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Chex is a brand of breakfast cereal, introduced in 1937 and currently manufactured by General Mills. It was originally owned by St. Louis, Missouri-based Ralston Purina, and the Chex name reflects the "checkerboard square" logo of Ralston Purina. The product line was part of the spinoff of the Ralston portion of Ralston Purina into Ralcorp in 1994. The product line was sold to General Mills in 1997. For many years, advertisements for the cereal featured the characters from Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts comic strip.
It gains its name from the checkered pattern on the woven grain mixes of the various cereals.
From 1950 to 1955, Chex served as the primary sponsor of the popular TV and radio show Space Patrol, which ran for over 1,000 television episodes and 129 radio episodes. These episodes included many advertisements, promotional offers, and prizes related to Chex cereal, specifically Wheat Chex and Rice Chex.
In 1968, Chex ran a series of TV commercials on the adventures of The Chexmates, a cartoon threesome who ate Chex to get the strength they needed to travel to Mars, overcome tough obstacles or subdue evil-doers. The characters were a muscular man named Chexter, an "Oriental" karate expert named Chop Louie, and a blonde cowgirl named Jessie Jane. Their voices were provided by John Erwin, Tommy Cook and Julie Bennett.
Chex is also known as the basis for a baked snack called Chex Mix, in which various kinds of Chex are mixed with other grains and nuts and baked crackers/chips, then often re-baked with butter and various other spices (Worcestershire sauce in the original mix) to add flavor. Both commercial and homemade varieties exist and the dish comprises a common holiday snack and pastime in the United States. Chex Mix recipes were regularly featured on Chex cereal boxes, and later, commercially prepared Chex Mix snacks began to be sold in supermarkets. Chex can also be used to make a chocolate snack called Chex Muddy Buddies, also known as Puppy Chow.
Chex was featured in a series of first-person shooter computer games (Chex Quest, Chex Quest 2, and Chex Quest 3) where the player takes on the role of a Chex Warrior clad in Chex Armor. The games use a modified version of DOOM's IWAD (graphics, sounds, levels, etc.) and executable.