(CNN) — Samuel Johnson said, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," but I consider myself a patriot.
The fact that the United States of America is the birthplace of the blues, jazz, rock and roll and Muhammad Ali is argument enough for me that we are a place worthy of pride.
Anthony Bourdain explores Houston's cuisine beyond Tex-Mex and barbecue, and discovers a wonderfully strange, diverse city. "Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Texas, however, was, for most of my life, a foreign land -- a place and a culture far from the one I knew, growing up in New York City and suburban New Jersey.
And I will shamefacedly admit that for most of those years, I entertained the same lazy prejudices and assumptions about what Texas was like -- and who, I believed, lived there.
But judging from Houston, it ain't like that at all, is it?
Houston, is, in fact, about as multicultural a city as exists in the country. Houston has been, from what I experienced, particularly if not more welcoming to immigrants and refugees from all over the world than most other cities I know.
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Our show focuses on some of those communities and on those stories, of people who looked to America as a refuge, as an ideal, as a place of opportunity -- and who found it in Houston.
Yes, I took subversive pleasure in opening the show with an American flag -- and then spending an entire episode in an America that is non-white, non-Anglo-Saxon, non-cowboy -- and entirely devoid of the usual tropes: barbecue, Tex-Mex, big hats and big oil.
Houston is far, far more -- and more interesting than that.
We are a rich country. Rich in stories. These are some of them.
Anthony Bourdain tastes Congolese cuisine in Houston, and finds out how immigrants from the Congo are adjusting to their new home.