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Cuisine of Texas

The Lone Star State is practically its own culinary region.

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 This is big beef country, though today the durable but not particularly tasty longhorn has been replaced by more flavorful breeds like Angus, Hereford and Brahma.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.


Tex Mex


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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    Comments
    Aug. 11, 2009 9:48 am
    I love Texas based recipes they just have this authenticity to it thats just wonderful. my favourite recipes to do are the chicken fried steak,Texas jambalaya and churros.
     
    Sep. 15, 2009 9:07 pm
    As a Texan, I can say that the cuisines of Texas are varied and rich. Not only is there ample opportunity for many fresh meats in Texas (beef, lamb, seafood, etc...), there is also a wonderful prevalence of produce, owing to its position not far from tropical climes. Kreuz is a German Texan place that serves fresh beef barbecue, don't miss it if you travel through Central Texas. Of course, modern Texas is also blossoming with Mediterranean bistros and Middle Eastern savory spices. The intense cultural diversity in urban areas begins to rival the variety of mega cities that dot our coastlines. I think one of my favourite beverages growing up was Thai tea.
     
    May 4, 2010 12:17 am
    um, it was SIX flags, not five. LOL
     
    Sep. 7, 2010 9:19 pm
    i love being born and raised in texas im happy my kids were born and are being raised here. we have tons of recipes that are great that no other place has
     
    Jan. 5, 2011 4:50 pm
    We lived in Texas for over 20 yrs, and contemplating moving back there next year. Lots of great cuisine! I had my first real grits there (you put butter and sugar on them, not salt! Ha!), great chicken fried steak and Gulf Coast seafood! Fajitas and/or brisket like you get in Texas can't be found up here in the Midwest, so we make our own!
     
    copope 
    Jan. 7, 2011 8:56 am
    Kitty Fanatic - you put butter and salt (ha!). I've lived here 60 years, native born. The rest of your comments are right on..... But not a soul in my family whose roots go back, to 1803 in TX, would think of using sugar on grits.
     
    shalom 
    Jan. 17, 2011 9:42 am
    I have lived in Texas all my life. My family goes way back, there is even a town named after my Great-Great Grandfather. We put milk, butter & SUGAR (ha!) on grits. It may depend on what part of Texas your roots are from.
     
    pl1996 
    Apr. 23, 2011 2:27 pm
    i put salt,pepper& butter in them. some people put sugar,butter& milk in rice.
     
    KAT13 
    Jul. 24, 2012 11:33 am
    All of our family has been from Texas as far as we can trace back. My husband uses salt and butter, I use sugar and butter. I guess its just what you grow up eating.
     
     
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