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Texas State Dish

Texas chili parlor - click to see more state food symbols
Texas chili parlor in Austin, Texas - photo © D.B. Blas on Flickr - use permitted with attribution / no derivative works. See All Food & Agricultural Symbols.

Chili

Texas designated chili as the official state dish in 1977. Texans claim that chili originated in their state. Other rivalries between states involve recipes (of course), but even semantics - New Mexicans use the word "chili" to describe the plant, the pod, and various dishes made with chili peppers (see New Mexico State Vegetables - chili and frijole), while to Texans, the word "chili" is a very specific culinary dish. Texas legislature proclaimed chili the official state dish "in recognition of the fact that the only real 'bowl of red' is that prepared by Texans."

Chili is of Tex-Mex origin (from the American southwest, Tex-Mex food is a combination of American Indian and Spanish cuisines). Two other foods that are key ingredients in chili are also official symbols of Texas : onions and peppers.


"Texas Red" chili photo by Jamiepatra on Flickr - non-commercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works.
See All Food & Agricultural Symbols.

Though the chile recipe that officially represents Texas (Texas chili) does not include beans, many recipes do. Like corn, native beans (or frijoles in Spanish), were a staple eaten daily by the Indians of the Southwest. Kidney beans, tepary beans, or black beans (common in Mexico) were used for early chili recipes (pinto beans are now the popular choice). The pinto and lima bean were being cultivated in the Aztec and Inca cultures more than 5,000 years ago.

Source:
Tex-Mex Foods: Handbook of Texas Online
History and Legends of Chili by Linda Stradley
Links:
Chili Recipes: Jalapeno Cafe
All Food & Agricultural Symbols - Food Holidays

    

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Texas Symbols & Icons:

air force - tie
footwear - music  
artist - bird
bread - cooking  
dinosaur - dog  
dish - snack
fabric - tartan
folk dance
fish - insect
flag - pledge
flower - plant
gem - stone
hall of fame
instrument
 

mammal 1-2-3  
sport - vehicle
metal - molecule
name - nickname
pastry 1 2 - nut
pepper 1-2 - fruit
plays - railroad
reptile - shell
seal -quarter - motto
ship -tall ship
shrub 1-2
song 1-2
tree -grass -soil
vegetable
 

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