Did you know in 2016 Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos? October 4th is National Taco Day, a day celebrating the Mexican dish made of a maize tortilla or flour tortilla folded around food; typically filled with fish, pork, chicken or beef.
Where did the Taco come from?
It is rumored that the taco predates the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico. There is anthropological evidence that the indigenous people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate tacos filled with small fish.
There is also speculation that Jeffrey M. Pilcher, a history professor who’s studied tacos for over 20 years, ascertains in Smithsonian Magazine that tacos were named after the small hand-rolled paper and gunpowder explosives that Mexican silver miners used to break up rock faces. One of the first written references to tacos, Pilcher claims, was tacos de mineros(“miner’s tacos”) and it appeared in the late 19th century.
Though both seem to be a logical story of where the taco originated from, there are still conflicting theories with no true hypothesis.
One thing is for certain, Americans love themselves some tacos. Tacos became a widespread national treat in the U.S. when Glen Bell opened the first Taco Bell restaurant in 1962 and then went public with the franchise in 1970.
Taco Bell: At participating locations on Wednesday, the chain has a special “National Taco Day gift set.” For $5, get four classic Taco Bell tacos that include the Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch, Fiery Doritos Locos Tacos and the Crunchy Taco “gift wrapped” in a limited edition wrapper and specially boxed. Learn more about the deal here.
Del Taco: New and existing members of Del Taco’s Raving Fan eClub will get a buy one Queso Crunch Taco, get one free coupon to use Wednesday at participating locations. Also for signing up for the rewards program at www.deltaco.com/ravingfan, get a coupon for two free grilled chicken tacos.
Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill: The chain is celebrating Applebee’s Neighborhood Appreciation Month all October long with $1 margaritas, also known as the Dollarita, at participating locations. Learn more here and find locations here.
Chuy’s: Crispy beef tacos are $1 with any order Wednesday at participating locations and get $1 off Mexican beer. And if you dress up like a taco, you earn a free meal.
El Pollo Loco: Buy one taco platter, get one free Wednesday at participating locations with a coupon posted on the company’s website. Taco platter options are Chicken Avocado, Chicken Bacon Cheddar, Avocado Tacos al Carbon and Shrimp Mango.
Growing up in a Mexican family from San Antonio I can’t recall a time where I didn’t have a taco since I was born and able to eat hard food. It was always a staple in my life and I definitely will be participating in National Taco Day this year in Austin.