October 3 is National Soft Taco Day. While the word “taco” literally translates to “plug” or “wad” a small hole, it also translates to “light lunch” in Mexican Spanish.
- A taco is a traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling.
- A taco is generally eaten without utensils and is often accompanied by garnishes such as salsa, avocado or guacamole, cilantro, tomatoes, minced meat, onions and lettuce.
- According to the Real Academia Española, publisher of Diccionario de la Lengua Española, the word taco describes a typical Mexican dish of a maize tortilla folded around food (“Tortilla de maíz enrollada con algún alimento dentro, típica de México”).
- Tacos predate the Europeans in Mexico and were discovered to be the food of choice by the indigenous folk in the Valley of Mexico. Obviously the Spanish wanted to stake their claim on such fine fare, and dubbed them “tacos.”
- Taco Bell started as Bell’s Hamburgers and Hot Dogs in San Bernardino, CA back in 1950 by Glen W. Bell Jr.. Bell’s Hamburgers and Hot Dogs began as a hamburger stand selling fast foods such as burgers, hot dogs, fries, and shakes. Then, taking advantage that his stand was located in a Hispanic neighborhood, Bell started selling crispy-hard-shell tacos at 19 cents each.
- Ensenada, Mexico is said to be the birth place of the fish taco.
- Taco Bell uses at least 600,000 cows’ worth of beef per year. According to Taco Bell’s own website, they serve an average of 295 million pounds of ground beef every year.
- A “Taquería” is a Spanish word meaning taco shop. Originally, the term “taqueria” was used to refer to street vendors, although the term has come to be used more generally to refer to any sort of establishment which serves authentic Mexican food.
- One of the first taco trucks is thought to have started in New York when in 1966 two New York housewives operated an early version of the taco truck. Although the truck did not have a full kitchen, it was available for catering.
- According to one etymological theory, the term for the food came from Mexican Spanish taco, which in turn comes from the original Spanish taco, meaning “plug” or “wad”, similar to the shape to say, a folded wad of money bills.
- Indigenous origins for the culinary word “taco” are also proposed. One possibility is that the word derives from the Nahuatl word “tlahco”, meaning “half” or “in the middle,” in the sense that food would be placed in the middle of a tortilla.
- Tacos started appearing in the United States in the early 1900s as well. In San Antonio, a group of women called the Chili Queens sold tacos out of carts. Initially, they had a moderate amount of business, but the railroad started bringing in more and more tourists to the area who loved trying out Mexican food. Tacos became part of the “Tex-Mex” diet with the establishment of Taco Bell, which made tacos a quick, easily accessible meal.
- Today, tacos rank among our most beloved fast foods, good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack after the bars close. Americans eat more than 4.5 billion tacos a year.
- The most basic difference between burrito and taco is that burritos as a rule are much larger than tacos with single burritos comprising a whole meal. In the case of tacos you would have to consume several of them to be able to feel like you have had a meal.
- Singer Chava Flores Once Wrote a Song About Tacos Called “La Taquiza”
- Taco Bell’s Founder Invented the Preformed U-Shaped Crispy Taco Shell
- In 1979 a Woman Named Maris Bustamante Patented the Taco