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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

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Lisa Fain

Born in Dallas and raised in Houston, Lisa Fain didn’t realize she would miss Texas so much when she moved to New York in the mid-1990s. She searched high and low for cans of Ro-Tel tomatoes, a key component to queso. She longed for refried beans. In 2005, she started Homesick Texan, a blog dedicated to celebrating the home cooking of her home state through stories and recipes. Exiled Texans and non-Texans, eager to cook enchiladas and chicken-fried steak, made Fain’s blog one of the most popular food websites.

Her first cookbook, The Homesick Texan, was published in 2011. Fain not only wrote this collection of classic Texas comfort foods, but she photographed it, too. The Homesick Texan’s Family Table came out in 2014. Her latest cookbook, Queso!, catalogs the history of Texas’s storied cheese dip across fifty-plus recipes. Forever homesick for the food, people, and stories of her home state, Fain ranks as one of the most important and cherished voices documenting Texas culture and cuisine.

Date of interview:

Rien Fertel

Rien Fertel

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


Alex Raij Txikito

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