Random Ephemera

Apparently Houston Is Very Nontraditional When It Comes to July 4th Food

Oodles of multicultural grocery items line Central Market's shelves.
Oodles of multicultural grocery items line Central Market's shelves. Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp
Houston residents aren't really concerned with All-American food on Independence Day, according to a recent study by grocery delivery service Instacart, anyway. According to the company, which compiled data on American shoppers leading up to the Fourth of July, Houston ranks among the bottom five in its first-ever “All American Index," but that's a good thing.

That seems to indicate that the city is truly too diverse or busy to concern itself with stereotypical summer foods, which is the most American thing of all for a country built upon immigration.

Instacart, which delivers products to its customers from stores including H-E-B, Whole Foods, Spec's, Costco and elsewhere, basically looked at the uptick among the most popular foods associated with the holiday: Potato salad, pie, hot dogs, potato chips, steak, corn, soda and Coke. It found that the city with the most "All-American" grocery search was actually Austin.

But the least "All-American" cities were Indianapolis, Boston, Miami, Minneapolis and, coming in at number five, Houston.

What does it all mean? Oh, nothing really. Or probably just that everybody in town is too busy stocking up on queso and getting ready to fire up the elotes for Independence Day.

The report also noted a surge in searches for wood chips, pie pans and sugar cookie dough.  The terms "4th July” and “Red White Blue” were the top searches overall.
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Gwendolyn Knapp is the food editor at the Houston Press. A sixth-generation Floridian, she is still torn as to whether she likes smoked fish dip or queso better.