Written by Lois Rodriguez
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.
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.
Resting in the shade next to a pool of clear water, I could almost forget that miles and miles of West Texas desert surround me. But in fact I was in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert, one of the most biologically diverse arid regions in the world.
Libby Lane cuts and sews her streamlined leather bags in an old converted bunkhouse on the Panhandle ranch where she grew up, surrounded by cattle and wide-open space. Although she has lived and worked in the fashion and art business in New York and Chicago, and her bags are coveted internationally, the 27-year-old prefers to work close to the land from which both she and her craft hail.
You can’t play a sad song on a banjo, says Chuck Lee. Which is a big part of why this banjo-pickin’ father of seven and plumber by trade decided to use his retirement savings to convert his backyard shed into a banjo workshop.
In his song “Stuff That Works,” Texas troubadour Guy Clark pays homage to “stuff that holds up … stuff that’s real.” His description of a favorite blue shirt worn soft over time is enough to make you wince at the thought of buying a T-shirt made in an overseas factory. Clark’s sweet, simple lyrics honor things with integrity—the stuff that lasts.