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Texas Folklife

Texas Life and Culture

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Foodways

about this program

Foodways: a Place at the Table
Texas Folklife is conducting a statewide survey of regional foodways: the cultural, historical and economic traditions that surround food. The study of local cuisine leads us to stories of sustenance, celebration, work and identity. We use the study of foodways as the entry point into diverse communities; starting with food customs, we then explore the family and community traditions that mark the occasions when Texans come together to eat. When documenting local methods of growing, gathering, preparing and enjoying food, we also encounter the music, crafts, dance and festivals associated with regional heritage The first year of this three-year project began with documentation of Central, East and South Texas. We are now expanding into 29 counties in West Texas, a vast and mostly sparsely populated area from Del Rio at the southernmost border, 400 miles west along the Rio Grande to the urban enclave of El Paso, then east to Odessa, Midland and San Angelo. “A Place at the Table” goals are to build a portrait of the dynamic and diverse cultural communities of Texas, to develop new statewide programming and collaborations , and to inspire a new generation of arts leaders in the creative and respectful engagement with the traditional arts.
Most recent articles, events, video, audio and blog posts for this page:
  • Posted on Wed Jan 29, 2014
    Lunch at Odessa's Barn Door Steakhouse means business. According to the restaurant's website, "The 'Legendary Barndoor' is a meeting place where many business deals are done. Someone said the other day we can always tell how well the oil and gas business is by the business at the Barndoor" (www.odessabarndoor.com). When I pulled into the parking lot shortly before 12noon, I was stunned to...
  • Posted on Tue Jan 28, 2014
    Today I ventured to Ben’s Little Mexico “Legendary Mexican Cuisine”, a family-run restaurant that first opened its doors in 1947.  I could tell the complimentary red salsa served with tortilla chips was made with fresh peppers, and its soupy character was matched with a nice bold, zesty taste.   I ordered three beef enchiladas with “ccq sauce”. Because it was not immediately...
  • Posted on Tue Jan 28, 2014
    Ever tried a Chihuahua Sandwhich?  On day 1 of my trip to the Odessa/Midland region I came across this interesting family culinary creation.  Midland's Big Sky drive-in movie theater is one of three family-owned drive-in theaters in West Texas that is home to the Chihuahua Sandwhich.  Invented by Ed Noret in the 1950's, the Big Sky version of this unique drive-in treat...
  • Posted on Fri Dec 13, 2013
    Ever seen a ghost? What about a town full of Swedish ghosts in the Rio Grande Valley? After seeing a photo my neighbor posted online today, I uncovered a tradition and even deeper history of the Swedish influence on Texas. My neighbor is a native Texan whose great-grandfather emigrated to the United States from Sweden. Today, December 13, happens to be the Swedish Catholic holiday of St. Lucia...
  • Posted on Tue Nov 26, 2013
     Photos: cover of Fritos Pie book; Kaleta Doolin in Fritos car; Doolin reading at Texas Folklife gallery Fritos Pie continues to be showcased in the Smithsonian's exhibit "FOOD: Transforming the American Table" and will be extended until 2017.  Part of the Fritos Pie Exhibit was on display at Texas Folklife the Spring and Summer of 2013 and is now available for touring.  Interested...
  • Posted on Wed Nov 6, 2013
    Texas Folklife is conducting a statewide survey of regional foodways on Family Day Islamic Adventure at the San Antonio Museum of Fine Arts on Saturday November 9th. We invite you to take “a place at the table” and tell us your family’s favorite dishes, or the work that you do to produce food for your family or the market. This is part of a three year project that is now expanding into 29...
  • Posted on Tue Oct 29, 2013
    Texas Folklife fieldworker Julie Ardery recently conducted research at Wursbraten for our Foodways: A Place at the Table program. Check out this year's event! 42nd Annual Wurstbraten Zion Lutheran Church & SchoolWalburg, Texas Monday, November 4, 2013Serving 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.Adults $10.00  Children $6.00 (12 & under)Homemade Desserts $2.00Fast and Convenient Drive-Thru Line...
  • Posted on Tue Oct 29, 2013
  • Posted on Tue Oct 15, 2013
    Bill Jackson grew up on the same farm he now lives on in Livingston, Texas. He operates Jackson Fruit Farm where he exclusively raises May Hawthorn trees - commonly known as mayhaw. Mayhaws produce a small berry that ranges in color from yellow to bright red. Long used to make jelly, mayhaw was once a culinary staple throughout parts of the rural South - notably swamp lands in East Texas,...
  • Posted on Tue Oct 15, 2013
    Father & Son Austin Breakfast Taco tradition By David JaffeOctober 2010Every Saturday morning starting when he was about 8, my son Gary and I ate breakfast tacos at a local place on Bee Cave Road, the C-5 Steakhouse. This was a chance for us to spend time together and talk about whatever was on his mind.C-5 had one type of breakfast taco, with eggs, sausage, cheddar cheese and hash browns on...

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