In a state as large and diverse as Texas, the food we eat is almost guaranteed to be influenced from places across state border lines. Buzzfeed staff recently compiled a quiz titled “If you’ve eaten 20/28 of these foods then you’re a True Texan,” which has some online questioning its legitimacy.
Texas’ geography means it’s natural for some largely regional and cultural foods to all exist in one state. It takes almost 12 hours to drive Interstate 10 from El Paso’s border with Mexico (and New Mexico) to Orange, which borders Louisiana. So while it’s nice to attribute these culinary delights to the Lone Star State, it isn’t exactly accurate since so many have origins or share identities with regions nearby.
Queso, steak fajitas, enchiladas and other items classified under “Mexican food” can be found along many border states (California, for example). Funnel cake is a staple of carnival cuisine. Residents of the Deep South may gasp at the thought of sweet iced tea and fried okra associated specifically with one state.
Commenters were quick to point out how available many of the foods were outside of Texas.
Not “owning” those food or drink items isn’t a bad thing! Rather, Texans can celebrate the blend of cultures which makes for a state full of food from all over.
For all the items listed somewhat questionably, there are plenty that did hit the nail on the head. Whataburger, Dr Pepper, Big Red and Blue Bell have well-established roots in the state, even though the companies distribute and operate across state lines. And it might be odd to eat a Texas-shaped waffle in another state.
Lastly, it’s important to take note: The “kolache rolls” pictured are actually called klobasnek (rooted in Czech heritage). And the common reference for the slab of fried meat slathered with gravy isn’t “country fried steak,” but rather chicken fried steak. Or chicken fried chicken. A true Texan doesn’t discriminate delicious fried food.