Each year, Americans consume over four billion tacos. That is enough tacos to extend to the moon and back again. The word taco in Spanish has a meaning roughly equivalent to the English word sandwich.
And the truth is, not much is known about the history of the taco. According to some taco experts, the word comes from the Mexican silver mines of the 18th century. They used the word taco for the little explosives they used to extract the silver ore. They wrapped little pieces of paper around the explosives and put them into holes in the rock.
The earliest mention of the word taco in writing is from the end of the 19th century. And these writings describe tacos de minero, otherwise known as miner’s tacos. So, as foods go, tacos have a relatively recent provenance.
However, other taco aficionados have put forth a different origin story. They claim the taco was already around before the Spanish arrived in Mexico in the 16th century. And they have the support of anthropologists to back up their story. According to the researchers, early peoples who lived in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico ate tacos with small fish in them.
Other people who lived around the same time, but in different areas of the country, also ate tacos, but they had fillings that were a bit more unusual – small live insects and ants in the Morelos and Guerrero regions, and locusts and snails in the Puebla and Oaxaca regions.
Tacos did not catch on in the United States until the food chain Taco Bell began offering them in the early 1960s. Taco Bell has been a major influence in popularizing Mexican food in the United States.
The hard-shell taco, with its U-shaped design, first appeared in a cookbook in 1949. It became much more popular after a device was invented that holds the taco in the U shape as it is deep fried. New York City is believed to have been the home of the first taco truck in the mid-1960s. It was operated by two housewives.
There are many different traditional types of tacos. There is a wide range of fillings that have been put in tacos, everything from the more commonplace beef, pork, chicken, or fish, to the more uncommon brain, tongue, eyes, and lips of the cow.
The Taco al Pastor is the most widely consumed in Mexico. It has a filling of spiced pork, which is cut right from the spit over an open flame before being popped inside the tortilla.
Visit a Mattito’s near you soon to enjoy a one, two, three or more great tacos!
Image by Mike McCune – originally posted to Flickr as carnitas, CC BY 2.0.
As the world listens to the stories of survival and watches the defeat in recovery, know that we give our support and love to the city of Moore, Oklahoma. We grieve with you over the loss of the people in the city, and we grieve over the loss of the homes, businesses and schools. When you feel as though you can no longer go on, know that the rest of the country is there for you in your time of need. The rain may have stopped and the winds may have ceased, but the storm is just now beginning for so many of you. As you pick up the pieces and try to recover, we will do anything possible to help. Read the rest of this entry »
Mexico is a big coffee growing country. In fact, it is the largest producer of organic coffee, producing 60 percent of all organic coffee grown in the world. Coffee export is a big money maker for Mexico.
The country did not begin growing coffee until the late 1700s, when the Spanish brought plants from Cuba and the Dominican Republic. They did not begin to grow it commercially until a number of years later when German and Italian immigrants arrived to begin its cultivation. Read the rest of this entry »
There are a lot of healthy foods that go into Tex-Mex cooking – beans, tomatoes, peppers, corn, cheese, lean beef, fish, chicken, and pork. But, even though it includes these good ingredients, you still need to be careful in how you prepare your Tex-Mex if you want avoid a lot of calories and fat. Here are a few tips.
Enchiladas are among the most well-known of Mexican foods. The practice of rolling a tortilla around a filling is said to have begun way back in the time of the Mayans. Today, there are many different kinds of enchiladas with different fillings. Here is an enchilada recipe from Ree Drummond on FoodNetwork.com.
Here’s what you will need. Read the rest of this entry »
Football season will soon be here. And if you are inviting friends over to watch the big game, you are going to need some snacks. So, if you want to be a real hero among your friends, you can give them some Tex-Mex snack favorites while they are watching the game. Here are a few to keep in mind.
Like many great cuisines, Tex-Mex has an interesting history. There are many facts about Tex-Mex food that may surprise you because, like most things, Tex -Mex and the way it has been prepared has changed over many years. Here are a few interesting, fun facts about Tex-Mex that you may not know.
It’s summertime. And that means outdoor barbecue. In fact, to commemorate the universally loved outdoor barbecue, August 31st has been named Eat Outside Day. And what better way to eat outside in celebration than with a Tex-Mex barbecue. If you are looking for a few ideas on what dishes to make, read on.
- Skirt steak fajitas.
Whoever invented this dish, he had to have grilling in mind. This is a Tex-Mex recipe made for the grill. After giving them a tasty marinade, the steaks grill up nicely and quickly. You can also grill up the peppers and onions.
Taquitos are similar to tacos, only more fun to eat. People in Mexico usually deep fry them, but you can bake them also. It is not as hard to do and it is better for you. The tortillas still get nicely browned. Serve your taquitos with sour cream and salsa.
Taquitos with guacamole on top.