Love Dip Is The Texan Grocery Store Staple With A Loyal Fan Base

Texas boasts a whole lot of delicious foods. From slow-cooked barbecue like tender brisket and juicy ribs to hearty Tex-Mex choices like chile con queso and steak fajitas, there's plenty to go around. Chances are you've heard of most of these, but are you familiar with the Lonestar State's famous Love Dip? 

Commonly enjoyed as an appetizer or condiment,  it's a popular snack choice for many Texans. Since the name is pretty elusive, it's worth digging into what Love Dip contains. The base is cream cheese, which gives it an extra richness and luxurious texture. There's garlic for a punch of sharpness and tomatoes for tangy sweetness, but what makes this dip especially unique is that it contains tarragon, which gives it its distinctive flavor. Some zestier versions swap out the tomatoes for salsa and add a splash of lemon juice for that fresh citrus edge. 

Love Dip isn't all that complicated, but its small ingredient list also packs in a lot of flavor. For anyone that has yet to try some, know that it isn't available just anywhere — it's a more or less a Texas exclusive. Luckily, there are a number of places where you can buy it to try.

Where to get this Texas classic

One of the many reasons why Love Dip is not as well known as other Texas classics is because it's largely a product of Texas grocery chains: Namely, Central Market. This grocery store has a lot of loyal customers, and one of its most popular signature products is Love Dip. (On Instagram, the store claims the name Love Dip came about "Because we keep the recipe super close to our hearts.") All 10 of this store's locations are in Texas, so if you've got a hankering for this dip, start your journey at one of these locations. 

While Central Market may have invented Love Dip, the condiment isn't exclusive to the chain. If you're far away from a Central Market location, other markets like H-E-B have also begun to sell this dip at their deli counters. There are over 360 locations of H-E-B in Texas — that's a lot of ground covered.

While the dip is sold in stores, there isn't much to the recipe, so even novice chefs should have no problem whipping up an approximated batch at home. James Beard Award-winning writer Lisa Fain of The Homesick Texan opts for dried tarragon and prefers salsa over tomatoes, but you can try mixing things up with substitutions like fresh herbs or oven-roasted tomatoes.

What pairs best with the famous Love Dip

Love Dip has a distinctive flavor, but there are still a lot of different ways to enjoy this popular Texan treat. For starters, dipping some crispy tortilla chips into this dip is a good choice, bringing some salt into the mix without overwhelming those classic tomato-forward flavors. To complement those tangy bites of Love Dip, a crunchy batch of baby cucumbers could also do well with this. Other fresh veggies like baby carrots, cauliflower, sliced peppers, or even celery will also work just as good.

This creamy tomato-based sauce would also pair well with other simple choices like pita chips or bread, but at the end of the day, how you enjoy Love Dip is up to you. Slather it onto a sandwich if you please — anything goes. From snack time to cocktail hour, you might just find that it lives up to the same hype that all those other Texan favorite dishes do.