Nine totally Texas products that are not Blue Bell

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H-E-B's borracho beans, made with Shiner beer. Photo by Dave Thomas

There’s a gallon of Blue Bell ice cream in my freezer that might be the last that I buy. Best I can tell, kids and listeria isn’t a combination I’d want to experience. Do I dare give Blue Bell a third strike, or call it at two?

Either way, when you’re as Texan as a hat full of horny toads, it’s sad to give up on a Lone Star icon. That’s why I went through H-E-B recently, looking for other products that are all Texan and no toxin (hopefully). Here’s what I found …

H-E-B's borracho beans, made with Shiner beer. Photo by Dave Thomas

H-E-B’s borracho beans, made with Shiner beer. Photo by Dave Thomas

To be honest, I haven’t tried these yet. But the combination of Tex-Mex food and German-Czech beer couldn’t be more Texan.

Whataburger's Honey Mustard sauce. Photo by Dave Thomas

Whataburger’s Honey Mustard sauce. Photo by Dave Thomas

You might think I’d have gone with the beloved Whataburger ketchup, but (don’t tell anyone) I’ve been a Heinz fan since the days of the Armadillo World Headquarters.

Julio's chips. Photo by Dave Thomas

Julio’s chips. Photo by Dave Thomas

I always thought Julio’s tortilla chips were from San Angelo, but that was their second location. The addictively spicy chips were born in Del Rio.

Pearl beer is Texas' oldest beer. Photo by Dave Thomas

Pictured: Pearl Light — because H-E-B was improbably sold out of regular Pearl. Photo by Dave Thomas

Sure, they’re owned by a California corporation. And the old San Antonio brewery is now a collection of uppity restaurants and shops. But Pearl (barely still available in 12-packs of cans only) is still the oldest Texas beer, beating out Shiner by 13 years.

The original-style Salt Lick barbecue sauce. Photo by Dave Thomas

The original-style Salt Lick barbecue sauce. Photo by Dave Thomas

At one point, in Victoria, I lived off my own cooking — which meant that I lived off Stubb’s barbecue sauce and whatever it could cover up. But Stubb’s has gone national, and I’ve moved on to The Salt Lick’s Original sauce.

Eckermann's dry smoked sauage. Photo by Dave Thomas

Eckermann’s dry smoked sausage. Photo by Dave Thomas

To be honest, I don’t know anything about this product. But I wanted some dried sausage. And it was delicious.

Skirt steak from H-E-B. Photo by Dave Thomas

Skirt steak from H-E-B. Photo by Dave Thomas

When you think about Texas, you think about brisket. And you should. But barbecuing brisket (well) is an elite activity. Almost anyone can make pretty good fajitas within a few hours of thinking “hey, you know what would be good?”

Stubb's beef spice rub. Photo by Dave Thomas

Stubb’s beef spice rub. Photo by Dave Thomas

To tell the truth, I was looking for Earl Campbell’s BBQ Rib Rub, which is more Texan than Tom Landry holding an armadillo. But since C.B. Stubblefield is the patron saint of Texas barbecue, it’s only right to honor him.

Alamo-shaped cookie cutter. Photo by Dave Thomas

Alamo-shaped cookie cutter. Photo by Dave Thomas

I wouldn’t turn down a Texas-shaped cookie, no I wouldn’t. But let’s be honest — that’s entry-level stuff. Step up your game to Alamo cookies.

 


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