Taste the Best of Texas: Popular Dishes from the Lone Star State

Texas is a state renowned for its unique and flavorful cuisine. From chili con carne to fried chicken fillet, there are plenty of dishes that have become staples of the Lone Star State. Chili is the state's official dish, and it's usually made with hot peppers and beef (or sometimes game meats like venison). It's often served with pinto beans, either as a side dish or in the chili itself.

Fried chicken fillet, also known as fried country steaks, is another popular dish in Texas. To make this dish, opt for cubed steaks, which almost look like ground beef, to ensure a fine and tender bite. It's a fun dish that practically oozes Texan charm, and it's worth trying at home no matter where you live. When attending a funeral in Texas, it's a common tradition to present yourself with a giant chocolate cake covered with a thick layer of icing and garnished with Texas-grown walnuts. This baked product is still referred to as a Texas funeral cake, even when served or eaten in other situations or settings.

Cheese is another beloved dish in Texas, and it wouldn't be possible if it weren't for dairy cattle brought by the Spanish conquistadors who came to El Paso through Mexico. Chili con Queso appeared on San Antonio restaurant menus in 1910, and its versions were published in the Women's Club Book of Tried and Tested Recipes in the early 1920s. The dish was made with green chilies, tomatoes, and cheese. Later, a Kentucky newspaper published a recipe that added chili peppers to sandwiches and versions of the spicy dish began to become popular. Instead of chunks of whole Mexican chili peppers on the plate, they were replaced with powdered cayenne and paprika, and American cheese products such as Velveeta were specifically added. Whataburger is for Texas just like In-N-Out Burger for Southern California; you just can't visit it without making a mandatory stop.

Chron suggests drinking a glass of Dr. Pepper from the burger chain or ordering their Buffalo ranch chicken strip sandwich or their melted burger; each one comes sandwiched between two thick, roasted slices of Texas toast. Dr. Pepper was initially served at Morrison's Old Corner pharmacy in Waco, Texas.

It was the brainchild of pharmacist Charles Alderton who liked to create experiments mixing carbonated beverages and syrups in his spare time. Texas Twinkies are another great snack or side dish if you want to add heat to your weeknight dinners. This appetizer is similar to jalapeño popcorn but includes meat and barbecue sauce making it more filling. Take a trip to the Lone Star State and try classic dishes such as pecan pie, fried chicken fillet, cowboy chili, and plenty of barbecue.

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