Made from either wheat or corn tortilla and topped with desirable fillings, tacos are popular snacks in Mexico, the USA, and other parts of the world. However, this hasn’t always been the case. During the earlier years, most people considered tacos as poor people’s food. Well-off Mexicans preferred bread to tortillas.
However, that doesn’t count now, considering Americans consume over 4.5 billion tacos yearly. It is an excellent snack with plenty of history. Here are some taco facts to help you understand the snack more.
1. The History of Tacos Is Debatable
Even though most people agree tacos originated from Mexico, its history has always been debated. Most argue that anthropological evidence shows that the native Valley of Mexico dwellers primarily ate tacos filled with small fish. They insist that the snack existed before the Spanish arrival in Mexico.
Others say tacos didn’t exist until the 18th century (after Spanish settlement in Mexico). The theory is that the snack was invented by silver miners. However, Manuel Payno’s novel, Los Bandidos de Rio Frio, is credited with the first mention of the word “taco.”
Even though there is no agreed-upon history of tacos, one thing is sure: they have been around for a considerable amount of time. Also, Mexico is the world’s capital of tacos.
2. The World’s Largest Taco Is over 10 Meters Long
The Guinness World Records recognize Mexicali’s 10.95-meter-long taco as one of the largest ever made. In an event hosted on March 8, 2003, breaking the record required an above-and-beyond performance.
About 8 grills were used to prepare the 536.4kg of meat to fill the taco, with 80 staff members overseeing the operation. Other ingredients included 84.82kg of dough, 48.25kg of coriander, and 81.2kg of onion. In the end, the taco weighed a whooping 750kg.
Note that the record does not include the 100kg of guacamole used as an accompaniment. However, this is nothing compared to the 102-meter-long carnitas taco organized by Alejandro Paredes Resendiz in 2019. Though unofficial, the taco consisted of 1200kg of tortillas and a further 1507 kg of seasoned pork meat.
3. The Most Expensive Taco Costs Over $25000
Depending on your location and time, you can buy a taco even with less than a US dollar. In the United States, it’s not uncommon to find outlets selling the snacks for as high as $30 (the priciest). However, a restaurant in Mexico set the record for selling the world’s most expensive taco at $25000.
At first, the Grand Velas Resorts in Cabo made the taco as a charity item. However, the idea stuck, and visitors can now order the snack anytime. It consists of Kobe beef, black truffle brie cheese, Almas beluga caviar, and langoustine. Toppings include salsa made up of Morita chili peppers or civet coffee.
Apart from the fresh ingredients that take about 45 minutes to prepare, the taco is served on a gold flake-infused corn tortilla, perhaps justifying its price.
4. There Is A World Taco Day
Mexico and the United States celebrate World Taco Day on different days. People in the USA celebrate the event every October 4. To mark the day, people take their families to taco joints, where the items are mostly on special offers. It is also a time to share any unique recipes on social media.
There were mentions of the day being celebrated on May 3 in the United States, but that is no longer true. On the other hand, Mexico marks Dia del Taco (Day of the Taco) on March 31.
5. There Are Bizarre Tacos
Usually, taco toppings depend on whether the consumer is vegan or not. Typical fillings include tomatoes, avocados, red onion, cabbage, beef, pork, roasted salsa, and chicken. However, some people prefer their tacos a bit bizarre.
Records show that some people use alligator bacon, waffles, cauliflower, and even larvae as their preferred taco fillings.
6. Taco Bell is One of the World’s Biggest Taco Sellers
The initial tacos from Mexico used soft corn tortillas. However, when Glen Bell founded Taco Bell in 1962, he created a recipe that used relatively crunchier tortillas. What started as a single restaurant became a multimillion-dollar franchise with more than 7,200 restaurants in the United States.
Taco Bell boasts of having more than 1,000 restaurants across 30 countries, further highlighting the company’s success. Even though there are other taco sellers across the United States and even in native Mexico, Taco Bell asserted its place by providing unique and creative taco recipes.
7. More Than 20,000 Taco Recipes Are Available
You can easily access a list of the most popular taco recipes on the internet. Even so, there is not much science required to prepare this snack. You can include as many ingredients and fillings as you can imagine. As such, Mexico’s Department of Agriculture estimates that there are over 20,000 taco recipes.