Follow your nose, taste buds in Texas

Lone Star cuisines are as diverse as the people

The highways of Texas are fille d with some of the best food in the wor ld which is located in every corner of the Lone Star State. 
Repor ter photos/ Kathy Mar ti n The highways of Texas are fille d with some of the best food in the wor ld which is located in every corner of the Lone Star State. Repor ter photos/ Kathy Mar ti n Every thing is bigger in Texas, including the flavors that emerge from kitchens around the state.

Texas’ many cuisines are as diverse as the people.

Whether visitors are crav ing barbecue, Tex- Mex, Sout hwestern fare, seafood, Cajun, innovative cuisine or good ol’ downhome

Southern cooking, they wi ll find it at one of the state’s many restaurants and food festivals.

Instead of a progressive dinner, tr y “progressive traveling.”

Hit the road and follow your nose and taste buds to Texas.

Texas boasts a magnificent Barbecue Trail throug h the central part of the state. To experience the trail properly, begin the trek in Round Rock, just north of Austin, and eat your way to Luling with hearty portions of brisket, sausage, beans and potato salad.

Texans will barbecue anything from ribs to brisket and from sausage to chicken.

The International Barbecue Cook- off, held in Taylor annually (mid- August each year), brings in cooks from all over the world.

People have enjoyed steaming bowls of chili since its introduction as “San Antonio Chili” at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. San Antonio’s succulent stew is now the official state dish.

Heavy on the meat or tomatoes is a personal preference. Eit her way, visitors cannot go wrong.

For the best chili around, visitors and natives alike make their way to Terlingua for the International Championship Chili Cook- Off, typically scheduled in November.

This Texas tradition wa s first held in 1967 as a competition of wit as well as chili. Today, chili is a favorite of Texans and people around the world. Visitors know they are close to the border when they taste the rich flavors of Tex- Mex.

This Texas- original cuisine combines the best of both worlds. Some Tex- Mex favorites include enchiladas, marinated meat and cheese wrapped in a cor n tortilla and lathered in sauce; fajitas, grilled meat wrapped in a tortilla and suppor ted with guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream; and tamales, chopped meat or vegetables enclosed in a soft corn flour dough, wrapped in corn husks and steamed.

Enjoy the sea breeze and suc - culent seafood that the beach towns such as Sout h Padre Island, Port Aransas, Corpus Christ i and Galveston have to offer.

The waters of the Texas Gulf Coast are home to one of the world’s most popular shellfish, the crab. Visitors will also enjoy freshly caught shrimp, crawfish and ma ny varieties of fish, including snapper, redfish, and swordfish, prepared any style.

In East Texas, closer to the border of Louisiana, signific ant Cajun in fluence can be found in local cuisine. Visitors will enjoy spicy creations in a number of cities, specifically in the Houston area, Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange.

There’s nothing Texans enjoy more than comfor ting Southern foods, li ke hearty steaks, cheesy casseroles, Texas Toast and fruit pies.

Since the 1800s, purely out of nec essity and ingenuity, chuck wagon cooks have been cooking mout h- watering steaks over an open fire after a hard day in the saddle.

But many Texans prefer their steak chicken- fried, and with more than 800,000 chickenfried steaks sold daily within state lines, this dish is tru ly a Texas favor ite.

Pass the cobbler, please. This deep dish fruit pie with a top biscu it dough cr ust is a popular dessert choice for many Texans.

While peaches are the most common fruit filling, any fresh Texas fruit will satisfy a sweet toot h. Add a scoop of Texas’ own Blue Bell ice cream for the most refreshing of summer treats.

But down home and traditional

Tex- Mex cuisine aren’t the only meals visitors will find in Texas.

Texas’ largest cities of Da llas and Houston are fast becoming meccas of fine dining with renowned chefs showcasing their creat ive, innovative and exciting culinary skills.

Houston ians spend more money per capita eating out than any other Americans.

The annual Savor Dalla s festival

– typically scheduled in the spr ing – celebrates food, wine and culture by bringing together chefs, vint ners and cultural institutions for a multi- day culinary feast.

And the annual Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival welcomes visitors to Austin and surrounding Hill Country locations to experience upwards of 30 events, 100 restaurants and 60 wineries during the multi- day festival.

For a weekend getaway, visitors can follow The Texas Wine Trail, stopping for a tour and a taste at any of the tra il’s 16 winerie s. A new wine revolution was born in the late 1960s and by 1975, Lubbock, Freder icksburg,

Grapev ine and Fort Stockton became wine centers.

For more information about Texas food and wine, visit www.TravelTex. com

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2011-07-21 digital edition

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