Texan cuisine has been influenced by a variety of different cultures that have been migrated into the state over the years. This has resulted in the great range of foods that are available in the many outlets around the state. In 1977 the Texas Legislature announced that the State’s official dish would be chili con carne. In Texas the traditional way is not to include kidney beans and just cook it with onions, peppers, chili, and of course plenty of beef stew. Being Texas, the secret of the dish is to have plentiful portions of meat in the dish.
A type of cooking that mixes Mexican dishes with Native American ones is known as Tex Mex. One dish that all Texans love is chile con queso. This is simply a bowl of thick creamy cheese dip flavored with green chilis’ and is mainly eaten as starter dish, accompanied by tortilla chips. This dish originated in Mexico but is now a firm favorite in most Texan restaurants.
Enchiladas are another favorite and are a corn tortilla and filled with some type of meat, or cheese, or savory concoction. The corn tortilla is a thin flat bread made from maize corn and is then wrapped around the filling. The original way of eating was to simply dip the tortilla into a plain chili sauce but nowadays the bread can be filled with virtually ranging from beef to chicken to cheese plus many other ingredients.
If the filling is served onto the corn tortilla it is known as a fajita. This is usually any grilled meat that is cooked with onions and bell peppers. The dish is often accompanied by sour cream, guacamole and salsa. Barbecues in Texas are really popular which is natural considering the ready supplies of world class meat products in the state. The Texas variety of barbecue relies heavily on beef and the most popular is brisket. This is meat that has been slowly cooked in a pit and the barbecue also includes sausages and beef ribs. The food at barbecues is often served with white bread, pickles and sliced onion. This sociable feast is often finished off with further side dishes of beans, potato salad and coleslaw.
Another dish that is popular in the region is chicken fried steak. There is no chicken in this dish and is purely beef steak that has been fried in a manner that fried chicken is usually cooked in. The beef steak is coated in seasoned flour and buttermilk, before being fried and is similar to the Italian dish Milanesa.
It has been claimed that the Hamburger originated in Texas with Fletcher Davis claiming serving it to his customers as far back as 1880. Working from a lunch counter in Athens, Texas he used to serve up ground up beef patties with mustard, inside two slices of bread, with a Bermuda onion and pickle on the side. In modern day Texas the most popular burger chain is “Whataburger” who serve up their high-quality burger in the company of its spicy ketchup and Texas toast patty melts.
Texans also love their desserts and there is one that has been adopted as the state’s favorite pie and that is the pecan pie. The pecan tree has been the official state tree since 1919 and the nut is enjoyed mostly in a pie. Texan’s recipes for the pie go as far back as 1886 and the pie is cooked widely across the state.
There is no doubt that Texans enjoy their food, and this is reflected with the wide diversity of dishes that are found within the state.