Texas is the largest state in the United States. “Everything’s bigger in Texas” is a common phrase you hear and when it comes to food, it stays true. Texas is rich in cultural history, with European, Mexican, and all-American traditions combined that manifest themselves in the foods they eat. Today, let’s look at 5 foods you absolutely have to try when visiting the Lone Star state.
With commercial smokers available at almost any big box retailer, it’s easier than it used to be to smoke your own meat. There’s even a Bluetooth Smoker that can smoke your own brisket or pork butt. Texas takes it to another level, however. With more than 50 statewide BBQ competitions held annually, no other state takes their BBQ more seriously.
Texas has some of the best beef in the nation due to wide open countryside that is great for cattle farming. With so much meat available, BBQ was the obvious choice to make use of historically. Do not miss out on all the smoked goodies while you’re passing through!
A lot of us have had and enjoyed Chipotle, Moe’s, or one of the many other national Tex-Mex chains popping up everywhere. The real deal is on another level entirely. Recipes that haven’t been watered down to appeal to the palates of an entire country, real Tex Mex is a spicy and flavorful cuisine. A little American, a little Spanish, and a little Mexican, Tex Mex combines the best of all three into something great.
Some favorites include: cheese enchiladas, chile con queso, fajitas, and BBQ brisket tacos. You’ll sorely regret passing this food by when visiting.
True Texas Chili is a little different than what some of us would call chili, including just two main ingredients: beef, and chili paste. Beans and tomatoes have no place in Texas Chili. With large chunks of super tender beef and spicy, thick chili paste, this hearty dish is best enjoyed with a side of pinto beans, cornbread, and potatoes. This dish can really only be found in Texas, so take advantage of its availability while you’re there.
Chicken Fried Steak
The chicken fried steak bears a striking resemblance to schnitzel. Although the history of this dish is debatable, what isn’t debatable is the amazing flavor. A thin slice of steak is pounded flat, breaded, and deep fried until golden brown and delicious. What results is an amazingly tender piece of meat with a crunchy crust. Top your chicken fried steak with white gravy for a truly southern experience.
Whataburger is a Texas staple. Only found within the confines of its home state, Whataburger is widely craved by Texans abroad. This fast food icon is instantly recognizable by their bright orange lines on a white background. Whataburger serves primarily hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, with some additional options such as salads and wraps. Whataburger offers a great alternative to McDonald’s when you’re looking for a quick bite.
Still family-owned and open 24 hours a day, Whataburger offers Texans a no-frills place to get a good meal for a good price anytime.
With so many wildly varying food traditions in one place, Texas offers something for everyone. Take your time when traveling through this massive state and become acquainted with the food: you will be glad you did.