Dear Texas history buffs,
Hungry? This week's column is all about food. Texas food. Prepare your taste buds.
My short list of top state food includes tacos, barbecue, chili, chicken fried steak, pot roast, pecan pie, fried chicken, ribs, casserole, pulled pork, corn dogs, shrimp (variously prepared), sheet cake, queso, stew, enchiladas, pork chops, tamales, fried okra (almost the only way to eat the darn things), Frito pie, salsa, black-eyed peas, greens cooked in bacon fat, fajitas, kolaches. Plenty of Asian dishes belong here — Vietnamese pho, for instance, rivals chili con carne among my cold-weather longings these days.
Today's column urges you to send descriptions of quintessential Texas dishes to email@example.com.
To put you in the mood, here are some stories about Texas food ways:
Try to resist Texas food. Just try.
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From fajitas to pho, seeking the quintessential Texas dish
On Texas May 11, 1977, Texas adopted chili as the official state dish.
The legislative language included this paean: “One cannot be a true son or daughter of this state without having his taste buds tingle at the thought of the treat that is real, honest-to-goodness, unadulterated Texas chili.”
Done and done, right?
Wait. No barbecue? No tacos? No steaks?
Off the top of my head, I can think of a couple dozen candidates for quintessential Texas dishes.
Those ideas drifted through my consciousness as I pondered yet another column that requires your ardent opinion: What is the quintessential Texas dish? Or should it be dishes?
Now please send a description of the Texas dish you think exemplifies the state — and why — to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the latest episode of "Austin Found" podcast, J.B. Hager and I remember Jackie McGee, the first woman to serve as principal of an urban public high school in Texas.
This week's Hometown History theme is, as you might have guessed, about Texas food
· From Abilene: Dixie Pig restaurant still going strong after all these years
· From Austin: Take a look at the reborn Green Pastures
· From Corpus Christi: These are Corpus Christi's oldest restaurants, going strong since the 1940s
· From San Angelo: Fast food craze made big waves in San Angelo in 1969
· From Wichita Falls: Back in the Day: Pioneering restaurant brothers
Racially integrated art exhibition opens in Texas
On Aug. 22, 1971, one of the first racially integrated exhibitions of contemporary artists in the United States opened in the remodeled De Luxe Theater in Houston.
The exhibition began at a time of nationwide controversy about opportunities for African American artists. It was sponsored by the Menil Foundation of Houston and curated by Peter Bradley, an associate director of the Perls Galleries in New York.
With the help of the Rice University Institute for the Arts, Bradley transformed the old movie house into a showplace for 19 contemporary artists. More than 1,000 people attended the opening to view Bradley's works, as well as those of Virginia Jaramillo, Ed Clark, Larry Poons, Jules Olitski, William T. Williams, Sam Gilliam and others.
More than 4,000 people had attended the exhibit when it closed on Sep. 29. The theater continued to display examples of African American art for three years, and served as a gallery for the Black Arts Center until 1976.
(Texas Day by Day / Texas State Historical Association) READ MORE
I recommend: "Ten Dollars to Hate: The Texas Man Who Fought the Klan" by Patricia Bernstein
Along with reviving the reputation of Gov. Dan Moody, the first prosecutor in the country to win fairly meaningful convictions of Ku Klux Klan members during the terrorist group's second coming in the 1920s, Bernstein's book explains how that wave absorbed other forms of xenophobia and hatred to become a mass movement. It's a first rate book on a dark chapter in Texas and American history.
Michael Barnes, Columnist
Think, Texas and Austin American-Statesman
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Time to vote on the most Texan food of all