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My first taste of the Texas cheese renaissance came at a farmers market in Dallas, where I nibbled a bite of Veldhuizen Texas Farmstead Cheese from Dublin. “This cheddar is made in Texas?” I exclaimed, shocked at how much it reminded me of flavorful cheeses from Wisconsin and England.

Published in TRAVEL

Photo by J. Griffis Smith Driving to Fredericksburg from the east on US 290, it’s easy to notice that spring adores the Hill Country: This oak-studded landscape is a hot spot for wildflowers—bluebonnets, firewheels, black-eyed Susans, and others color the vistas like a painting come to life, while roadside stands open in anticipation of peaches, tomatoes, blackberries, and other seasonal bounty coming to market.

Published in FOOD & DRINK

Del Norte proprietor Chris Garcia retrieves the smoked peppers that define one of his signature dishes. (Photo by J. Griffis Smith)

My first visit to Del Norte Tacos in the railroad town of Godley, southwest of Fort Worth, came about as I joined a volunteer group from Granbury in their celebration of a successful early summer event. The directions were given with almost-apologetic nuance: “It’s not a big place. Parking is better around back. It sits close to the highway.”

Published in FOOD & DRINK

After a strenuous day paddling or rafting the Rio Grande, participants in Far Flung Outdoor Center’s river trips enjoy a meal with a view. (Photo by J. Griffis Smith)As a longtime Texan and adventuresome traveler, I’ve enjoyed a long fascination with the Chihuahuan Desert region of far West Texas, with its rugged terrain and spiked branches of red-tipped ocotillo reaching to sprawling blue skies. I have always wanted to experience the Big Bend by floating the Rio Grande through the weathered, limestone walls of Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park, but the stars have never aligned—until recently.

Published in FOOD & DRINK

CocoaModa owner Ken Wilkinson calls chocolate one of life's greatest pleasures. (Photo by J. Griffis Smith)Flamboyant characters like former Brit Ken Wilkinson, who arrived in the sleepy Brazos Valley town of Calvert a few years ago to build a world-class chocolate shop, tend to start tongues wagging.

Published in FOOD & DRINK
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