1. Your first choice is always Dr. Pepper.
This carbonated beverage is almost a staple now, with cans in vending machines in Tokyo and available on international flights to Europe. However, it wasn’t too long ago that it was difficult to find in bulk on the east coast, let alone abroad. Any Texans worth their salt grew up choosing Dr. Pepper as their go-to drink before Coke and Pepsi. After all, it originated in Waco.
2. You eat candied yams on Thanksgiving..
I didn’t even realize this was a Texas and southern tradition until I shared a Thanksgiving feast in Dubai with a few New Yorkers. While many staples of this meal are the same – turkey, stuffing, greens, gravy, cranberry sauce – there are a few variations across the US. Texas shares its tradition of getting you so stuffed you have no choice but to sit and watch football with this concoction of sweet potatoes, cinnamon, and sugar.
3. You probably had BBQ once a week growing up.
Texans do have plenty of go-to fast foods like Whataburger and Dairy Queen, but in terms of barbecue, no one does it better than the Lone Star State. Whether it’s chains like Rudy’s and Dickey’s – excellent okra! – or the best way to finish a road trip at Cooper’s in Llano.
4. You know exactly where to stop for kolaches..
Exit 353 off I-35, just north of Waco. The Czech Stop Bakery will always have a line on the weekends, sometimes stretching out the door. There’s no better place in Texas to get Czech food in a hurry.
5. Even with delicious Tex-Mex, you fill up on chips and queso..
Or salsa, or anything that makes those delicious crispy thin chips slide down our throats a little faster. You can judge the quality of the food based on the quality of the chips.
6. You have your favorite breakfast taco picked out.
You haven’t fully experienced Texas until you’ve gone out drinking on Rainey Street and awoken to find yourself craving something savory and filling. Enter the breakfast taco, one of many contributions Austin has perfected for Texans. You can always go for the classic eggs, beans, and cheese, but there’s also tofu scrambles for vegans.
7. Our chili usually comes without beans.
While some parts of the US prefer to dilute their chili with beans soaking up all the deliciousness, Texans let the beef and peppers speak for themselves. A little cheese never hurt anyone either.
8. You’ve drunk out of a mason jar at least once.
It might be your standard Texas tea or a frozen margarita on a humid summer day, but everyone’s done it at some point.
9. You know chicken fried steak contains no chicken.
Rather, it’s the style of cooking the steak. Even the smallest dinners in Marfa offer this unique Texas speciality from the hill country; you’d have to try hard to find a bad one.
10. You can appreciate only one kind of pie.
Native Americans used to eat and prepare pecans in Texas over 8000 years ago. Who are we to argue with history? Even if it’s not your cup of tea, you’ve definitely had a friend or relative slide a slice in your direction.
11. A corn dog is your favorite roadside snack.
Why limit yourself to a hot dog when you can enjoy this dish created by German Texan sausage makers a century ago? Add a little mustard and you’ve got the best cheap lunch the Lone Star State can offer.
12. You probably spent your high school or college years exercising like crazy.
Everything is bigger in Texas, including waistlines. Although plenty of us get nice and robust while living under our parents’ roofs, when we finally do head out into the world, our state’s food can leave us a little bigger than we might prefer. Once left to our own devices, we’re free to devour breakfast tacos in the morning, BBQ for lunch, and greasy Tex-Mex in the evening, eventually passing out from sheer happiness.