Reliably Austin
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Streaming troubles? We've made changes. Please click here on for more information.

Would You Like Some Tortillas With Your Barbecue?

Image via Flickr/David Boté Estrada (CC BY-SA 2.0)
In Texas, it would make sense if barbecue places served meat with tortillas instead of white bread.

From Texas Standard:

Anyone who eats barbecue in Texas has been there: stand in line, order your meat – meat that many have raised to an art if not a religion. When the meal is slapped on the counter, you get this question: bread or crackers? There's an option that rarely comes up in barbecue joints: tortillas.

Where there’s smoke, there’s Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly’s barbecue editor. He points out that there’ve been tortillas in Texas for centuries so why aren’t they on the 'cue menu?


"White bread was one of those things on the grocery store shelves when the meat markets were selling out in the back," Vaughn says. "It was something that easily could be ripped open and served along with the barbecue."

People selling meat would give away the bread with it, so they'd opt for the cheapest option they could get, he says.

"I don't dislike spongy white bread, it's good with barbecue," he says. "There's just something about tortillas that makes more sense."

Vaughn says he's heard of Polish tacos, when people roll up meat or a sausage in a piece of bread. "A tortilla seems more appropriate for Texas," Vaughn says. "A pig in a Mexican blanket."

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Emily Donahue is a former grants writer for KUT. She previously served as news director and helped launch KUT’s news department in 2001.
Related Content