"Texas Red" chili; photo by Jamiepatra on Flickr (non-commercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).
Official State Dish of Texas
Chili was recognized as the official state dish of Texas in 1977 (House Concurrent Resolution No. 18, 65th Legislature). Texas Legislature proclaimed chili the state dish "in recognition of the fact that the only real 'bowl of red' is that prepared by Texans." All State Foods
Texans claim that chili originated in their state, which is hotly contested by New Mexicans. Other rivalries between states involve recipes (of course), but even semantics; New Mexicans use the word "chili" to describe the plant, the pod, and various dishes made with chili peppers, while to Texans, the word "chili" is a very specific culinary dish.
House Concurrent Resolution
WHEREAS, One cannot be a true son or daughter of this state without having his taste buds tingle at the thought of the treat that is real, honest-to-goodness, unadulterated Texas chili; and
WHEREAS, Texans continue today the tradition begun in San Antonio 140 years ago of making the best and only authentic concoction of this piquant delicacy; and
WHEREAS, President Lyndon B. Johnson commented that "chili concocted outside of Texas is a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing," and Will Rogers described Texas chili as "the bowl of blessedness"; and
WHEREAS, Texas has been the site of the annual International Chili Cook-Off since 1967 and is the home of the 1976 World Champion Chili Cooker, Albert Agnor, of Marshall; and
WHEREAS, It is customary for the legislature to designate certain state emblems in recognition of this state's great heritage and rich resources; and
WHEREAS, The beauty of Texas trees and flowers is represented by the pecan and bluebonnet and the mockingbird is emblematic of our abundant and varied wildlife, but the internationally esteemed cuisine of this great state had received no official recognition and has no official symbol; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the State of Texas, the Senate concurring, That the 65th Legislature in recognition of the fact that the only real "bowl of red" is that prepared by Texans, hereby proclaims chili as the "State Dish of Texas."