I knew I'd struck culinary gold when none of my fellow Food Republic test kitchen colleagues (AKA our editorial director Richard and photographer Mark) knew what Texas caviar was, or why I was making it. It is the single most effective way to make black-eyed peas, a legume not everyone is crazy about. It's supremely tasty. And it was invented in Texas. I chose it to complement our chicken fried steak and chicken fried chicken (coming soon to the recipe section, or, if you can't wait to try it, serve it as a side with Cajun Blackened Catfish). We did a lot of chicken-frying that day (not to be confused with chicken frying).

What does all this have to do with caviar? Nothing, except that once you start eating it you might start craving it in your sleep. And I don't know anyone who's complained about something like that.