Go Local. GO TEXAN. TEXAS FOOD, WINE, RESTAURANTS, RECIPES, GARDENING, STYLE & MORE VOLUME 6, ISSUE 13 O SEPTEMBER 2017
THE STATE FAIR OF TEXAS:
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE O COMMISSIONER SID MILLER
WELCOME TO THE SEPTEMBER 2017 EDITION OF THE GO LOCAL. GO TEXAN. E-ZINE. It’s time for the State Fair of Texas! We are proud to host the GO TEXAN Pavilion at the State Fair, which houses our GO TEXAN Pioneer Brand General Store — 3,000 square feet of nothing but genuine Texas products from our GO TEXAN members. The State Fair, much like our GO TEXAN program, embodies the many wonderful reasons we all love Texas and are proud to be from the Lone Star State. This year’s Fair runs from Sept. 29 to Oct. 22. We hope you’ll come on out to enjoy all the sights, sounds, tastes and experiences that make up this 24-day extravaganza. Inside the GO TEXAN Pavilion, you’ll be able to sample products from more than a dozen GO TEXAN
members at a time — from tasty honey, salsa and BBQ sauce to sodas, pecans, candies and drink mixers. Our partners Southwest Dairy Farmers will be giving away Dannon yogurt every day, so come on out and bring the whole family. As always, we’re happy to showcase the wide diversity among our GO TEXAN members. In this issue, you’ll also find articles on cheese, coffee, beef, beer and wine. We hope you enjoy this issue. Be sure to share it with your friends, and remember, Texas Agriculture Matters!
Sid Miller is an eighth generation farmer and rancher and the 12th Commissioner of Agriculture for the great state of Texas. Commissioner Miller has devoted his life to the agriculture industry, and supporting Texas producers and the communities they call home. He is a businessman, rancher, community leader, former ag teacher and former school board member. Commissioner Miller is a rodeo cowboy and holds nine world championship titles. He is an honors graduate of Tarleton State University in Stephenville, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Vocational Agriculture Education. He can be reached at Sid.Miller@TexasAgriculture.gov. Cover photo courtesy The State Fair of Texas/Kevin Brown.
Photo courtesy The State Fair of Texas/Kevin Brown.
STATE FAIR OF TEXAS: CELEBRATING TEXANS AFTER SPOTTING BIG TEX AND TAKING A SELFIE WITH THE 55-FOOT TALL OFFICIAL GREETER OVERSEEING FAIR PARK IN DALLAS, THE NEXT THING THAT MANY FAIRGOERS ASK THEMSELVES IS WHERE TO GO NEXT. THERE’S THE MIDWAY, WHERE YOU’LL FIND WITH CARNIVAL RIDES AND THE UNUSUAL FRIED FOODS VENDORS, OR PERHAPS THE GO TEXAN PAVILION, WHERE YOU’LL FIND THE BEST IN TEXAS. “The State Fair, much like our GO TEXAN program, embodies the many wonderful reasons we all love Texas and are proud to be from the Lone Star State,” Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said. 5
Each year, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) sets up shop inside the GO TEXAN Pavilion presented by Southwest Dairy Farmers at the State Fair. Inside the GO TEXAN Pavilion, visitors learn how agriculture impacts their daily lives. Also within the 25,000-square-foot Pavilion is the GO TEXAN Pioneer Brand General Store — the largest collection of Texas products under one roof at the State Fair.
One of the most talked-about features of the State Fair every year is the variety of creative food and beverages available. For the first time, the coveted Big Tex Choice Awards were awarded in three categories: Best Taste — Sweet, Best Taste — Savory and Most Creative. The Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger not only won the award for the Best Taste — Savory category but also took home the award for Most Creative.
Made by Tom Grace and Edna Sutton, they chose two small Visit TDA at the State Fair funnel cakes that are fried to to sample a wide variety of a golden crunch and served GO TEXAN food products. as the buns. The first funnel Hungry fairgoers will enjoy bun is topped with a juicy, free yogurt from Southwest freshly-grilled burger patty, Dairy Farmers each day a heaping helping of crispy throughout the Fair. There’s bacon and gooey queso. If that also live music, exhibits and demonstrations taking place in weren’t enough, the top funnel the GO TEXAN Pavilion daily. bun is generously dusted with powdered sugar. 6
The award for Best Taste — The top ten finalists for the Sweet went to the Gulf Coast 2017 Big Tex® Choice Awards Fish Bowl by Clint Probst. It’s were: a fun adult beverage featuring • Deep Fried Chicken all the flavors of your favorite Noodle Soup on a Stick tropical coast, only with a • Deep Fried Froot Loops® kick! Your small drinkable • Fat Smooth aquarium begins with • Fernie’s Fried Texas Sheet Nerds(r) candy gravel. Next, Cake the drink is iced and filled • Funnel Cake Bacon Queso with a specially-formulated Burger blue alcoholic punch. Swedish • Gulf Coast Fish Bowl Fish® swim through the ice • Pinot Noir Popcorn while a pineapple slice serves • Surfin’ Turfin’ Tator Boat as the lid. Each sip brings a • Texas Fajita Fries stream of crunchy candy and • The Tamale Donut tropical punch up the straw. For a brief description on the final dishes, click here. Photo courtesy The State Fair of Texas/Kevin Brown.
When you’ve had all the fried foods you can handle, head over to the State Fair Wine Garden presented by TDA. It’s another outstanding State Fair destination where you can taste some of the best craft beers and wine the Lone Star State has to offer. The wine garden is located just outside the GO TEXAN Pavilion, so it makes for an ideal place to catch your breath and rest after shopping in the GO TEXAN Pioneer Brand General Store and before you 10
head off to experience more Fair attractions. Catch live music in the Wine Garden on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the Fair. Some other fun activities include the Sea Grant star fish exhibit, watching the Kilgore Rangerettes perform, the interactive globe by EarthX, the Planet Ag exhibit and the chance to see Austin Self’s GO TEXAN NASCAR Camping World race truck. For more information on State Fair events, click here.
HOUSTON DAIRYMAIDS: BRINGING THE CHEESE TO TEXAS LIKE THE FINE WINE THAT PAIRS SO WELL WITH IT, CHEESEMAKING IS AN ART. LINDSEY SCHECHTER, OWNER OF HOUSTON DAIRYMAIDS, UNDERSTANDS THIS CONCEPT AND HAS MADE IT HER BUSINESS AND AMBITION TO SOURCE AND SELL THE BEST CHEESE SHE CAN FIND TO HER FELLOW TEXANS. Houston Dairymaids is both a one-stop online shop offering more than 150 cheeses from Texas and beyond, as well as a brickand-mortar cheese shop in the Heights section of Houston. “Cheesemaking is part science and part artistry,” Schechter said. “I admire cheesemakers so much, because they succeed despite the constant threat of the unforeseen challenge — whether it’s an issue with their animals, milk or equipment.”
Houston Dairymaids travel the state of Texas visiting farms and dairies, getting to know the people (and animals) behind these great foods. They specialize and like to highlight cheeses made by hand and from unpasteurized milk. “We aim to support dairy farmers and cheesemakers who are giving their animals and cheese the utmost attention and care,” Schechter said. “Cheeses 13
made the traditional way — with little mechanization — tend to have better textures as the human hand handles curd more delicately than a machine. Cheeses made from unpasteurized milk truly reflect the place from which they come. The indigenous microbes from the farm create unique flavors in the cheese via the raw milk.”
prefers to source their cheese locally. Besides carrying many cheeses from other GO TEXAN members (like Latte Da Dairy and Mozzarella Company), it was a natural decision for them to join GO TEXAN themselves.
“We love the way it supports and promotes Texas farmers and producers,” Schechter said. “Cheesemaking is a tough While they carry great cheese job. Our Texas cheesemakers and complementary foods from are incredibly hard-working all over, Houston Dairymaids individuals. I’m in awe of 14
their commitment and perseverance. Our goal at Houston Dairymaids is to help small cheesemakers out by introducing our community to their great cheeses. It makes sense to start with the cheesemakers who are closest to us. It decreases the financial and environmental costs of transport and supports small farming in our state.” Asking to name a favorite cheese from someone in Schechter’s shoes is sometimes
as difficult as choosing a favorite child, but when push comes to shove, she’s got a clear favorite: Basket Chevre from Pure Luck Dairy in Dripping Springs. “It is bright and fresh,” she said. “I never tire of it.” For more information on Houston Dairymaids and getting ahold of some of the best cheese you’ll ever taste in Texas, visit their website.
Pictured: Roland Striedel 15
Cheese fun fact:
Cheese made from the milk of grass-fed cows is naturally yellow. “The beta-carotene in the grass transfers through the milk to the cheese, where it acts as a pigment,” Schechter said. “When you have a cow’s milk cheese with a natural yellow hue, you can bet those cows were munching on healthy pasture.” 17
TINY H COFF HOT, C AND F
HOUSE FEE: COLD FRESH
ACCORDING TO TINY HOUSE COFFEE, IT’S ATTENTION TO DETAIL THAT MAKES THE PERFECT CUP OF COFFEE. BLAKE THOMAS, CO-FOUNDER OF TINY HOUSE COFFEE, CALLS THE BELOVED BEVERAGE “THAT BEAUTIFUL INTERSECTION OF ART AND SCIENCE.” Left to right: Blake Thomas & Helen Shafer
ellow co-founder, Helen Shafer, adds a specific time to this intersection.
“There is something soothing about the process of making your coffee in the morning,” Shafer said. “It’s a ritual of sorts.” Thomas recommends using highquality, and most importantly, fresh coffee. “Tinker with the amount of water
and coffee you use until you create the best cup for you,” he said. “If you do that, and appreciate the journey that coffee took to get to you, you’ll be pleased every time.” Thomas prefers his coffee cold — especially on hot Texas days — while Shafer prefers hers hot from a French press. “I learned how to first use one while in Nicaragua, where our foray into coffee began, so it
holds a special place in my heart,” she said.
motivation to get involved on a full-time basis.
The two began their journey into selling coffee as Peace Corps volunteers in the Nueva Segovia region of northern Nicaragua, a place known for its production of specialty coffee. They both led coffee-related projects. The relationships they built with the local farmers and families whose livelihoods were coffee production soon became enough
“Prior to 2012, I would have defined coffee as an alternative fuel source that helped me power through late night study sessions and early morning exams,” Thomas said. Once he got to Nicaragua, where he started living and working with coffee producers, that definition underwent a rapid evolution. He saw the immense amount 21
of work and care that goes into coffee production, and then he was hooked. He and Shafer returned to the U.S. in 2014 and immediately got to work. First, they started the dialogue with the Nicaraguan producers and then brought on fellow Peace Corps volunteer, Trey Bussey. From there, Tiny House was in motion, and they worked tirelessly to get it going (ingesting lots of coffee in the process, no doubt). What started out as a sidehustle project is now a full-scale operation with three full-time employees, and one part-time employee, along with industrial roasting and cold brewing equipment.
to the big coffee conferences in Seattle and establish those “direct” relationships. “The coffee industry is doing rather well,” Thomas said. “While it is good that these larger farmers are being compensated fairly, it is unlikely they are in the same need of that compensation as the owners of small and medium farms. It is those individuals we look to work and grow with. Those operations are more than capable of producing the same quality coffees and can benefit greatly from a more direct relationship with coffee companies.” While the mission for Tiny House has remained the same from its beginning — trying to make the world a better place with better coffee — they have expanded their goals from selling 12 ounces of coffee at a time to other creative ways to further their mission. Primarily, this is through the delivery of their cold brew product, Casita Cold Brew.
Like many coffee producers, Tiny House likes to make sure that their producers of origin — the Nicaraguan farmers who they met and do business with — are compensated fairly. For Tiny House, this means more than just using words like “fair trade” and “direct trade” in marketing their products. They choose to work with For more information on Tiny the owners of small and medium House Coffee, visit their website. farmers, as opposed to the larger producers who can afford to fly 22
Coffee fun fact:
The coffee “bean” is a seed, not bean. It’s probably called a bean simply due to its shape. “I still say, ‘bean,’ because it makes conversation easier, but it’s in no way a legume!” Thomas said.
AVINGER WINE FESTIVAL: CELEBRATING TEXAS WINE It all started out with the motive to help the kids. A nonprofit organization called CRESS Community Foundation realized a need and saw the challenge of raising money locally to assist with student scholarships, school supplies and materials in the small rural town of Avinger (population 500). For a town as small as Avinger, raising money for scholarships presented a real challenge. However, CRESS Community Foundation and its director, Ronnie Politi, looked at the popularity of wine festivals in Texas and decided to give it a shot.
more than 1,500 to little ol’ Avinger. Subsequent years have proved to be a success as well. This year marks the fifth annual Avinger Wine Festival. Politi points to the food, music and art as playing a huge role in the success of the event. “Many of our visitors are attending to shop, eat, visit and enjoy the laid-back mood of the day,” she said.
It is a free festival. Entry into the gated Wine Garden is $5 for persons 21 and older. With your paid entry, “We did our research and got ready you receive a 6-bottle wine tote and a to work harder than we could have stemless wine glass. Hourly prizes are imagined,” Politi said. also awarded within the Wine Garden. This year’s festival will be held on The first year of Avinger Wine Festival September 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in 2012 was a roaring success. They in downtown Avinger. filled a niche in the wine festival season by scheduling it in the month For more information, click here. of September and drew a crowd of 26
URBAN CRUST & URBAN RIO: LETTING IMAGINATION RUN WILD ON THE MENU
ot all pizza restaurants start out the same way. Urban Crust, for example, started out from a simple case of home improvement. Nathan Shea built a wood-fired oven in his house. Along with his wife, Bonnie, he then decided that downtown Plano needed a fun, cool place for the community to enjoy.
Next, they partnered with World Master Chef Salvatore Gisellu from Sardinia, Italy, to craft the menu for the concept.
“I had a vision of a wood-fired pizza concept and ice bar,” said Nathan Shea, owner of Urban Crust and Urban Rio in Plano. “Downtown Plano had a lot to offer with its historic charm and the vision of being able to mix the old in with the new.”
Once the menu was complete, Urban Crust opened its doors in 2009, and things really took off. A couple years later, Shea and his wife were spending lots of time with the Heritage Commission of Plano and doing research on the older buildings in the downtown area. The Old Plano Ice House on 14th Street caught their eye, and they purchased the building and began working on their next concept: Urban Rio.
They decided to redevelop the 110-year-old WR George building on 15th Street and create an environment where they’d be proud to invite their friends and family to dine and drink with them. 28
“We knew we had to have the perfect crust,” Shea said. “Artisan toppings and authentic Italian dishes followed.”
“In our minds,” Shea said, “if someone needed something other
than Chef Salvatore’s wood-fired pizza and authentic Italian dishes, it was a fix of fresh Mexican food with a cantina-style patio bar in the old Ice House.” Urban Rio opened in 2011, and people have been enjoying the craft margaritas, chips and salsa ever since. The names for both restaurants both rely on the urban theme that was inspired by their historic downtown Plano area. “Pairing ‘Crust’ was an easy choice for the pizza concept, because the identifier for Urban Crust truly began and continues to be about the crust of the pizza,” Shea said. “For Urban Rio, we wanted the identifier in the name to be about the authenticity of the food. The chef-inspired menu was created to be inclusive of flavors and foods found on both sides of the Rio Grande River.”
“I think that locally-sourced items directly add value to the dishes we create each day,” Shea said. When pressed for a favorite dish, Shea avoided the easy temptation to say everything and went with the Shea’s Eastside Pizza at Urban Crust. “It’s inspired by our three daughters,” Shea said. “I also love the Bleu Cheese Fries. They’re just a great appetizer for all to enjoy. The Pasta Bolognese is amazing. It’s one of the many chef-inspired original dishes from Sardinia.” At Urban Rio, Shea claims that the Shea’s Tamale Pie is one of the best things ever tasted. “It combines the comfort of a pot pie with the masa of a tamale and all the goodness of cheese, chicken, peppers and more,” Shea said. “Nate’s Chicken is a go-to for any lunch or dinner.”
Both restaurants are proud GO To get a better idea on choosing your TEXAN members and focused on the own favorite from Urban Crust, click freshness of their ingredients. here. For Urban Rio, click here. 31
CIRCLE BREWING CO.: TEXAS BEER IS GOOD THANKS TO AN UNDERSTANDING, WINEMAKING MOTHER, CIRCLE BREWING CO. CO-FOUNDER BEN SABEL STARTED A HOBBY IN HIGH SCHOOL BACK IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE. IT WAS STILL JUST A HOBBY UNTIL HE WENT TO THE OREGON BREWER’S FESTIVAL IN 2005 AND HAD HIS CRAFT BREWING EYES OPENED TO THE POSSIBILITY AND VIABILITY OF OPENING HIS OWN MICROBREWERY. He then began working at a microbrewery in Orange County, California, to hone his skills, while working on his business plan at night. He joined up with his best friend from high school, Jud Mulherin, who was working as an airplane mechanic in San Diego. They decided to move to Austin in 2008 to start the brewery. “We knew that Austin would be an ideal market for our brewery,” Sabel said. “We focus on making exceptional beer that uses only water, malt, hops, yeast
and absolutely nothing else. By not filtering, adding chemicals, adjuncts or clarifying agents, we endeavor to make better beer, and we knew that Austinites would particularly appreciate our beer and our brewing philosophy as a result.” Local Austinites have shown their appreciation by making Circle Brewing a popular beer on taps at several eateries and bars, as well as in cans and bottles on retail shelves across central Texas. The beer critics have chimed in as 33
well, and Circle Brewery won Gold Medal at the World Beer Cup Awards for its Archetype Historical IPA.
Not surprisingly, Circle Brewing Co. is a proud GO TEXAN member.
ours in Austin was a natural fit. GO TEXAN does a great job of highlighting unique local businesses like ours and helping other Texans get to know who we are, what makes us special and why we’re proud to be a Texas craft brewer.”
“Texans are legendary for supporting other Texans and Texas businesses in general,” Sabel said. “With a focus on community engagement, developing a local following of fans who enjoy great beer, operating a business like
In an ever-increasingly competitive market, Circle Brewing knew they needed to step up their branding, so they worked with a local designer, Make & Matter, to launch a full company rebrand and create new can
designs for its packaged beers. Next year should prove to be an exciting one for the â€œIt has become more and more small company, as they are vital to embrace the need for currently fundraising to exceptional branding and purchase ranchland to build design that attracts customers the future home of Circle and differentiates your Brewing Co. There they plan on brand from the competition, incorporating a fully sustainable something that simply wasnâ€™t ecosystem that combines the case when we started seven farming and livestock with their years ago,â€? Sabel said. brewing production facility. They plan to have the new site Future goals include trying to secured by early 2018 and hold not only stay ahead of trends the groundbreaking shortly but also drive them. thereafter.
While Sabel states that he loves all of his “children” equally, he did share that his tastes do skew towards the hoppier side of beer. He points to their Lady Bird American IPA as his current favorite staple. “It’s got a fantastically tropical, dank and floral flavor to balance against a nice malt complexity,” Sabel said. “Lady Bird is the latest beer in our year-round lineup, and we’re looking to start canning it by the end of the year.” His all-time favorite beer is the one that’s won Circle Brewing Co. its 36
Gold Medal at the World Beer Cup last year, Archetype Historical IPA. “This beer was a three-and-a-halfyear labor of love for me,” he said. “Archetype recreates what an IPA actually used to taste like 300 years ago. We brew it in small batches every year and make it available in limited kegs and in bombersize bottles around our March anniversary.” If you’d like more information on their beers or to plan a trip to their brewery for a tour or to taste beers in their taproom, click here.
RECIPE: SPICY BRISKET SANDWICH This deliciously spicy brisket sandwich comes to us courtesy GO TEXAN member Salsa Maya. Brisket Ingredients: 2 tbsp. Salt 1 tbsp. Garlic powder 1 tbsp. Onion powder 1 tbsp. Ground black pepper 1 tbsp. Sugar 2 tsp. Dry mustard 1 Bay leaf, crushed 4 lbs. Beef brisket, trimmed 1 1/2 cups Beef stock Brisket Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Make a dry rub by combining salt, garlic and onion powders, black pepper, sugar, dry mustard and bay leaf. 3. Season the raw brisket on both sides with the rub. Place in a roasting pan and roast, uncovered, for 1 hour. 4. Add beef stock and enough water to yield about 1/2 inch of liquid in the roasting pan. 5. Lower oven to 300 degrees F, cover pan tightly and continue cooking for 3 hours, or until fork-tender.
Sandwich Ingredients: 1 bottle Your favorite BBQ sauce 4 lbs. Brisket, chopped 1 Large red onion 1 jar Pickles 8 Hamburger buns 1 jar Salsa Maya Sandwich Directions: 1. Mix 1/2 of the BBQ sauce in with the chopped brisket until itâ€™s completely coated. 2. Thinly slice the red onion. 3. Assemble the sandwich and top it all off with Salsa Maya.
like cipes rg e r r othe an.o Find at gotex this
SPOT THE GO TEXAN MARK CHALLENGE Want a fun way to share the best of Texas with the world? Itâ€™s easy! GO TEXAN uses social media tools like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to post GO TEXAN events, share member news and increase awareness of the wide variety of products grown and made right here in the Lone Star State.
Challenge: If you spot the GO TEXAN mark, let us know. Send us a picture of the mark on a product, sign or printed materials, and tell us where you saw it. Be sure to use the GO TEXAN hashtag (#GOTEXAN) when you post, so we can easily share your message, or send us an email.
UPCOMING TEXAS EVENTS September 14-17: Grapefest, Grapevine September 29-October 22: State Fair of Texas, Dallas September 29: Kiolbassa & Kabernet, Fredericksburg October 1-31: Texas Wine Month Events, All Over Texas! October 5-8: Gruene Music & Wine Fest, Gruene October 6-8: Oktoberfest, Fredericksburg October 20-22: Yorktown Western Days Festival, Yorktown October 22: The United Estates of Texas Wine Festival, Florence October 28: Barbeque on the Pedernales at the LBJ Ranch, Stonewall 41
About GO TEXAN
Launched in 1999 by the Texas Department of Agriculture, GO TEXAN, with its signature mark in the shape of Texas, celebrates, promotes and supports the business savvy and plainspoken grit Texas agriculture is known for throughout the world. Whether it’s grown, sewn or served up on a plate, nearly 27 million Texans shop, travel and dine out in support of Texas businesses, agriculture and communities, looking for the GO TEXAN mark to light the way. To learn more about the GO TEXAN program, call (877) 99-GOTEX or visit the GO TEXAN website. Tell others about GO TEXAN! One great and easy way is to forward them this publication. All your friends have to do to is click here to subscribe, and they’ll start receiving the Go Local. GO TEXAN. free monthly e-zine.
About the Texas Department of Agriculture
TDA’s mission is to partner with all Texans to make Texas the nation’s leader in agriculture, fortify our economy, empower rural communities, promote healthy lifestyles, and cultivate winning strategies for rural, suburban and urban Texas through exceptional service and the common threads of agriculture in our daily lives. 42