Students want tortilla chips and salsa named Official Texas State Snack. Amid a slew of bills addressing conservative social reform, one South Texas lawmaker was thinking about snacking.
State Rep. Kino Flores, on the second day of filing bills to be addressed during the upcoming legislative session, filed House Concurrent Resolution No. 16 to make tortilla chips and salsa the official state snack. The move comes after some second-grade students at Leo Marcell Elementary School in Mission decided Texas needed a state snack. They went to Flores, D-Mission, with their idea. Tortilla chips and salsa became the official state snack when Governor Rick Perry signed House Concurrent Resolution No. 16 on June 22, 2003.
A tortilla chip is a snack food made from corn tortillas, which are cut into wedges and then fried- or baked(alternatively they may be discs pressed out of corn masa then fried or baked). Corn tortillas are made of corn, vegetable oil, salt and water. Although first mass-produced in Los Angeles in the late 1940s, tortilla chips were always considered to be a Mexican food, known as tostados. Though usually made of yellow corn, they can also be made of white, blue, or red corn.
The triangle shaped tortilla chip was popularized by Rebecca Webb Carranza as a way to make use of misshapen tortillas rejected from the automated tortilla manufacturing machine that she and her husband used at their Mexican delicatessen and tortilla factory in southwest Los Angeles. Carranza found that the discarded tortillas, cut into triangles and fried, were a popular snack, and she sold them for a dime a bag at the El Zarape Tortilla Factory. In 1994, Carranza received the Golden Tortilla award for her contribution to the Mexican food industry.
Salsa is the Spanish term for sauce, it also comes from spanish roots, and in English-speaking countries usually refers to the sauces typical of Mexican cuisine, particularly those used as dips. They are often tomato-based, although many are not, and they are typically piquant, ranging from extremely hot to not hot at all.
House Concurrent Resolution No. 16, 78th Legislature, Regular Session (2003) 78R287 MMS-D
By: Flores H.C.R. No. 16
WHEREAS, The State of Texas has customarily recognized a
variety of official state symbols as tangible representations of
the state's historical and cultural heritage; and
WHEREAS, Like the square dance, the guitar, and the rodeo,
tortilla chips and salsa are deeply rooted in Texas tradition and
enjoy popularity throughout the length and breadth of the state;
stocked in countless kitchens, they are brought out for solitary
refreshment and for social gatherings of virtually every
description and level of formality; and
WHEREAS, The primary ingredients of chips and salsa have
nourished the people of this land for centuries; corn, peppers, and
tomatoes all originated in the Western Hemisphere and were being
cultivated by Native Americans along the Rio Grande when the
Spaniards, who introduced onions to the New World, arrived in
Texas; tortillas, developed in prehistoric times by the Indians of
Latin America, have likewise long been a staple in parts of the
WHEREAS, In addition to their traditional importance as a
foodstuff, peppers, onions, and tomatoes have played a significant
role in Texas folk medicine, and their value in fighting illness is
being increasingly recognized by modern science; and
WHEREAS, Together with corn, these three plants also play a
notable economic role in the state; in recent years, onions have
ranked as the number one cash truck crop in Texas, while corn has
accounted for about five percent of the state's agricultural
economy; nationwide in 2000, Texas ranked 1st in the production of
jalapeno peppers, 4th in the production of onions, and 16th in the
production of tomatoes, while a 2002 report ranks the state 10th in
the production of corn; and
WHEREAS, The importance of these crops in Texas is reflected
by such celebrations as the annual Corn Festival in Holland, Hot
Pepper Festival in Palestine, and Tomato Festival in Jacksonville,
as well as onion festivals in Noonday, Presidio, and Weslaco; salsa
itself enjoys a starring role at the Three Rivers Salsa Festival and
at other hotly contested competitions in Houston and Austin; and
WHEREAS, Spectacular sales figures underscore what Texans
already know: that tortilla chips and salsa enjoy popularity
ratings in the stratosphere; moreover, Texas chip and salsa plants
now command a major share of their respective national markets;
joining the state's oldest and largest salsa manufacturer, which
began production in San Antonio in 1947, smaller new salsa firms
continue to spring up, often inspired by a cherished family recipe
and encouraged by Texans' insatiable demand for this zesty
WHEREAS, Folk foods that have become commercial giants, chips
and salsa stand out among Texas snacks because of their historic
origins and universal appeal; embraced today by Texans of every
ethnic background, they constitute a much-savored part of our
shared cultural identity; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 78th Legislature of the State of Texas
hereby designate tortilla chips and salsa as the official State
Snack of Texas.
Tortilla chips and salsa was named the official state snack of of Texas by House Concurrent Resolution and is not, therefore, listed in the Texas Statutes.