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Pecan Pie Named Texas State Pie, Plus 8 More Official State Oddities

The Texas House of Representatives named pecan pie as the state's official pie on Wednesday.

State Rep. Marsha Farney (R-Georgetown) sponsored the resolution. She's a first-year representative and this was her first bill.

So, despite the simplicity of the topic, other lawmakers gave her a hard time in a sort of rite of passage. They asked for amendments including making it illegal to use chocolate in the recipe and requiring only Texas pecans be used in pecan pies statewide.

In honor of the resolution’s approval, the state Capitol served pecan pie for dessert. The Texas Senate approved a similar resolution last month.

It got us thinking – what other, perhaps strange, things have been declared "officially" Texan?

  • State Sport – You guessed it: football. And you were wrong. The official state sport of Texas is: the rodeo.
  • State Tall Ship – The Elissa is the “Tall Ship” of Texas, a 19-sailed Scottish ship that dates back to the late 19th century, now housed in the port of Galveston.It's one of the oldest genuine sailboats in commission. In case you were wondering, we do have a state ship, as well: the battleship U.S.S. Texas.
    Credit The City of Galveston

  • State Dinosaur – The fossils from Paluxyaurus jonesi date back to at least 95 million years ago, but were only recently found in the mid-80’s along the Paluxy River near the Jones Ranch (hence the name) 85 miles southwest of Dallas. At 70 feet long and 12 feet high at the shoulder this gentle giant was one of the largest creatures to ever roam the earth, its gigantic size makes it a fittingly Texan breed.
  • State Bread – It’s not Mrs. Baird’s. It’s cowboy boy bread: a quick, easy baking powder-based bread that cooks quickly in our state's official cooking instrument, the Dutch oven.
  • State Pepper(s) – The chiltepin is a small but potent pepper found in Texas and throughout the southwest. Hotter than our official non-native pepper, the jalapeno, the chiltepin is comparable to a habanero and can frequently be found in our state dish, chili.
  • State Dog Breed – The Blue Lacy herds and hunts with the speed of a greyhound, the nose of a scent-hound, with a little dash of coyote thrown in for good measure. Bred by brothers Harry, George, Ewin and Frank Lacy in 1858, the breed was a fixture on Texas farms and ranches for years. The Lacy family later donated granite for a new state capitol in the 1880s.

  • State Epic Poem – While the Lone Star State doesn’t have a state poem, we do have an epic-length poem by 20th century poet and journalist John Worth Cloud called “The Legend of Old Stone Ranch.” Luckily for Texas students, the 400-page poem is not required reading for Texas schools.
  • State Vehicle – Surprisingly, it’s not a truck. The chuckwagon was proclaimed the official state vehicle in 2005 for its utility among cattle ranchers in the 19th century, carrying equipment, the ranchers themselves and even food. It’s just further proof that Texans love food trucks.

Have any other official state oddities? Anything you think deserves state official recognition? Let us know in the comments!

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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