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BBQ vs. Chili: What should be the State Food of Texas?

Time to vote! Sign a statewide petition and share your opinion with Texas lawmakers: Should the state food of Texas be barbecue, or should chili keep the title?

Hi, my name is David Schechter. On Verify, I take real people along on reporting trips so they can ask their own questions and reach their own conclusions. We took a 1,500-mile RV road trip across Texas with a viewer who to help answer this question: Barbecue or chili, what should be the State Food of Texas?

Click one of the buttons below to sign a petition in favor of your choice for the state food of Texas: Is it chili? Or is it BBQ?

We traveled through Central Texas to learn about the heritage of barbecue. Then all the way down near Big Bend, to help judge the final round of the Terlingua International Chili Cookoff.

We shared our trip on Facebook Live to let you follow us every step of the way and ask some of your own questions. You can also still let your voice be heard by signing a petition (above) about what should be the State Food and we’ll hand them in to lawmakers.

With the trip over -- and with your help -- my guest decided what the state food should be: Barbecue or chili. Check out the video in the player above!


In defense of chili


David and Chad got to judge the final round of the Terlingua Chili Cookoff!


Lawmakers are hearing your voice! Rep. John Cyrier supports an effort to change Texas' State Food from chili to barbecue.


The team hit up Smitty's Market in Lockhart, the BBQ Capitol of Texas. How did it become the BBQ Capitol of Texas? Here's this from the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce website:

"On May 26, 1999 House Resolution #1024 was adopted by the 76th Texas Legislature naming Lockhart the 'Barbecue Capital of Texas', then by the Sentate in the Fall of 2003. No visit to Lockhart would be complete without eating BBQ at one of our 'World Famous' BBQ Restaurants!"

Lockhart has four major barbecue establishments and, barbecue is a big part of the local economy.

"It draws tourists from all over the United States and the world," said Nina Sells, who owns Smitty's. "We have visitors from other countries quite often."

The journey began Wednesday morning at Pecan Lodge in Dallas, where we interviewed Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn.

Before You Leave, Check This Out