Written by Lois Rodriguez
"With the resurgence of cooking shows, people are always looking for secret ingredients,” says Elsa Rodriguez Arguindegui, one of the family owners of Laredo’s La India Packing Company, which recently celebrated its 90th anniversary.
Dating to the first experimental orchards planted in the 1880s, citrus fruits are among the most important crops of South Texas, contributing around $140 million annually to the state economy.
On most days of the week, the various ovens and cooktops at the Texas Pecan Candy Shoppe in Schertz, just north of San Antonio, are hot and running by 5 a.m.
Among the great culinary traditions of Texas is the Mexican tamale. This savory staple of meat and vegetable fillings steamed inside thick ground-corn dough, called masa, has become a showcase for professional chefs and home cooks alike.
It probably can’t be overstated how important barbecue is to Texans. There are countless barbecue pits smoking away—right now—all over the state. That’s happening, too, at Rudy’s Texas Bar-B-Q, which has locations scattered throughout the state and beyond.
The 1891 Dublin Bottling Works enjoys the dual honor of being the state’s oldest soda bottling facility and the first to bottle Dr Pepper (created in Waco in 1885).
In 1907, businessmen in the Brenham area opened a creamery to churn excess milk from area farms into butter. A few years later, it began producing batches of ice cream, which became so popular that by the time the company changed its name to Blue Bell Creameries in 1931, its focus was almost entirely on ice cream.
Round Rock Honey begins with honeys sourced from about 900 individual hives concentrated in Central Texas, says Konrad Bouffard, who founded Round Rock Honey in 2003 with his wife, Elizabeth.
If you only ate wild foods native to Texas, you’d never go hungry. But add on all the food products that we also make here, and, well, you could enjoy a feast for the ages.
If the “Made in the USA” stamp is hard to find, products made in Texas may seem even more elusive. Never fear, brave travelers! Numerous events across the state offer the Lone Star faithful a place to find their calling, celebrating the state’s creations from fine art to home cooking.
I’ve explored many remote locales across Texas, so most people assume that I’m a seasoned camper. But here’s the real story: The closest I usually come to camping involves listening to nature sounds from an app on my phone.
As a crossroads city at the southernmost tip of Texas—and the state’s closest point to the interior of Mexico—it’s fitting that Brownsville would have a memorable train station. The city’s Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, built in 1928 in the Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style, is a beauty.