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Taco Tuesdays have been a popular tradition in many American restaurants for years. There’s nothing quite like the taste of crunchy shells mixing with spicy carne coupled with warm cheese, beans and delicious fresh veggies.

But where did this small but satisfying goodness come from? Let’s find out!

Food historians say tacos came from Mexico long before the Spanish arrived. Ancient Mexicans used freshly made soft, flat corn tortillas and filled them with fish and cooked organs. It was a simple, quick and inexpensive meal that fed the soul and the appetite. It was the original working man’s meal and originated in Mexico where silver miners used to wrap up gun powder in wrappers called “taquitos” which they would insert into the rocks before detonation. They used this similar concept and applied it to their meals, calling them “tacos de miners” also known as “miner’s tacos”, preparing them with spicy fillings and placing them on top of corn tortillas. The shortened word “taco” eventually stuck and that is what we refer to them today.

The first known taco was introduced in the US in 1905 in the Los Angeles area where people were able to pay for a “street taco” sold by women called “chili queens” who made a living off of their street food carts. This could pretty much be considered the beginning of the very popular “food truck” that has risen in popularity over the last couple of years.

Today’s tacos include a wide variety of fillings from sweet and savory to everything in between. So the next time you get a craving for a a little package of goodness filled with savory warmth and spices, remember your local cantina or grill down the street that probably has a Taco Tuesday special waiting just for you. Ole! 

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