The Texas Highways staff searched the state to find the elements that most consistently resonate as representative of the quintessential Texas town. We’ve named that collective community “True, Texas.”
In cities and towns throughout much of Texas, the holiday table isn’t complete without a family recipe for salsa, which enlivens everything from turkey to tamales.
And in the Big Bend badlands near Presidio, few families gather with as much gusto as the Trevizos, who have roots here going back generations.
Normally, the Trevizo ranch-style menu focuses on rice, beans, salad, homemade flour tortillas, frosted sheet cake, and asado de puerco—an aromatic stew made with cubes of pork simmered in a red chile sauce over an open flame.
Still, it’s the special family salsa, a pungent, tongues-aflame mixture fine-tuned by Rodrigo Trevizo (brother to seven Trevizos, uncle to dozens more), that always gets the fiesta started.
Rodrigo (aka Tío Rod) lives on the family homestead between dry Cibolo Creek and the Rio Grande. “We all worked, even as little kids,” recalls Trevizo, who retired from his job as superintendent of Big Bend Ranch State Park in 2013.
These days, Trevizo likes certain things to remain the same.
Trevizo takes advantage of the year-round growing season in Presidio, which allows for plenty of homegrown chiles for his salsa even in December. He prefers a variety of the cowhorn pepper, a curved, lumpy member of the cayenne family, because the tangy bite isn’t overpowered by the chile’s heat. He adds a few jalapeño or serrano peppers to round out the flavors.