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Would You Like Some Tortillas With Your Barbecue?

In Texas, it would make sense if barbecue places served meat with tortillas instead of white bread.
Image via Flickr/David Boté Estrada (CC BY-SA 2.0)
In Texas, it would make sense if barbecue places served meat with tortillas instead of white bread.

From Texas Standard:Anyone who eats barbecue in Texas has been there: stand in line, order your meat – meat that many have raised to an art if not a religion. When the meal is slapped on the counter, you get this question: bread or crackers? There's an option that rarely comes up in barbecue joints: tortillas.

Where there’s smoke, there’s  Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly’s  barbecue editor. He points out that there’ve been  tortillas in Texas for centuries so why aren’t they on the 'cue menu?


"White bread was one of those things on the grocery store shelves when the meat markets were selling out in the back," Vaughn says. "It was something that easily could be ripped open and served along with the barbecue."

People selling meat would give away the bread with it, so they'd opt for the cheapest option they could get, he says.

"I don't dislike spongy white bread, it's good with barbecue," he says. "There's just something about tortillas that makes more sense."

Vaughn says he's heard of Polish tacos, when people roll up meat or a sausage in a piece of bread. "A tortilla seems more appropriate for Texas," Vaughn says. "A pig in a Mexican blanket."

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Copyright 2020 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

Emily Donahue is KUT’s news director. She has spent more than two decades in broadcast journalism and launched KUT’s news department in 2001. Previously, Emily was part of the Peabody-award winning team at Marketplace as producer of the Marketplace Morning Report. Since coming to KUT, Emily has overseen a doubling of the news staff and content, the accumulation of more than 50 local, national and international awards for journalistic excellence and served on several boards, including the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and as a member of the 2011 Texas Association of Broadcasters Open Government Task Force. Emily lives in Austin and is currently working on her Master’s in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.