I was sashaying around the internet machine last month, looking for some fun things to cook this summer. Quite by accident, I came across a website entitled “A Roundup of 50 Famous Texas Foods.” Well, okey dokey.
I’m a fifth-generation Texan on my momma’s side and a certified New Orleans Creole Darlin’ on my daddy’s side, so I know a thing or three about cooking. I once started a rumor that I could put possum meat in my gumbo and nobody would notice the difference. Since then, far fewer people have wanted to try my gumbo, which leaves more for me. So that worked out just dandy!
The first thing I noticed on the Famous Texas Foods site was a photo of Frito Pie served in a pretty dish. Frito Pie is properly eaten in an individual Fritos bag slit sideways and covered with chili, cheddar cheese, and onions. Ideally, it’s served at high-school baseball games along with RC Cola. Or on the back porch with beer. Eating it inside just takes all the happy out of it. (Note to visitors from foreign states: Do not eat the Fritos bag.)
One of the Famous Texas recipes was actually from Oklahoma. We don’t eat stuff from Oklahoma. Ever. As we all know, the only thing that keeps Texas from sliding into the Gulf of Mexico is that Oklahoma sucks. Honey, we will eat anything from Mexico or Louisiana (and occasionally from New Mexico if we get stuck in El Paso and start drinking), but never Oklahoma.
Baked Chicken Chalupas: I just want to know what that chalupa did to deserve such a fate. Either fry it or call a priest, but torturing chalupas in the oven is just unacceptable.
And their Chicken Fried Steak recipe comes from Fort Ann, New York. Honey, Fort Ann is not even in southern New York. When you look up Fort Ann, you discover their claim to fame is that they got beat by the British during the Revolutionary War. So I say if they couldn’t be trusted with the muskets, they should stay away from the cooking utensils. But here’s the weird part of that recipe: they cook it up in the usual manner, except they use low-fat milk. Geeez, you’re frying red meat in cooking fat but then you try to be heart-healthy with the batter? Hey Fort Ann, that’s why the British beat you.
Famous Texas Food #42: Oven-Roasted Beef Brisket. Somebody is going to hell for that one.
Then there’s the Burrito Lasagna. It calls for canned enchilada sauce and ready-to-serve spinach rice. Look, instead of taking us to the trailer park, why not just show us a map to the nearest Taco Bell?
Then they throw in a bonus recipe they call Beef ’N Bean Torta. It’s the same lasagna recipe, but this one has canned beans.
They even include a recipe for Sweet Tea! I could have sent them the official three-word Texas recipe: Tea. Sugar. Mix.
Maple Glazed Donuts. Did I mention that this website is supposed to showcase famous Texas food? Again, I’m a fifth-generation Texan, and have lived here so long that I bleed rodeo when I get a cut. I have never, ever seen a maple donut, nor have I talked with anybody who has admitted to seeing one.
There’s also something called Velvety Chocolate Butter Pecan Pie. OK, so you’ve got: velvet, chocolate, butter, and pecans. What? You ran out of mango? You couldn’t fit your kitchen sink into the mixing bowl?
And get this: the Texas-Style BBQ Sauce includes a full cup of ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar. It’s from South Carolina, where they do brisket and pork ribs in the oven. There are only two kinds of sauce in Texas—the hot one, and the other one. Neither contains vinegar or ketchup. There are parts of Texas where “BBQ sauce” is a cuss word.
In the website’s 50 recipes, I saw the word cilantro one time. It was part of a salsa recipe that included grapefruit. I grow cilantro in my kitchen window. All during COVID, I’d get up every morning, make my coffee, and pull off a piece of cilantro to smell it. If I could smell it, I pretty much figured I didn’t have the COVID.
Until next month, just keep in mind that Madison Cawthorn, that North Carolina Republican Congressvarmint, claimed that members of Congress were involved in orgies with lotsa cocaine. The very next day, Sarah Palin came out of retirement to announce that she’s running for Congress. Look it up. It happened.
This article appears in the May 2022 edition of OutSmart magazine.