National taco day
October 4th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Taco 'bout a great day - October 4 is National Taco Day!

Flour or corn tortilla, meat or no meat, with guacamole or without - tacos provide an endless list of flavor combinations. This popular street food has made its way from Mexico to homes and restaurants the world over.

According to Jeffrey Pilcher, history professor and author of Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food, the word "taco" likely originated from silver mines in 18th century Mexico. Miners would use little charges, or explosives, to break up the ore they were mining. They’d wrap pieces of paper around gunpowder for the job. Because of the wrap's resemblance, the taco took the name. (Gives new meaning to hot sauce!)

Tacos have had a bit of an international facelift since their humble beginnings. The hard taco shell is actually an American invention, as is the taco bowl. Gourmet taquerias are also popping up here, there and everywhere, with lobster and Wagyu beef tacos appearing as regular menu items. Korean barbecue tacos are wildly popular on the West Coast, and instead of pico de gallo, you might find be offered kimchi.

With all the possibilities for delicious tacos, what’s your favorite?

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Filed under: Breakfast Buffet • Food Holidays • News

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soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. noodle21

    I have started making my own seasoning for ground beef tacos instead of buying the prepacked seasoning packet at the grocery store. I haven't found a recipe I like yet. Anyone have any suggestions?

    October 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      Don't forget the cumin.

      October 8, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  2. Pete Henderson

    OK, Gang. My Castillan Mexican grandmother made 'em this way. Corn tortilla shell stuffed with shredded beef brisket seasoned with her homemade hot sauce. A layer of shredded cheddar cheese, a layer of sliced black olives, another layer of ice cold chopped iceberg lettuce with a mild oil and cider vinegar dressing, and her homemade hot sauce to taste. She also made refried beans to die for using Hunt's Small Red Beans fried with bacon fat and mashed. Then she would put a layer of Jack Cheese over the beans and bake them in the oven until the cheese was melted. I wish you all could have tasted this absolutely gourmet taco. I, myself, have never been able to exactly duplicate the taste of Granny's tacos.

    October 5, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Jerv

      That sounds awesome!

      October 5, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • No Way Jose...

      Bro...I seriously doubt your grandmother was even Mexican. Castillian is a region in Spain, not Mexico... Tacos are made from a few simple and basic ingredients...usually not more than 3 or 4. For examole beans & cheese in a corn tortilla, Bacon & eggs, potato & eggs, bean & eggs, egg, tomato, & cheese...are the best...just keep it simple...with a homemade sauce .....never never never use ingredients from a can. I have gone to many restaurants here in Las Vegas claiming to sell authentic Mexican food and they all sucked...the biggest tip off was the bad salsa from a can that they serve as an appetizer...if they cant even make a decent salsa with homemade chips...thenthe rest will surely suck for sure.

      October 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  3. babs

    Fish Tacos – finger lickin' good!

    October 5, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • AleeD®

      Isn't that redundant? ~_~

      October 5, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  4. Bill

    Have a drink with your taco ... no, not tequila. It's also National Vodka Day.

    October 5, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  5. Stacey

    I guess I am an idiot because I actually like the Old El Paso spices I put in our taco meat. Sometimes it's steak other times ground beef. But yes, I like corn tortillas, steak, pico de gallo and guac on occasion on my tacos. I have no idea if any of that would be construed as a 'real' taco, but by golly it suits my family just fine. Know what I mean Vern?

    October 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  6. taco bender

    I make the best tacos. Al pastor, carne asada, pollo asado, machaca, you name it.

    October 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  7. minihuskies

    It's not national Taco Day, it's national Miniature Siberian Husky Day at All the fun of a husky in a much smaller size!

    October 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Da Truth

      Huskies don't taste good in tacos

      October 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  8. Dave Hernandez

    Soft tortilla (hard shells are just wrong and gross) quickly pan seared in a little oil, filled with spiced dove meat, a pico of tomatillo, tomato, and onion, and a little queso fresco. Simple, traditional, and full of flavor. No need for anything else – it will just get in the way of the taste.

    October 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Kip

      That sounds fantastic!!!

      October 4, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  9. Barbacoa Boa

    What do you do with BBQ meat if you don't have any bread? Put it in a flour or corn tortilla. Si!

    October 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm |

    Street tacos! Steak, seasoning salt, cilantro, red onion, corn tortilla, queso fresca. Maybe some sour cream & guac. So simple. So YUM.

    October 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • 2el8

      That sounds really good.

      October 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  11. Dom

    I'll be getting some wild boar tacos at the South Philly Tap Room tonight. Wonderful.

    October 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  12. Jose

    Let's all head down to the Taco Torch. You can get 3 tacos for $1 and a free case of food poisoning.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  13. palintwit

    Limburger cheese should be renamed Sarah Palin cheese. Don't you think?

    October 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  14. PlzHelp

    Ugh, why do all these taco places have to be greasy, Mexican restaurants? Where can I go and get a good old fashioned American taco?

    October 4, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      They don't exist.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
      • PlzHelp

        So just like this country, the American taco was made extinct by immigrants. Typical...

        October 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
        • Really... ?

          Either everyone just got trolled violently or I want to perform a facepalm so hard it goes through my face.

          October 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
        • 2el8

          What exactly is an American taco?

          October 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • 2el8

      I sure hope you're joking!!!

      October 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • Dave Hernandez

        American taco = nasty hard shell, ground up over-seasoned mystery meat, shredded lettuce, and british cheese (cheddar)

        October 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • bbk

      taco bell fool

      October 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • PlzHelp

        Sorry, I don't want Tex-Mex. I want a 100% American taco.

        October 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
        • Dave Hernandez

          Tex-Mex is the Americanized of a taco.

          October 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
      • Dogmeat

        Ha Ha if you eat at Taco Bell you've been slimed. pink slime.

        October 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Dave Hernandez

      Considering that tacos predate the establishment of the USA, good luck with that. You might as well be pining over American couscous or American kimchi.

      October 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • elbob248

      Because the best tacos are greasy. And, drum roll please, Mexican. American tacos? Are you kidding me?

      October 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Americanbeaner

      What the F**k are you talking about?

      October 4, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  15. OregonTom

    While In Mazatlan please visit Calos y Lucias, they are in the Zona Dorda. Tacos tacos Tacos!

    October 4, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  16. Dave Hernandez

    Soft tortilla (hard shells are just wrong and gross) quickly pan seared in a little oil, filled with spiced dove meat, a pico of tomatillo, tomato, and onion, and a little queso fresco. Simple, traditional, and full of flavor. No need for anything else - it will just get in the way of the taste.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  17. Tom

    Jerv, I totally agree! Tacos are good food.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  18. 2el8

    Jack in the box 2 for $ tacos make for the best tacos after long night of drinking.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  19. cindy

    I agree with Jerv

    October 4, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  20. Ryan Goodman

    I love shredded steak, black beans, guacamole, and sour cream with my tacos!

    October 4, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Jerv@Ryan

      Wow, that does sound good. Thanks for the tobacco read.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  21. bluecanaryruth aka Tony

    So the taco got its name because it looked like a piece of paper wrapped around some gunpowder. Ok. That makes complete sense. HUH?

    October 4, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Jerv@bluecanary

      Cool tunes bluecanary. "This little fu cker was in my backyard this morning stealing pollen." That made me laugh! Thanks.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • fiveliters

      Considering today's slang euphemism of the term "taco meat",I kinda doubt it too...

      October 4, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  22. Jerv

    Dayum I love tacos. My favorite is simple. Hard taco shell, beef, cheese guach and hot sauce.

    October 4, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      I like the pink variety.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • AleeD®@Jdizz

        So glad you covered that. ~_~

        October 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
      • Ray Ray

        There's a hair in my taco.

        October 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
        • Jerv


          October 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
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