Top Five foods to try in the Lone Star state:
5. Malt Liquor
Not really a Texas-only deal, but just a fascinating all-round American thing. We've all seen the drunks and hobos on TV carrying their 40s about in brown paper bags, but just what IS that stuff? I'm led to believe it's just extra-strong beer that you can buy in quantities exceeding a fucking litre. 'Just'. I'm hitting the first liquor store I come across and buying a couple of these babies to stash in my hotel for the lonely Texas nights.
I love this. People in Texas thought their bread wasn't thick enough to carry all the shit they put in their sandwiches, so they DOUBLED the thickness and just called it 'Texas toast'.
3. Deep-fried beer
So every year at the State Fair of Texas they have a competition to see who can deep-fry the strangest shit. Last year the winner was deep-fried beer. Apparently the beer is poured into a pocket of pastry or something like it, then coated in batter and thrown into the fryer. I won't believe it until it's right in front of me. Luckily the Fair will be running when I'm in Dallas so I WILL follow up on this.
2. Chicken-fried steak
For the uninitiated; chicken-fried steak is when you beat the hell out of a steak until it's tender, like chicken, and then you breadcrumb and fry the thing KFC-style. I think this sounds like the best thing in food history, and I can't wait to try it. It's a pretty big deal in the deep south, but they insist on covering it with a white substance they call 'gravy'. I'm afraid of trying this because it looks like someone's been sick over the chicken-fried steak. Alas, when in Rome...
I don't understand what grits are, but they are EVERYWHERE in the South. Wikipedia claims: 'Grits are a food of Native American origin common in the Southern United States and mainly eaten at breakfast. They consist of coarsely ground corn. Grits are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world'. It doesn't look like any porridge I've ever seen though, and I'm just perplexed at why they're eaten with eggs and bacon and Texas toast and HOT SAUCE. Breakfast time in Austin will be interesting at least.