Who doesn’t love to dive into a hot taco? This mainstay of Mexican cuisine is a favourite among many and it is evident from the fact that writers like Rob Gokee took his love for tacos a notch up by writing a book on tacos called Tacocity. But do you know where tacos originated from?
1) It is believed that the origin of the tacos can be traced back to 18th Century Mexican silver mines and the first type of taco was “taco de minero,” which means miner’s tacos. It was a corn tortilla with a spicy filling and a daily staple.
2) This traditional Mexican dish is made up of corn or flour tortilla that is folded or rolled around a filling like beef, chicken, seafood, vegetables, cheese and more.
3) It is said that when the Mexican immigrants moved to Texas and California in 1880s they began selling tacos as street food and that’s how it made its entry in the US.
4) In 1952, Glen Bell started selling tacos from a stand called Taco-Tia which is considered as a revolution in the history of tacos. He was the one who came up with the idea to fry tortillas in a U-shaped form and later went on to found Taco Bell.
5) In fact the first taco truck in the US is believed to have been opened by Raul Martine, a Mexican immigrant. He converted his old ice cream truck into a mobile taco restaurant and he became very successful.
6) Jeffrey M Pilcher, researcher and professor at the University of Minnesota, has stated in his book Gran Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food that “many elements go into making the perfect taco. Everything needs to be perfect such as the seasonings, ratios of food, and the way it’s cooked.” He travelled extensively to taste tacos, from ones sold as simple street food sold from a food truck, to the ones served in niche and fine dining restaurants.
7) Though it seemingly looks simple a lot of effort goes into the making the fillings — one of the most important part of tacos. (Al) Pastor is a common variety which was actually inspired by slow-cooked shawarma brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants. It is slow cooked meat marinated in pineapple, spices, and chillies that are served with onion, cilantro, and pineapple.
8) Other popular Mexican tacos include barbacoa (barbecued beef) and camarones (shrimp), and the weirdest variety is lengua or beef tongue.
9) In Muscat, while you might not always find the traditional flavours there are a few Mexican restaurants that serve some of the finest North-Mexican street food. Made with fresh corn tortillas and stuffed with spicy kidney beans, cabbage, avocado and tomatoes, this vegan option is quite popular here in one of the restaurants serving taco.
10) Today, tacos are considered to be the most favourite fast food that one can have anytime of the day or night, from breakfast to dinner, tacos take the centre stage.