Searching for the best food the state has to offer, plus authentic Texas recipes and restaurant reviews for Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso, and everywhere in between.

Blue Bell Issued a Recall After Three Deaths Were Linked to the Brenham Creamery

Bacteria found on a single production line in Blue Bell’s Brenham creamery has been linked to five illnesses, resulting in three deaths, that have occurred over the past year in a Kansas hospital. As a result, Blue Bell issued the first recall in the company’s 108-year history on Saturday.

The bacteria that was found on the production line in Brenham is called Listeria monocytogene, which is usually transmitted through contaminated food, especially dairy products. The illness it causes is called listeriosis, which developed in the five patients. The Blue Bell outbreak is the first one of 2015.

The five reported cases of listeriosis all occurred in a single hospital, Via Christi, in Wichita, Kansas, and all of the infected patients were older adults, a group at higher risk of severe listeriosis complications. Each of the affected patients was already in the hospital for unrelated issues, and symptoms of the bacterial infection started developing between January 2014 and January 2015, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control.

Chico and the Postman

Last October, as Leila Melendez navigated her way through El Paso International Airport, she stopped and noted how heavy her suitcase was and began to laugh. She laughed because inside her luggage, alongside toiletries and changes of clothes, were items that would have baffled anyone who wasn’t from El Paso: twenty pounds of chorizo, asadero cheese, and tortillas from Barron’s Superette, in El Paso’s Mission Valley neighborhood.

Crawfish

Louisiana may have a lock on boiled crawfish, but Houston happens to be home to a variation on that bayou tradition that makes people go cray: Viet-Cajun crawfish, a love child of two Gulf Coast communities whose penchant for highly seasoned aquatic creatures is just one of many things they have in common (fishing culture, rice farming, the French connection).

Beer Babble: A Q&A With Saint Arnold’s Brock Wagner

If you want to meet the godfather of craft brewing in Texas, head to Houston. That’s where you’ll find Brock Wagner, the mild-mannered, straight-talking owner of Saint Arnold’s, which he proudly proclaims to be the oldest craft-brewery in the state. Wagner first came to Houston from Cincinnati, Ohio, to attend Rice University, and, while still in school, joined the local ranks of amateur brewers.

A Cattle Heist of Epic Proportions

As we reported here earlier this week 1,100 head of cattle worth around $1.4 million have vanished from a Panhandle dairy belonging to the Braum’s restaurant chain. The disappearance of the Holstein / Jersey calves was discovered during the company’s annual inventory at their 24,000-acre farm on the Oklahoma / Texas line east of Follett, about 125 miles northeast of Amarillo.

Tasting Notes: Winter Warmers

As the old Texas saying goes, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute. Winter’s grip on the state may be loosening—then tightening, then loosening, then tightening—but it’s not too late to enjoy some seasonal stouts and porters from our craft breweries.  

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