The recent issue of Texas Monthly has a great feature, "75 Things We Love About Texas." Several contributors have written about their favorite things about Texas. I'll share a few listed in the article:
Yes, they are a clichè. And no, they dont smell particularly good, and you arent supposed to pick them on the highway, under penalty of something like death. You can get stung by bees or fire ants and God knows what else when you sit down for that annual photo. Even so, who can resist them? Every year, the fields along the roadsides blossom into a blanket of bluein some parts a deep purple, in others a dusty grayand we know spring is here. And then, in just a few weeks, the show is over. The fields go from green to brown, and the sun scorches the roads, and we speed from San Antonio to Houston again, claiming theres nothing to see.
3. Big Red
With barbecue. But not by itself, and not with anything else.
They are as Texan as the Alamo, and they have gone where no snack has gone before. I have personally eaten or seen nachos made with (not all at once, mind you) lobster tail, feta cheese, portobello mushrooms, fried oysters, crème fraîche, beef fajitas, caviar, hummus, hoisin sauce, crabmeat, Napa cabbage, barbecue sauce, boiled shrimp, chipotle mayonnaise, soy sauce, chili, and tofuwhew! And whatever the permutation, their Platonic nacho-ness remained intact.
41. Our own way of pronouncin
Manchaca = Man -shack
Mexia = Ma- hay -ah
Palestine = Pal -es-teen
Miami = My- am -ah
Humble = Um -bull
Burnet = Burn -it
Iraan = I -ra-ann
Manor = May -ner
Refugio = Ruh- fyur -ee-o
The texture is vaguely plastic, the color resembles an overripe mango, the tastewell, more about that in a minute. From any rational culinary standpoint, queso cannot be defended. I mean, were talking about Velveeta melted with Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles. Please. But something about the salty, oozy cheese (excuse me, pasteurized prepared cheese product) and the spicy, sweet tomatoes makes it impossible to stop after one bite. Which is why, for decades, no game-watching party, bridal shower, or open house in Texas has failed to include a big pot of queso in the middle of the dining table. You could serve queso flameado the true Mexican ancestor of the National Dip of Texasand every one of your guests would applaud. But Ill bet you dollars to doughnuts that if you put them out side by side, the queso will still be bubbling away when the queso is long gone.
You can get a sample of the issue right here. To read the entire article you have to register and enter an access code. For those interested in reading it, click on my contact link and I'll send you this month's access code.
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