National Taco Day
Consider National Taco Day, October 4 every year, a concentrated and intensified version of the “Taco Tuesdays” many restaurants offer in a bid to bring in Happy Hour-like crowds. Come to think of it, to further whet your appetite for the subject, get this: the phrase “Taco Tuesday” was actually trademarked across the country in 1989 by a Wyoming-based fast-food chain called Taco John’s, except in New Jersey, where the trademark had already been claimed by Gregory’s Restaurant & Bar back in ‘82.
However, nobody needs to worry about the legality of what their dinner is called. On National Taco Day, we only need to grab some tortillas and stuff them with savory fillings, from the traditional carne asada, cheese, tomato, lettuce and sour cream, to more exotic gustatory delights like fish, chorizo, even tongue, to name only a few of the “meat component” alternatives. Even the word “stuff” is no accident; many believe that the word taco derives from the Spanish “ataco,” meaning “to stuff.”
HISTORY OF NATIONAL TACO DAY
The anthropologist and historian Arturo Warman (1937 — 2003) specialized in prehistoric Mexican culture for much of his career, and was cited as saying that it was the Aztecs and Mayans who hybridized wild grasses beginning around 3,000 BC to produce the large, nutritious kernels we now know as corn. At National Today, we feel fine marking that time as the true beginning of the taco as a foodstuff, because the corn tortilla became such a versatile part of Mexican cuisine so quickly, spreading far and wide and only increasing in the number of its aficionados, some of whose descendants are of course the taco-loving foodies of today.
We’re not sure if the calendar day was October 4 that conquistador Hernando Cortez mentioned the native flatbread “tlaxcalli” in a letter to Spain’s King Charles V, but the year was 1520 and it was then that Cortez and his fellows dubbed the food “tortilla.”
From that point forward, it was inevitable that advances in both culinary science and communications would bring the taco exploding onto dining-room tables across the globe. By 1914, Californian cookbooks had begun to include taco recipes. In the following decades, the taco has fully lived up to its definition (akin to the generic term “sandwich”) and became nearly ubiquitous. We don’t have a single complaint.
NATIONAL TACO DAY ACTIVITIES
1.Go out to your local taqueria, Mexican restaurant, or Taco Bell
You’ll be amazed at the various locations you’ll find nearby. Walk in and enjoy a finely crafted taco at your fingertips.
2.Create your own taco
Choose from one of the many taco recipes to be found online, go to your grocery store to buy the ingredients, and get down to business! Most importantly, make those tacos with love. A taco press and a deep fryer go a long way in making your National Taco Day efficient, as well.
3.Give the gift of tacos
Yes, we said it. Give a taco (or three) to a loved one, friend, or even a complete stranger you pass on the street. Together we’ll make the world a better place, one taco at a time. Vive la revolucion!
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL TACO DAY
A. Tacos are a taste like no other
Looking to have your mind blown? The possibilities are endless when you create your own combination of meats, cheese, vegetables, seasonings and sauces and have your taco your own way. Yes, please!
B. Carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore, you’re covered
While some people love sitting down and taking their time to enjoy a great taco, others simply have a fast-paced lifestyle. For those who are always on the go, tacos are always a great idea.
C. Tacos are the ultimate comfort food
It’s hard not to get excited for those crisp shells or soft, warm wraps filled with goodness. Tacos can be big or small, spicy or sweet, plus they can be crafted to fit any taste. Vegetarian, vegan, kosher, lactose-intolerant, gluten free — there’s a taco made for you.
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