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The Bend Magazine

Foodways: The Culinary Traditions of Aransas County

04/30/2019 03:40PM ● By Jessie Monsivais
By: Jessie Monsivais

Friday, May 17th, authors Kay Betz and Vickie Merchant will be hosting a book launch at The Friends of the History Center for Aransas County for "Foodways: The Culinary Traditions of Aransas County," a commemoration of Rockport-Fulton's food related history.

Remembering treasured cafes, diners, drive-ins and restaurants, the book introduces readers to photographs, menus, ads, and postcards some of which have never been printed, as well as artwork from artists including Kay Barnaby, Herb Booth, Popo Cosby, Lisa Baer Frederick, and the memories of those who worked and ate there.

The latest tome from the History Center chronicles the drama and color of the early entrepreneurs, who established cattle, turtle, fish, shrimp, oyster, and other seafood industries in Aransas County. It introduces readers to the spirited and resourceful people of the Live Oak, Lamar and Blackjack Peninsulas along with the Barrier Islands, who lived off the Bounty of Nature for generations.

Award-winning cookbook authors and food historians from the Coastal Bend, and throughout the state, define Aransas County cuisine highlighting important documented influences from Hispanic and Vietnamese culture, and milestones. Recipes from celebrated chefs and local cooks are also included, including GLOW’s Local Sea Salt and Mesquite Bean Syrup, Terry Thompson-Anderson’s St. Charles Bay Crab Cakes and Poached Eggs on Fried Green Tomatoes with Orange-Ginger Hollandaise Sauce, and Estelle Stair’s Shrimp Curry Dip.

The Friends of the History Center for Aransas County gathered together community remembrances thanks to the generosity of the Margaret Sue Rust Foundation. Book purchases benefit educational exhibits and programs of the History Center. The event will include a book signing with editors, Kay Betz and Vickie along with other numerous contributors.

The celebration falls on the fifth birthday of The History Center for Aransas County. Volunteers at The History Center curated 22 exhibits, hosted 45 unique programs, and collaborated with many other local and regional history and community organizations during the first five years. The event takes place on Friday, May 17, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and is free and open to anyone interested.

More information about this event, other book signings and online purchases can be found at and on the Center’s Facebookpage and you can order the book here!