Texas used to be an independent republic before joining the United States in 1845. Among other things Texas does differently from the rest of the country, I wonder if it should also have its own food pyramid. Rather than using the standard USDA food pyramid, with grains and vegetables at the base, the foundation of the Texan food pyramid would be MEAT.
Meat is so important in Texas cuisine that it’s not enough to just eat fried chicken. People here also eat fried steak. (Not to mention fried pickles, fried okra, fried Twinkies, and a whole slew of other things you never thought could be fried.)
How, do you ask, does one fry steak? A thin cut of beefsteak (usually a less expensive cut) is tenderized, breaded in a seasoned flour, and then deep fried. Apparently it is called “chicken fried” steak because it is cooked in oil that has already been used to fry chicken.
It is really not too dissimilar from Austrian wiener schnitzel (which is made from veal), and indeed the speculated origins of Texan chicken fried steak are 19th century Austrian and German immigrants to Texas.
Chicken fried steak (aka “CFS”) is typically served with pepper cream gravy (because, clearly, there weren’t enough calories in there already) and – in accordance with the Texas food pyramid – a token side serving of vegetables.