Though the origin of the taco is unknown, it likely was invented between 1,000 and 500 B.C. Without having spoons at the time, the taco was a perfect way to eat a meal without utensils. The name “taco” didn’t come about until much later, however. In the silver mines of Mexico in the 18th century, the word “taco” would refer to the paper they would wrap around gun powder and plug into holes to blow away the rock. The word “taco” literally translates to “plug” or “wad” a small hole. When you think about it, the two definitions make sense. A tortilla is like a paper and then you plug it into your mouth where it bursts with flavor. Today it
means “light lunch” in Mexican Spanish. It’s been through more name changes than Sean Combs.
The taco was first introduced to America in 1905 in San Antonio, Texas. Since then, they have taco-ver a large part of the American food scene. Taco trucks are super trendy today, but the first one was in New York in 1966.
When talking about tacos historically, you are talking about a soft shell taco. The preformed hard shell taco was not invented until the 1940s by Glen Bell because corn tortillas didn’t stay fresh long enough. If that name rings a bell, it’s because he is the founder of Taco Bell. That’s right, the hard shell taco was invented in Southern California by a white guy. We won’t burrito ’round the bush: hard taco shells are as American as apple pie (actually invented by the Dutch, but we stole that like we stole tacos) and baseball (invented in Cooperstown, New York in 1839).
It is National Taco Day and we learned that hard shell taco is American AF. Being healthy is also trendy AF in ‘Merica. Newdie Mag is also American AF. In honor of all that, here is a delicious baked hard shell taco recipe (healthier than fried) for you to share with your friends this Thursday. We call them American AF Tacos for you to plug in your Apple Pie (not really American) Hole.
12 corn tortillas
- 6 at a time, wrap tortillas in a slightly damp cloth or paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds
- Sprinkle a bit of salt, pepper, and chili powder on tortillas and coat both sides with cooking spray
- Drape each one over two bars of your oven rack and cook at 375 for 7-10 minutes until crispy
1 pound ground beef (70-80% lean)
1 tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Optional: Lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole, refried beans, the kitchen sink
- Cook the ground beef fully, drain grease, then add 1/2 cup tomato sauce and seasonings
- Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add to tacos shells
- Add lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole, and refried beans to make them extra AF Tacos and enjoy!
Don’t feel like making your own tacos? These places all have specials for national taco day:
Baja Fresh: Join the Baja Club and get a free taco for signing up
Del Taco: Join the raving fan eclub and get two free grilled chicken tacos for signing up
Moe’s Southwest Grill: Get a free bowl of queso when you sign up for Moe’s Rocking Rewards
El Pollo Loco: Get a free entree worth up to $7 when you sign up for the rewards program and download the app. Redeemable with the purchase of any food or beverage.
Taco Bell: 4 taco gift box for $5
On the Border Mexican Grill: $8.99 endless tacos