Dallas' deep-frying ways have drawn the attention of a 200-year-old mix and meal manufacturer from North Carolina, which recently introduced its products to Texas.
"We just wanted to expand our brand outside of the Southeast because of the prominent frying that's going on there," explains Keith Vines, House-Autry Mills' vice president of sales and marketing.
House-Autry Mills, which got its start in 1812 when the House family hooked a millstone to a mule team and carted it up the Cape Fear River, is now selling its corn meal, seafood and chicken breading and mixes for hushpuppies and biscuits at Albertsons stores around Dallas and Houston.
Vines believes his company's Southeastern-style products will do well in a market saturated with spicy mixes inspired by Louisiana cooking traditions.
"Seems like what you have there is a little bit different," he says. "Ours is very lightly breaded, whereas theirs is more crunchy and has some spice to it."
House-Autry is best known for its hush puppies. Without selling a single box in Texas, the company's established itself as the nation's top seller of hushpuppy mix.
"They do eat a lot of hushpuppies in the Southeast," Vines explains.
But Vines is confident Texans can be trusted to eat their share of hushpuppies too.
"There's a lot of frying going on there," he says.
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