Texas caviar is a dish created by Helen Corbitt in 1940. It is a dip that can also be consumed as an appetizer and a snack, according to Victoria Haneveer’s article.
Texas Caviar Trivia
- Texas caviar is also called cowboy caviar.
- According to Judith Choate, in the book The Might Bean, Texas caviar is also referred to as the “Poor Man’s Caviar.”
- Lisa Childs, in the book The “I Love My Instant Pot®” Cooking for One Recipe Book, referred to Texas caviar as “Corn and Black Bean Salsa.”
- An online news article discussed the #CowboyCaviar trend in Tiktok, a popular social media platform, wherein people posted videos of them eating Texas caviar.
Texas Caviar Buying Guide
- If you are buying ready-to-eat Texas caviar, you can find them on the aisle with shelves that display canned, pickled, or preserved foods.
- Ready-to-eat Texas caviar is available in big supermarkets and grocery stores in Texas. Local businesses that make Texas caviar sell this on farmers’ markets or other pop-up selling venues. If you can’t go to the farmers market or do groceries, you can also order ready-to-eat Texas caviar online via different e-commerce websites.
- When buying ready-to-eat Texas caviar, check the packaging. Make sure there is no damage or anything that suggests the contents inside have been compromised and rendered unsafe to consume. Check if the plastic seal around the lid or cover is intact. Inspect the contents inside (glass jars and food containers are usually transparent or see-through, allowing you to see the contents inside).
- When buying ready-to-eat Texas caviar, we recommend you go local! There are many small, local, artisanal businesses that make small-batch Texas caviar, usually made using ingredients sourced from local farmers and growers.
Texas Caviar Production & Farming in Texas
Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals
From the original recipe consisting of just black-eyed peas, garlic, onion, vinegar, and oil, modern versions of the Texas caviar also featured a variety of different additives, like cilantro, serrano pepper, red bell pepper, salt, black pepper, lettuce, cabbage, corn, and bits of pork, beef, chicken, and fish.
Make sure to wash your fresh ingredients because vegetables harvested from farms that do not practice organic farming could have trace amounts of pesticides used on crops.
Ready-t0-eat Texas caviar may contain additives, like guar gum, artificial color, artificial flavor(s), and preservatives.
Processed ingredients like canned beans may contain additives.
Texas caviar was created in Texas. Food companies based outside of Texas also make Texas caviar. E-commerce websites make it possible for ready-to-eat Texas caviar to be delivered anywhere in the US. Big e-commerce websites can even deliver an order of ready-to-eat Texas caviar anywhere in the world. There are restaurants outside of Texas that serve Texas caviar. Cowgirl Hall of Fame Restaurant in New York has Texas caviar on the menu, as well as Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que in Orlando, Florida, and Jack’s BBQ in Seattle.
H-E-B Central Market sells Texas caviar in a plastic tub. There are brands of ready-to-eat Texas caviar or cowboy caviar sold in glass jars.
Enjoying Texas Caviar
Texas caviar is best consumed as a dip for tortilla chips.
It was first served at the Houston Country Club on New Year’s Eve. Since then, Texas caviar has become a Texas New Year’s Eve celebration favorite. Sherrie S. McLeRoy, in the book Texas Women First: Leading Ladies of Lone Star History, described Texas caviar as a “staple of many a New Year’s buffet.”
Texas caviar is great for picnics, potlucks, or barbecues. Texas caviar, according to April McKinney, in the book The Outdoor Table: The Ultimate Cookbook for Your Next Backyard BBQ, Front-Porch Meal, Tailgate, or Picnic, is also a “tailgating staple” and an “addictive game-day delicacy.”
Put leftover Texas caviar in a food container with a lid and store it in the refrigerator. Make sure to eat the leftover in the next two days. On the third day, the vegetables will begin to break down because of the dressing and it is not as pleasant or satisfying to eat compared to freshly-made Texas caviar. Keep the lid close so that the Texas caviar does not absorb the odor present inside the refrigerator coming from other refrigerated items.
Freezing it will keep it edible, but it will not be as good as freshly-made Texas caviar since the freezing and reheating has already affected many ingredients to the point that it has become unappealing as a food.
In an online article, Victoria Haneveer described Texas caviar as a ” salad/salsa hybrid”
Sherrie S. McLeRoy, in the book Texas Women First: Leading Ladies of Lone Star History, explained how easy it is to make Texas caviar: “Start with black-eyed peas for good luck. Then you add a little garlic – just a hint, don’t overpower the peas – and some diced white onion and then lightly bathe it all in vinegar and oil.”
Today, there are many different recipes available online that can help you make your own Texas caviar.
Don’t confuse Texas caviar with another popular bean-based Texas dish which is cowboy beans. Texas caviar is a salad, while cowboy beans is more similar to a chili dish. Texas caviar is usually made of black-eyed peas, while cowboy beans is usually made of pinto beans. Texas caviar takes its flavor from a vinaigrette-style dressing while cowboy beans is cooked in barbecue sauce or ketchup along with other savory-tasting herbs and spices.
Black-eyed peas, the main ingredient of Texas caviar, are packed with calcium, folate, protein, fiber, and vitamin A. Black-eyed peas are rich in polyphenols. This helps the body fight diseases and protects the cell from cell damage.