Georgia and TexasGeorgia and Texas are both part of the “American South” or the “Dixie” which is considered as one of the most unique areas among all the American states. This part of the United States is endowed with rich history, traditions and cuisine. Because of their location, the geography and climate of Georgia and Texas are both suitable for growing different crops and grazing animals.
More so, the natural resources available in the region have helped in shaping the distinct cultures and customs of these two U.S states. Aside from this, the South is also known for their historical significance and experiences. Since the time of slavery and the proliferation of discrimination, the South has continuously evolved in becoming a developed and enterprising region. “Although the South as a whole defies stereotyping, it is nonetheless known for entrenched political conservatism, for its Calvinist religion called ‘fundamentalism’ and for vestiges of nostalgia toward the old rural South” (Knowledgerush.
com, 2003).As a native of Texas, I grew up in the eastern part of the state in Tyler. My childhood here was filled with joy and laughter. Because of the memories I had with my family and friends, Texas would always have a special place in my heart. In 2007, I moved to Georgia because I was assigned in Warner Robins by the Air Force. Living in a new state required a lot of changes. Georgia is quite different from Texas in terms of land area and population wherein the latter is bigger and wider than the former.
Texas is known as the “Lone Star State.” As a major contributor in the cattle industry, Texas was popularized as the cowboy city where horses, cattle, ranches and cowboy fashion dominate the scenery (iloveindia.com, 2008). Meanwhile, Georgia was labeled as the “Peach State” because this state is the topmost producer of peaches. Also, it hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics that was held in Atlanta (50states.com, 2009). Moreover, in terms of influences Georgia is purely Southern while Texas is a mix of Mexican and Southern.
Because of this difference, these two states have generated diverse customs and practices that make Georgia and Texas unique in their own right. But for me, there is no place like home. Texas would always be my special abode that would forever linger in my consciousness.One of the reasons that I fell in love with Texas is because of its world-renown barbecue. It is one of the tastiest and scrumptious fares I have ever eaten in my life. Barbecue is a common type of cooking meats but in every region across the globe, the smoky taste varies due to the difference in preferences and ingredients. In Texas, there are four principal barbecue styles that varies in the ingredients, tastes, cooking methods and lastly cultural background.
There are the East Texas barbecue, Central Texas barbecue, Texas Ranching Tradition and Texas barbecue. Among the four, I definitely love Texas barbecue. Originally, this style came from the “Texas Ranching Tradition but was developed in the western third of the state by Anglo ranchers.
” This “cowboy” style barbecue utilizes an open pit with “ direct heat from mesquite.” It is through this method that the proteins are cooked. Usually, the kind of meats that are barbecued in this style are mainly beef with popular cuts such as the “shoulder clods and brisket.” Aside from this, goat and mutton meat are also used for the Texas barbecue (Walsh, 2002).
Since Texas is believed to be a beef territory, the barbecue sauces are aptly made to complement the beefy taste of the smoked meat. Commonly, the sauce is a bit spicier compared to the sauces of other states and the mixture is mainly composed of “ketchup and Worcestershire” (bbq-sauces.com, 2009).Meanwhile, in Georgia, barbecued meats are generally pork based. Like Texas barbecue, it also has several style variations namely the “East Georgia barbecue, Northeast Georgia barbecue and West Georgia barbecue.
” Normally, the Georgia barbecue is cooked in a gradual manner in an open pit. Oak or hickory wood are used to give added flavor. Then, it is usually served with “a spicy, tomato-based sauce.” The favorite cuts of pork meat are the shoulder and “Boston Butt.” To enhance the barbecue flavor, the traditional “Memphis-style sauce” is used which is more complex than the traditional Texas barbecue sauce.
The “Memphis-style sauce” is composed of “ketchup, molasses, bourbon, garlic, cayenne pepper, and other ingredients.” Traditionally, the port Georgia barbecue is served with side dishes such as “mustard-based potato salad or mayonnaise-dressing coleslaw.” There is also an unusual dish that is eaten together with the barbecue and it is called Brunswick stew named after Brunswick, Georgia (bbq-sauces.com, 2009). On the other hand, Texas barbecue is preferred to be eaten on its own to really savor the barbecue taste.
According to some people, eating the barbecue alone is enough to fill their taste buds and appetite. Also, it is easier and faster to cook than the Georgia barbecue. Because of these qualities and the fact that I am a beef lover, I prefer Texas barbecue than Georgia barbecue. Whenever I consume this delectable delicacy, I always feel that I am at home providing me with a sense of comfort.Aside from food, Texas is also abundant in natural reserves particularly oil reserves.
This state had been labeled as the home of the “modern oil industry.” According to the U.S Department of Energy, “oil is the lifeblood of America’s economy.” This commodity caters to the country’s over 40% energy demand. Also, oil supplies the fuel in powering vehicles (U.S. Department of Energy, 2009).
Compared to Georgia, Texas is the supplier of oil while Georgia is the consumer of energy, in fact it is believed to be one of the highest users of electricity. Georgia produces energy from coal rather than oil (Energy Information Center, 2009). Texas has “petroleum deposits of about 5 billion barrels (790,000,000 m3), which makes up approximately one-fourth of the known U.S. Reserves.” More so, the biggest petroleum companies can be found in this state such as “Conoco-Phillips, Exxon-Mobil, Halliburton, Valero, and Marathon Oil” ( Energy Information Center, 2009).
Another thing that I miss about Texas is the atmosphere of competitiveness in the form of the American football. This sport has dominated the sport scene for several years; as such, it has been known as the “king of the state” (Brady, 2008). There are two professional football teams in Texas which are Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans who both have acquired several championship trophies. From high school to college, football is still the number one choice for many individuals. Because of this great enthusiasm for football, almost all of the games are packed with fans cheering on their beloved home teams. When I attended the John Tyler vs. Robert E. Lee game, an estimated 20, 000 people were present.
This particular experience was filled with fun and excitement. The energy that came out from that enormous amount of people was just revitalizing and exhilarating. On the other hand, I had a different experience when I attended a football game in Georgia. I watched the Northside Warner Robin vs. Warner Robins game which was supposed to be the biggest rivalry game at that time.
Given the intense competition between the two teams, a number of fans were expected to attend but only 9,000 were present. This figure is definitely lower than the number of attendees of football games in Texas. Furthermore, this football outcome negates the claim of many Georgians about Georgia being a big football state.Overall, Texas and Georgia may look like that they have a lot in common because both states are located at the southern region of the states. They may share similar geography and demographics but as an individual who was born in Texas, I think that Texas has a lot more to offer than Georgia. For years, this place has become witness to my personal and professional growth. This is the main reason why I cannot easily let go of all the Texas customs and practices. Meanwhile as a current resident of Georgia, I think it will take a while before I can fully embrace the distinct culture of Georgia.
But for now, Texas had won me all over again.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;References50states.com. (2009). Georgia Facts and Trivia. Retrieved June 17, 2009, from http://www.
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usatoday.com/sports/college/2003-04-03-texas-double_x.htmEnergy Information Center. (2009, June 4).
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energy.gov/energysources/oil.htmWalsh, R. (2002).
Legends Of The Texas Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes And Recollections From The Pit Bosses. US: Chronicle Books.;;;;