When my husband and I were in college, we knew quite a few Texans, and it was apparent that they all had quite a lot of this thing called Texas Pride. And we both kinda thought it was a tad obnoxious. What was really so great about Texas? My husband swore off Texas as a place that he never wanted to live… and now here we are one and a half years into living in Texas.
We moved to Texas for my husband to get his PhD. It was between Texas and Colorado, and, surprise of all surprises, we choose Texas over Colorado, a state we both loved since childhood. We chose Texas when neither of us had spent much time here before. My only direct visit to Texas was a short layover at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport years ago. Neither of us had lived in the South either.
Now over a year into his program, we admit that Texas, especially Central Texas, is mighty nice. It’s February and I wore shorts yesterday. In fact, I haven’t needed a jacket most of this “winter.” Being born and raised in Wisconsin, that’s a pretty big deal to me, and something I do not take for granted!
I like the heat, though it did get pretty sweaty last summer as I went through a summer pregnancy and the air conditioning in our vehicle stopped working. However, that summer baby means we officially have a child that is a Texan, which means we can’t really hate on Texans anymore.
Our five year old twin daughters requested cowgirl boots for Christmas this past year, and absolutely love wearing them! They now want a belt and cowgirl hat to complete the look. They have totally embraced Texas living and don’t seem to mind not having snow all that much.
One of the great things about being in Texas is the food. There are some delicious, Texas original and traditional foods, many of which can be found at H-E-B, the Texas-based grocery store, which has sponsored this post.
10 Favorite Texas Food Items
Here are 10 of our favorite Texas items, especially when it’s game day and we’re watching the Super Bowl with our best friends, like we did this past Sunday (and my husband was thrilled the Broncos won – they are his NFL team. I told you he loves Colorado!).
1. Dr. Pepper
Did you know Dr. Pepper was created in the 1880s in Waco, Texas? Neither did I, but people from Texas take deep pride in this and drink large quantities of Dr. Pepper. Plus, when you’re Mormon like we are, it’s especially a popular party drink, as we don’t drink alcohol.
Barbecue brisket is unique to Texas, and one of our best friends makes a DE-licious brisket from a side of beef. Seriously the tastiest meat I have ever had.
3. Whataburger Products
You know how Inn-N-Out is the super popular burger chain in California? Whataburger is Texas’ burger chain. And their burgers are good. And so is their ketchup! (Their mustard might be too, but I don’t really like mustard). Whataburger sells a whole line of condiments available for purchasing at H-E-B. We buy the Whataburger Ketchup from H-E-B all the time, and definitely prefer it to other brands. The good news is that it can also be ordered online and shipped directly to your home. I’m betting a lot of displaced Texans may be happy to know about this new feature!
4. Blue Bell Ice Cream
I did not know people could get so passionate about their ice cream, but I assure you, Texans are passionate about their Blue Bell ice cream! This became very apparent during the “2015 Blue Bell drought” where Blue Bell was removed from the shelves for months due to Listeria contamination at the company’s three factories. I do agree though – this Brenham, Texas based creamery makes delicious ice cream, in all the different flavors, many of which are available at H-E-B.
5. Julio’s Chips and Salsa
Julio’s is a small Del Rio food manufacturing company that sells chips, seasoning, and salsa at H-E-B! I randomly saw Julio’s salsa in the refrigerator section by the butter one day and decided to buy it, and we love the texture and the heat! It’s our go-to salsa choice now.
6. Texas Shaped Tortilla Chips
Because Texans love Texas so much, they find ways to incorporates stars and the shape of its state wherever they can (at least that’s what I think), which is why I wasn’t all that surprised to see H-E-B Texas Shaped corn tortilla chips after moving here. But, hey, they’re salty and delicious, especially with Julio’s salsa, and make me feel a little more Texan by eating them.
7. Big Red
Another soda that started in Waco, Texas is Big Red, the original “red cream soda.” It’s also pretty delicious and popular to drink here in Texas.
8. Habanero Peppers
My husband makes a great chicken chili and his new favorite “secret ingredient” since moving to Texas is a hot habanero pepper. He’s made it several times here for church chili cook-offs, friends, and our family. It adds quite a kick and is delicious.
Thanks to the Hispanic influence here, tamales are very popular. We’ve had friends offer to cook homemade ones for us, and have eaten fresh samples in-store at H-E-B too. You can buy lots of different varieties there.
10. Salt Lick BBQ Sauce
The Salt Lick is a popular local Bar-B-Q restaurant that started in Driftwood, Texas and has another location in Round Rock. They sell some of their original recipes, like their Salt Lick Original Bar-B-Que sauce, at H-E-B. We haven’t tried it out yet, but I know we need to! After all, Texans really know their barbecue. I went ahead and ordered some online to give it a try.