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Editor’s Note: Valley Roots

Editor’s Note: Valley Roots

This month’s story on Texas’ only native pepper, the chile pequin, originated from a conversation between our new senior editor, Danielle Lopez, and her father.

How the Founder of H-E-B Set Out to Bring Tennis to Everyone

How the Founder of H-E-B Set Out to Bring Tennis to Everyone

It’s a sunny afternoon in Kerrville, and a group of about half a dozen teenage boys and girls stand near the baseline of a tennis court at the H-E-B Tennis Center, located off State Highway 16.

Visit the Bootmaking Masters in the Birthplace of the Cowboy Boot

Visit the Bootmaking Masters in the Birthplace of the Cowboy Boot

In the world of custom cowboy boots, the Rio Grande Valley in particular is known for its bootmaking heritage, both for the number of bootmakers concentrated in the four-county area at the southern tip of Texas and for the high quality of their work. My purpose for this trip is to order custom boots from two of the Valley’s master bootmakers, Armando Duarte Rios in Raymondville and Henry Camargo in Mercedes.

Eat Your Way Through the Taco Capital of Texas at These 7 Taquerias

Eat Your Way Through the Taco Capital of Texas at These 7 Taquerias

The tacos you’ll find on Southmost come in three varieties: breakfast tacos, fried tacos, and beef tacos. Trying them all is essential. Breakfast tacos go by the name tortillas de harina because of the 10-inch flour tortillas they’re served in. They’re typically filled with ingredients as familiar as chorizo and eggs, or as regionally specific as weenies (sliced Vienna sausages or hot dogs) and eggs. Fried tacos, like tacos dorados (deep-fried folded corn tortillas) and flautas (rolled and fried), are also popular—some are drowned in salsa, earning the moniker ahogados. Most prevalent are the beef preparations like barbacoa, bistek (thinly sliced), fajita, and mollejas (sweetbreads). They’re generally smaller in size and served in orders of three to six—closer to what most Americans would recognize as “street tacos.”

Head South to Indulge in the Valley’s Signature Summer Treat

Head South to Indulge in the Valley’s Signature Summer Treat

The surest sign that summer has arrived in the Rio Grande Valley is the line at the raspa stand stretching around the block. While the shaved-ice concoctions have caught on in cities across Texas, the Valley remains the undisputed mecca. At roadside stands in every city and town—no matter how small—you can find flavors that range from classic mango and creamy tres leches to extreme, Instagram-worthy delicacies topped with gummy bears, Oreos, Kool-Aid powder, or even pickles.

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Preparedness

We care deeply about our readers and we hope you take every precaution to remain safe as the slow-moving Tropical Storm Harvey threatens our Gulf Coast with heavy winds and flood waters.

On Valley Time

On Valley Time

When I told my wife, Laura, about my idea of a road trip across the Rio Grande Valley, she was initially skeptical.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Today kicks off the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a chance to celebrate the many ways Hispanic Americans, who were among the original Texans, have enriched our society.

Pumphouse Power

Pumphouse Power

With the toll booths of the Hidalgo-McAllen-Reynosa International Bridge straight ahead, I veer left to the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse Museum & World Birding Center.

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