(State of Texas)
Texas Coat of Arms
• Location: South-central United States
• Capital: Austin
• Language(s): English, Spanish
• Population: 25,464,463
• Total Area: 696,241 sq km
• Curious Alcohol Fact: Mexican beers are available in various parts of the state.
• Most Popular Drink(s): Beers, iced tea, margaritas
• Nickname(s): The Lone Star State
• What You Must Do in Texas: Visit the Johnson Space Center.
In many ways, the state of Texas is a unique state and a special one too. The state is the largest in the contiguous United States and is second only to one state in terms of the area –Alaska. To the south of the state lies Mexico while it is bordered by New Mexico to the west. The state is bordered by Oklahoma to the north, Louisiana to the east and Arkansas to the northeast. It is very interesting to know that this mighty state was not even part of the United States initially but belonged to Spain instead. At a point in its history, the LoneStarState was part of Mexico and till date, one can still see the influence of the Hispanic heritage in various parts of the state. It is believed that the name ‘Texas’ was derived from teyas which is the Caddo word for ‘friends’. The state was admitted into the Union in 1845 as the 28th state and had remained a republic until that period. The climate and landscape of the state vary from one part to the other.
Texas is said to be home to one of the largest populations of illegal immigrants in the country and many of them stream in from the Mexican border. Aliens aside, around 70% of Texans are Whites with many of them having German, Irish and English roots. As expected, Hispanics (or Latinos) form a significant portion of the population as they make up more than a third of the state’s residents. Other ethnic groups in Texas include the Blacks (African Americans), Asians, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. The state falls within the Bible Belt and that implies that the predominant religion in the state is Christianity with the Roman Catholic Church being the largest denomination.
Eating in Texas
In describing the fantastic meals of Texas, a popular term is used –Tex-Mex. For years, I have heard of the famous Tex-Mex cuisine but it was not until I enjoyed a meal at an upscale Houston restaurant that I really appreciated meals with impressive Texan and Mexican flavors. Typical Tex-Mex meals include enchiladas, burritos, fajitas (grilled meat) and chilies rellenos. These meals are usually served with sauce (salsa). Also, in virtually all parts of the state, you will see locals devouring massive chicken-fried steaks. Honestly, there is no way you will resist a bite of this delightful meal. Other popular meals in the state include chili (very hot) with beef and barbeque (made principally using beef).
Drinking in Texas
It is only logical that after devouring some of the hottest meals in America, you should have enough to drink. In the state, many residents prefer to finish a meal with cold tea or a mug of cold Texan (or Mexican) beer. Margaritas (made mainly with tequila) and fruit juices are also common –like wines.
Sports in Texas
While staying in Texas, I noticed that the most popular sport is football. However, there are some other sports enjoyed throughout the state and these include basketball, baseball, auto racing and college athletics.
Interesting Things About Texas
- Texas has an incredible 254 counties!
- Texas is one of the largest in the country –in population and area.
- Texas was once part of Mexico.
- President Lyndon Baines Johnson is an indigene of the state.
- The state is home to the legendary JohnsonSpaceCenter.
- The Alamo is one of the most popular sites in the state and in the country.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).