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Thursday, July 15 2010

Most people think Texas is only famous for Tex-Mex and beef. In reality, Texas is famous for many more interesting dishes and has a far reaching food heritage. Texas was settled by several groups from different parts of Europe and the United States. As with all settlers they brought their favorite food dishes with them.

In the northeast part of Texas settlers learned from Native Americans how to use wild herbs and plant corn. They also integrated crops from their native area with the seeds they brought with them from Holland. The Dutch Oven expanded its application from stew pot to bread pan and was used to make several types of cornbread. Later as wheat flour became available biscuits replaces cornbread on Texas tables.

Southeastern Texas was settled by people from the southern United States from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana. Some of these settlers were poor and ate berries, fruits, plants and whatever game they could hunt. Others were wealthy plantation owners who continued traditions of fine foods and Southern hospitality. These wealthy plantation owners enjoyed fish and game, as well as an array of cakes and puddings.

Central Texas was originally settled by 300 people Stephen Austin brought to his colony that now bears his name. There the settlers ate roast pork and dumplings or potatoes while the European settlers dined on beef and lamb. South Texans diets were heavily influenced by Mexican and Spanish dishes; tamales, tacos, enchiladas, and tortillas were daily staples for the settlers. They also enjoyed guacamole, salsa and many other dishes typically associated with Central America.

West Texas was dominated by beef until the discovery of oil brought travelers and settlers from thousands of miles away. Beans were something that West Texans borrowed from the Mexican culture and beef, beans, and corn tortillas became a part of the daily diet. This is where Tex-Mex really began and over time has spread to other parts of the country.

Just as the Texas star has five points, the Texas food scene really began in these five unique areas with many unique cultural influences. When you take into account Texas is the size of several European countries it's no surprise this single state can have such a vast array of palate differences.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 11:28 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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