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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:


1. Bluebonnets
Yes, they are a clichè. And no, they don’t smell particularly good, and you aren’t 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 blue—in some parts a deep purple, in others a dusty gray—and 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 there’s nothing to see.
Mimi Swartz

3. Big Red
With barbecue. But not by itself, and not with anything else.
John Morthland


11. Nachos
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 tofu—whew! And whatever the permutation, their Platonic nacho-ness remained intact.
Patricia Sharpe

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
Christopher Keyes

45. Queso
The texture is vaguely plastic, the color resembles an overripe mango, the taste—well, more about that in a minute. From any rational culinary standpoint, queso cannot be defended. I mean, we’re 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 Texas—and every one of your guests would applaud. But I’ll 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.
Patricia Sharpe



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.