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What My Father Taught Me About Texas Barbecue, and Being a Dad

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What My Father Taught Me About Texas Barbecue, and Being a Dad

What My Father Taught Me About Texas Barbecue, and Being a Dad

Gabriel H. Sanchez

My mother often jokes that her children’s first taste of barbecue was in the womb.

It’s the food my father would bring home every night to their tiny apartment in Lockhart, Texas, after working shifts in a nearby barbecue pit.

A pair of Big Red sodas and a paper bag stained dark with the fragrant grease of beef ribs and smoked brisket heralded the arrival of a true Southern feast for this young couple about to have their first child — me.

In Lockhart, a small city just south of Austin, Texas, barbecue is still the feast of choice. Anywhere friends and family meet, butcher paper unfurls to reveal a mosaic of smoked meats and pickled jalapeños, juicy links of sausage that snap into a savory crumble, nestled between foam cups of potato salad, frijoles and baked mac — and always served with a stack of white bread and warm tortillas.

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Twenty-five years ago, state lawmakers declared Lockhart the Barbecue Capital of Texas, in acknowledgment of its four historic smokehouses and their contributions to the tradition of Texas barbecue.

Recipe: Smoked Prime Rib

Lockhart is also the place five generations of my family have called home. Many of them — uncles, cousins, in-laws — have tended the fires at Kreuz Market, which has served Texans for more than a century.

What My Father Taught Me About Texas Barbecue, and Being a Dad

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