Texas has a great number of Texas brands.
Lone Star Beer
The King Ranch.
Now there’s a brand that came, quite literally, from a brand. And the King Ranch even has its own brand of Ford Pickup.
The King Ranch helped launch another old texas brand, Falfurrias Butter.
It is a little circuitous, but this is how it all came about. Richard King’s partner, Kenedy, sold Jersey cows to Ed Lasater, who then created the dairy that made Falfurrias butter. 35 years later, the King Ranch bought Lasater’s land, along with the cattle, to create the Encino Division of the King Ranch.
But that’s not the story I’m here to tell. I’m here to talk about the best butter in Texas.
Falfurrias butter was first made in Falfurrias, of course, in 1909.
Hard to know whether the butter is named for the town or the town for the butter, since they are about the same age.
The butter was certainly the town’s best known export in those early days.
Even the school mascot, The Jerseys, took it’s name from the butter’s real creators, the Jersey cows. Indeed at one point Falfurrias was home to the largest Jersey Cattle herd in the world.
And so that gave special meaning to the once popular bumper sticker there: “Watch Your Step – You’re in Jersey Country.”
Falfurrias butter remains an enormously popular Texas brand. It is sold at Walmart, HEB, Safeway, Kroger, and other large chains. It has been quite popular in Northern Mexico for generations.
A friend tells me that as a child in Saltillo he remembers his mother bringing back the mantequilla dulce de Falfurrias as a special treat for the kids anytime she traveled to Texas.
A Texas Marine in WWII recalled that as he was wading ashore in the battle for Okinawa a Falfurrias Butter crate bumped up against his leg in the surf. He found it comforting, an assurance from home that all would be well. And so it was.
Falfurrias Butter outgrew Falfurrias. It became so popular that it was eventually bought by the Texas Dairy Association of America, but rest assured it is still made in Texas.
It is made by the Keller Creamery in Winnsboro, Texas and has grown at a Texas sized pace of 40% over the past two years. That’s a lot of baked potatoes.
When you drive through Falfurrias today, on state highway 285, you can still see the vintage Falfurrias Butter sign on the side of the old Creamery Building.
In the interest of full disclosure I have to reveal that I am also an export of Falfurrias, and even though I know on which side my bread is buttered, so to speak, it does not affect the veracity of this commentary.
I’m W. F. Strong. These are Stories from Texas. Some of them are true.