U.S.T - United States of Tacos
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Health and Wellness

U.S.T - United States of Tacos

The taco has quickly become the most dynamic and widespread phenomenon in this country. It's humble start in America has blossomed into some outrageous taco mashups.

U.S.T - United States of Tacos

Let's 'taco about tacos, shall we? Why are we, as Americans, SO OBSESSED with tacos? We eat tacos. We post Instagram photos of tacos. We wear clothes with tacos on them. We mention tacos in our dating profiles. We name days of the week after tacos. We host themed parties about tacos. We even go to extraordinary lengths to convince our Uber drivers to take us to get tacos after a long night out….
We hold onto our desire for tacos like a raft thrown to a drowning man at sea. They are so embedded and normalized in our culture, yet have only been a staple in the States for 115 years!

Americans were first introduced to the tantalizing taco in 1905, via street food carts in California. The women selling from these carts were often referred to as "chili queens", which honestly makes me love tacos even more. There is literally nothing more I want than to be referred to as a chili queen at some point in my life.

By 1920, we did what we do best as Americans; we completely changed the fundamental flavor profile of a taco to make it fit within our Americanized palates. Ingredients such as cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato were added to help subdue the unfamiliar spice level. This resulted in a Mexican-American fusion that helped shape the taco into the food chameleon that it is today.

While always united in our love for tacos, we are sometimes divided on what qualifies as a taco. Are there specific topping requirements? Can anything be stuffed inside of a tortilla? Does there even need to be a tortilla at all? ARE ALL TACOS REALLY JUST A SANDWICH?? No, let's not get crazy. In my opinion, anything inside a tortilla (soft or hard) that can be folded (not rolled, that is a burrito) and eaten by hand is considered a taco.

And that is why the taco is quickly becoming the most dynamic and widespread phenomenon in this country! American's eat 4.5 billion tacos each year, and there are some outrageous and delicious combinations out there. Below are just a few examples of some amazing restaurants knocking out outstanding taco mashups:

  • Southern style tacos from Kowaliga Restaurant in Alabama
  • Korean tacos from Kogi BBQ in L.A.
  • Fried chicken tacos from Hua Huas Taco in Miami
  • Mac and cheese stuffed tacos from Bad Dog Taco in Atlanta
  • Corned beef tacos from CFB Barrel House in Idaho
  • Goat tacos from Birrieria Zaragoza in Chicago
  • Elk tacos from Pescado Blanco in Montana
  • Thanksgiving tacos from Coop On The Run in Ohio
  • Breakfast tacos from Good 2 Go Taco in Dallas

To these folks, there are no rules when it comes to crafting a creative taco. And I'd have to agree. Taco night is a staple in my house, due to my husband's obsession with them, and I always try to mix up the flavors and fillings. A few of our favorites are my Shrimp Caesar Salad Tacos, my Tequila Chicken Tacos with Strawberry Salsa, and my Cauliflower Tacos with Cashew Crema. Check out the links below to the recipes! They are all quick, easy, and terrifically tasty.




For some, tacos are a simple pleasure. For others, they are an identity; a way to connect with a treasured heritage. No matter your opinion on tacos, whether you frequently visit Taco Bell or not (guilty…), whether it's Taco Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo, National Taco Day (which is October 4th btw), or literally any other day, I raise a taco in cheers to you, my food loving friends.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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