worth testing out as liquid delivery devices. Perhaps a hole through a string cheese or a carrot would also serve a Bloody Mary well. A hollowed-out pretzel stick would pair nicely with a cold beer. And why not see what a Diet Coke sipped through a mozzarella stick would taste like? You might surprise yourself.
Edible straws aren’t just a rogue food experiment taking place in baseball stadiums and my kitchen—there are companies embracing the idea as a way to make straws more eco-friendly. According to National Geographic, 500 million straws are used every day in the U.S. alone, and as a result 8.3 billion straws pollute the world’s beaches. If the straw instead gets eaten, the problem is on its way to being solved.
One company, Sorbos, has created edible straws in a variety of flavors—chocolate, lime, strawberry, cinnamon, ginger, coffee, and more—to go with any variety of drink. Last year we first heard about pasta straws, which while not entirely edible (you’d be eating raw pasta, essentially) are at least biodegradable with companies like Amazing Pasta Straw, Pasta Life, and Stroodles leading the charge. Equo has created a biodegradable line of straws that while not entirely edible, do add flavor like coconut or coffee to whatever you’re drinking.
For all we know, this baseball fan in the stands was simply testing out a new approach to these forward-thinking products. Before we know it, we’ll be buying hot dog straws at our neighborhood grocery stores.