And why not? The flags of Spain, France, and Mexico have all flown over Texas. It was even its own republic briefly.
Big Beef Country
Texas gave us the cattle drive, the chuck wagon dinner and the iconic longhorn steer. This is big beef country, though today the durable but not particularly tasty longhorn has been replaced by more flavorful breeds like Angus, Hereford and Brahma. So if you're heading to a Texas barbeque, be sure to bring plenty beef for the grill. Traditionally, Texas barbeque is a slow-cooked affair using tougher cuts of beef like brisket.
As the Spanish pushed northward from present-day Mexico, they brought with them an evolving cuisine. What had begun as a fusion of Spanish and native Central American cooking was further influenced at the hands of Tejanos (Native Americans schooled in Spanish missions), Anglos and others. The resulting hybrid cuisine would eventually become known as Tex-Mex. Culinary creations that Tex-Mex can call its own include beef fajitas and chili con carne (hold the beans in Texas!).
The Alligator Pear
Pears and alligators are rare finds in southwest Texas. But alligator pears are everywhere. That's the original name given to the avocado. The avocado's delicate, nutty flavor makes a delicious foil for spicy flavors. Hass avocados are the variety most commonly found in markets. They make terrific guacamole, since their soft, buttery flesh mashes so easily.
The Deep Southeast of Texas
Like a microcosm of the rest of the United States, Texas is large enough and diverse enough to accommodate a number of cultures and their cuisines. For its part, the extreme southeastern part of Texas reflects some of the vibrant Creole and Cajun cultures so closely associated with Louisiana. Here in Southeast Texas, jambalayas are made with Gulf Coast shrimp and the Texmati rice grown in the coastal plains.
Willkommen to the Lone Star State
German immigrants settled the central part of Texas, bringing with them their established traditions and familiar foodways. Some believe that the veal dish Wienerschnitzel was the prototype for a mighty Texas favorite, the chicken fried steak. You can still find signs of German heritage in central Texas. Even today, towns like Fredericksburg (named after Prince Frederick of Prussia) and New Braunfels retain much of their German flavor.
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