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Texas Folklife

Folk and Traditional Arts of Texas

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 Tue Oct 29, 2013
  • Posted on Tue Oct 15, 2013

    Texas Folklife is conducting an ongoing survey of food traditions in different regions across the state Texas. Enjoy this short multimedia story about a mayhaw jelly producer from some of our fieldworkers.

    Texas Folklife Foodways: Bill Jackson's Mayhaw Jelly

  • Posted on Tue Oct 15, 2013

    A father describes a tradition with his son of seeking out Austin's best breakfast tacos.

  • Posted on Tue Oct 15, 2013

    Enjoy this collection of short articles about the now-established food trailer movement in Austin and the stories of those who operate them, written by one of our fieldworkers Anne Gessler. Stay tuned for more tasty stories about Texas foodways!

  • Posted on Mon Oct 14, 2013

    We invite you to take “a place at the table” and tell us about your family’s favorite dishes, or the work you do to produce food for your family or for the market. Over the past few years we have been traveling around the state visiting festivals, conducting interviews and meeting Texans from all cultural backgrounds with a story to tell. Your food story could become part of new exhibits, radio and television documentaries and placed as a legacy for future generations in Texas libraries.

  • Posted on Thu Nov 1, 2012

    The Southmost area of Brownsville, the southernmost populated tip of Texas along the banks of the Rio Grande, holds a tight-knit community of immigrant families whose cultural heritage is expressed daily in their traditions, celebrations, music, gardening, religion, lifestyle, and most importantly, food. Along a strip of Southmost Road, locally known as “Taco Boulevard,” lies more than 20 locally-owned taquerias along the main artery of the neighborhood. Containing rich photographs by Chuy Benitez, the Taquerías of Southmost photography exhibit provides an entrance into the rich cultural traditions of an often closed and discriminated population.

  • Posted on Tue Aug 31, 2010

    Texas Folklife Kicks off its State-Wide Food Traditions Survey Exploring South Texas Taquerias


    by Cristina Ballí, Program Director

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