Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 51
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were put in a jar, seventeen of the beans being black and the
others white. The Texans were made to draw and those drawing
black beans were immediately shot.
Neither black nor white beans have been very popular in
Texas since that time.
A horseback traveler in the Southwest in the early days, and
one who carefully observed and painstakingly wrote of what he
observed concerning the customs of the country, wrote as follows
concerning the importance of beans to the Mexican population:
Beans are to Mexicans what the bagpipes are to the Scotch
Highlanders. They fill them with elan. As soon as one party
of revolutionists in Mexico cuts off the beans of the other party,
an unconditional surrender follows. The bean called frijole is
the national berry of the Mexicans. Do not pronounce it "free-
jowls," however, if you want a Mexican to understand you.
There is one thing about the bean which the Mexican dislikes
very much. If he requires fresh meat, he can go out on the
prairie and shoot a yearling; if he needs a pony he can go out
and rope one, but when he wants beans he has to chastise the
earth with a hoe-an ignoble undertaking that no true hidalgo
should ever be caught at. (Sweet and Knox, On a Mexican
Mustang Through Texas.)
The Mexican knows his frijoles and knows how to cook
them, be it in camp or in the house. The Mexican wants his
beans cooked, and cooked thoroughly over a slow fire, not merely
boiled for a while and then dished up to rattle around in a tin
Here is the way one Mexican woman in the Southwest says
that she cooks her frijoles:
"Me buy frijoles at store. Soak all night. Cook all morning
over leetle wood fire. Me put plenty water and then salt when
start cooking. Cook long time and then some more. Then eat."
Simple, isn't it? What about the chili pepper, garlic, and
onion, et cetera, which the Latin taste is said to desire? These
important items of condiment are added to suit the individual's
taste. Of course this arrangement may be varied, and some cooks
may even add the seasoning as the cooking proceeds. Sometimes
the frijole menu is varied by taking the cooked beans and frying
them in a little fat, then mashing the beans and adding pepper.
The chili pepper is usually ground or cut up into fine pieces.
Here’s what’s next.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/59/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.