Food is the key to my heart, and it turns out, a lot of my favorites were made right here in Texas. Here's a list of eight foods and drinks born in the Lone Star State:

  • 1


    Chili is actually a Spanish term, but it has its roots right here in Texas. It has roots as early as 1850. The first use of the word was when the San Antonio Chili Stand set up a booth at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. I prefer mine with some shredded cheese and plenty of oyster crackers.

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  • 2

    Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

    I actually tried the original one this past weekend. That's right, I had never had Blue Bell Cookies and Cream before in my life. Turns out they were the first to mass produce this amazing flavor. A Blue Bell employee sampled it at a Houston ice cream parlor back in 1980. I will be honest, it's probably the best Cookies and Cream I have had in my life.

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  • 3

    Corn Dogs

    Hands down my go-to at any state fair. Turns out, this thing was invented at the Texas State Fair. German immigrants in Texas, who were sausage-makers by trade, rolled their products in cornbread batter and fried them to appeal to the locals. If anything appeals to Texans, it's frying any type of food. I fully support this as well. I prefer mine with honey mustard in a nice dipping cup.

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  • 4

    Dr. Pepper

    You folks down here love your Dr. Pepper. Growing up in Maryland, I don't know a single person that drank it. I swear, we would drink Mr. Pibb up north, which would be blasphemous to anybody living in Texas. Dr. Pepper was created in Waco, Texas. It was originally marketed as a brain tonic and energizing pick-me-up. For me, always better with ice cream. Try out Parkway Grill's Dr. Pepper float.

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  • 5


    This is one of those food items, that when someone orders it, the whole restaurant orders it. Not a lot of food out there that you can actually hear it coming to your table. The smell overwhelms everything in a restaurant. Plus, you can mix and match what you want to go in it. Fajitas are simply amazing. People claim it was invented as early as the 1930s in Southwest Texas. Best fajitas in Texoma? I will probably start a war with this one, but I like Don Jose's. I believe it's called the Pierro plate, go try it for yourself.

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  • 6


    A snack that came out of The Great Depression. Charles Elmer “C.E.” Doolin became obsessed with the idea of creating a corn snack, similar to tortillas, that wouldn’t go stale. They go perfect inside of a Taco Casa spicy bean burrito. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

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  • 7

    Frozen Margaritas

    I believe National Margarita Day was just a couple of days ago. If you prefer yours frozen, you can thank Texans for that. Mariano Martinez, who altered an ice cream maker to make margaritas in 1971 after seeing a Slurpee machine at a local 7-Eleven. The device is now on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. For a frozen margarita, can't go wrong with strawberry for me. Or try the eye-catching Mexican Bulldog Margarita.

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  • 8

    Ruby Red Grapefruit

    Finally, we get something healthy on this list. That's right, ruby red grapefruit was actually invented by locals in Barbados who accidentally crossed sweet oranges with pomelo. When they were brought to America, redder mutations were discovered in white grapefruit trees in South Texas. I always find a nice sprinkling of sugar on some grapefruit always makes for a good snack.

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