(April 2, 4:50 p.m.) AUSTIN, Texas — State legislators and their aides enjoyed grapefruit sections, mild habanero peppers and doggie bags of Texas onions at the Capitol for the Taste of Texas.

The April 2 lunch event, sponsored by the Texas Agricultural Council, gives producers in the state a chance to keep their bounty top-of-mind for the legislature, which currently is in session.

“We’re making sure the legislature and their staff know about the fresh, local produce that is available,” said J Allen Carnes, president and co-owner of Uvalde-based Winter Garden Produce. “We’re here raising awareness.”

Winter Garden Produce provided produce to be distributed to attendees.

About 1,200 people were treated to lunch on the Capitol grounds. Samples of Texas produce, including greens, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, onions and the state fruit — grapefruit — were available to participants.

The event happens every two years to coincide with Texas’ legislative session, said Ray Prewett, president of the Texas Vegetable Association and Texas Citrus Mutual, Mission.

“It’s a great opportunity to let folks know about what we grow here in Texas, and the response has always been fantastic,” Prewett said.

Legislators get a Taste of Texas
Richard de los Santos, state marketing coordinator for produce for the Texas Department of Agriculture, on April 1 gives an onion to Jeff Badre, aide to Gov. Rick Perry, at the Taste of Texas event at the Texas Capitol in Austin.