Food

Topo Chico is Bubbling Up Into the Mainstream

Jul 7, 2016
Flickr/Katie Spence (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

It’s early on a June Friday evening in Austin. Bar manager Mark Yawn is carrying a large case of Topo Chico into the bar area of a buzzy downtown Austin restaurant. He’s preparing for the evening rush.

On a hot day in Texas, many reach for a cold bottle of water. Some think that water is best when bubbly. And for many connoisseurs of that bubbly water – there's nothing better than a Topo Chico. It’s one of the restaurant’s most popular non-alcoholic beverages.

Photo via Flickr/carlos-pacheco (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Cowboys, longhorns, barbecue – all part of the state's identity. But before barbecue became part of the legend, there was the original. But where was the original, exactly?

Where there’s smoke there’s Daniel Vaughn, barbecue editor for Texas Monthly. His research revealed what could conceivably be the first barbecue joint in Texas was born not too far from Lockhart, the town largely considered to be a barbecue mecca in the state.


Flickr/Carol Martinez (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas takes its food seriously – consider the breakfast taco war between San Antonio and Austin just a few weeks ago.

It's no wonder advertisers are keen to target Texans. Even the behemoth fast food chain McDonald's is trying to get an edge in the Lone Star State. McDonald's is currently baiting Texans to create the first official McDonald's "Texas burger." What is a Texas burger exactly? Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner gave the burger builder a try, but she said some crucial ingredients were missing.

 


Flickr/Wally Gobetz (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

It's been said that if you want an introduction to Texas barbecue, you should hit the Texas barbecue trail. It's a track that takes you from Taylor to Elgin to Lockhart, and finally ends in Luling.

But really, that's just central Texas. As most of you know, there's a whole lot more of Texas to taste – like the southeast corner of Texas, where beef links trump brisket.

 


Image via flickr/greenplasticamy (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Mexicans consume more carbonated drinks per person than any other nation in the world, at an average of 36 gallons a year according to experts. That's 40 percent more than the average American.

Why Barbecue Homogenization is a Good Thing

Feb 4, 2016
Photo via Flickr/wallyg (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Barbecue in the U.S. comes in all shapes and sizes. The multiple variations of sauces, cuts of meats, and rubs provide a distinction between certain regional styles of the dish. Or do they? 

Image via Twitter/TiffsTreats

From Texas Standard:

When you think about childhood, many think of the cool feel of your skin in the rain, the flickering candles on your birthday cake and the warm bite of freshly baked cookie.

Image via Flickr/Phil Darnell (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

We’ve got some great news for you shellfish lovers out there – mudbug season has begun! Not quite yet, but thanks to unseasonably warm temperatures, delicious crawfish have made their way into restaurants and markets across Southeast Texas.

Laura Taylor https://flic.kr/p/4Vhnsb

For advice on how to get the tastes of Texas on your plate and in your glass, we speak with Edible Austin publisher Marla Camp and Texas Monthly drinks columnist Jessica Dupuy.

    

Image via Flickr/Adam Barhan (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

If you attended the Texas Craft Brewers festival earlier this year, you saw the work of more than 60 of those craft brewers. It was an opportunity for these breweries to get their brands and their beers in front of the drinking public because many haven’t been around for very long.

Here's An Apple Pie Recipe For Any Texan Holiday

Dec 16, 2015
Image via Flickr/Steven Depolo (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Every Christmas my mom would bake eight pies: four apple and four pecan. Now, we wouldn’t eat all of those ourselves. Two would be given away to pie-less people and two would be placed in the deep freeze for some emergency of the future. Pies and money were similar in my mom’s mind. Save a fourth of everything in deep savings for some future need.

When baking these pies, she had a quite a memorable ritual she followed.

 


mrjoro/flickr

This is a story of two nuts: the almond and the pecan. 

In the 1960s the pecan industry loomed large over the almond. But, then, something changed. Since then, the almond crop has seen a nearly 33-fold growth, while the pecan crop has seen little to no growth. But things are looking up for the once-proud pecan.


flickr/mydailymorsel

Researchers are in Austin this week for the International Conference on Neural Tube Defects. It coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act — a law that led to the U.S. government acknowledging a link between folic acid deficiency during pregnancy and neural tube defects, like spina bifida.

The law also led to mandatory enrichment of certain foods with folic acid, but not all foods — particularly, tortillas. 


Image via Pixabay/tookapic (CC0 Public Domain)

From Texas Standard: 

The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer announced yesterday that processed meats are "carcinogenic to humans," meaning their consumption can cause cancer.


Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection

Austin is becoming known for a lot more than just barbecue and Tex-Mex these days, but what were people in this city feasting on 125 years ago? The first cookbook published in Austin is helping to answer that question. 

The cookbook was compiled in 1891 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which still exists. Mike Miller, director of the Austin History Center, dug it out of the archives and researched some of the people behind it for his new book, Austin’s First Cookbook: Our Home Recipes, Remedies and Rules of Thumb

"Cookbooks at that time, they weren't the recipes of everyday food," Miller says. "Most of the women who did that knew the recipes, and they were passed down orally from mother to daughter."

"These [recipes] are for special occasions," he says. Listen to our interview with Miller and read on to see some of the recipes. 

True Tex-Mex Cuisine’s Long Adios

Apr 11, 2015
Laura Rice, Texas Standard

This story comes from Texas Standard.

This article originally appeared on Texas Monthly. Read the full story here.

Is Tex-Mex a fading cuisine? It sure seems that way in Houston, where I find it’s getting harder and harder to find the authentic stuff.

First, we’d better define what true Tex-Mex is. According to a non-scientific survey… no vegetables – except for maybe a few shreds of iceberg lettuce on the tacos or a single wilted leaf of it under the scoop of side-dish guacamole, thus rendering the dish a “guacamole salad.”

When everything seems to be the same 4 or 5 ingredients rearranged.

flickr.com/mrjoro

Fall in Texas is synonymous with the sweet taste of pecans, be it in pies, cookies, or by themselves. And although it may be early in the season, pecan sellers have already begun to set up stands along Central Texas roads.

This year’s early winter freezes, in addition to the ongoing drought, will undoubtedly have some effect on the season’s production rates. But because Texas is large and areas that grow pecans experienced varied weather, the Texas Pecan Growers Association says buyers should expect prices to be about the same this year as last year.

“The crop is not really low. When the crop is really low, the prices usually go much higher, but because there is a decent crop in Texas, they shouldn’t go too high," TPGA Associate Director of Sales and Marketing Blair Krebs said.

flickr.com/chiotsrun

Whole Foods has come under fire for launching a pilot program to sell rabbit meat in some of its stores. The Austin-based company says it's spent four years developing humane rabbit farming practices in response to consumer demand.

But regardless, some animal rights activists are hopping mad.

change.org petition asking Whole Foods to suspend its sale of bunny meat has garnered more than 13,000 signatures. A group calling itself the House Rabbit Society staged demonstrations at 44 Whole Foods Markets across the country. And PETA has announced it's joining the movement

flickr.com/gemmastiles

Wake up, make yourself some coffee … and eat an energy bar made out of crickets?

One Austin company is betting that you'll change your habits, just as long as you don't mind eating bugs. John Tucker is the owner of Hopper Foods, which makes a protein-rich, gluten-free energy bar made out of cricket flour. 

flickr.com/dennisbehm

Anytime people talk about Texas and food, the usual suspects come up. (Brisket anyone?) Texas Standard is taking the road less traveled, in search of some uniquely Texas provisions worth discovering.

Bryan Black is our guide. Each month he shares something new from the pantries of the Texas Department of Agriculture with the Standard. This month: Crazy Water, bottled in the town of Mineral Wells, where the water is renowned for its rich, naturally-occurring mineral deposits.

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