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Learn more about Hispanic holidays, traditions and customs celebrated in the Latin American culture.

Happy National Taco Day

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Today is National Taco Day so it’s time to pay homage to the most famous food export from Mexico, meaning of course no disrespect to salsa and guac. Let’s give thanks to the ancient Aztecs or Mexican miners (depending on which version of history you believe) for bringing us this tasty treat. Let us also thank the US Southwest region for revolutionizing the Mexican taco into one of the fast food industries favorite offerings.

The taco is loved for many reasons but most of all for it great versatility. The one key non-negotiable ingredient for a taco to be a taco is the tortilla shell. Corn and wheat are the most popular taco shell offerings which will help determine if you are getting a soft or hard shell taco. Please note taco purists do not consider the taco bowl a taco – the bowl came to fame/infamy when plugged by then presidential candidate Donald Trump on Cinco de Mayo.

According to the National Taco Day website, Americans consumed more than 4.5 billion tacos last year. Tacos are indeed a big consumer favorite with many fast food chains created in their honor, chains such as: Taco Bell, El Pollo Loco, Chipotle, Qdoba, Baja Grill and the list goes on.

When it comes to what you should put inside your taco there are no strict rules. Most Mexican food cart vendors - vendors that are credited with offering the taco in the US as early as the turn of the century – typically offer carnitas, beef, chicken or cheese. When at home you can get exotic and add fish, venison, veggies or leftovers.

And where taco lovers can really go to town are with garnishment choices. In Mexico pico de gallo is the most popular choice topping along with cilantro. If you are, however, looking for the ultimate taco experience head over to Cabo San Lucas to the Grand Velas resort for the $25,000 double taco offering that includes garnishment of beluga caviar, black truffle brie and salsa enhanced with Ley .925 Añejo tequila topped off with gold flakes.

Food historians believe the taco predates the arrival of the Spanish in ancient Mexico. With the first taco feast enjoyed by non-Mexicans in the 18th century while another theory is that silver miners created the “taco” naming it after utilitarian charges used to excavate minerals from the mines. The Smithsonian noted the first US mention of the “taco” occurred in 1905 that coincidence with the time Mexican migrants starting arriving in the US to work in mining jobs.

Unfortunately, taco lovers have to share the day with vodka, as it is also National Vodka Day.

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HSN Staff Writers

HSN staff writers are a group of enthusiastic and talented creative-types that generate great story lines and write about current events with a distinctively Latino voice always respecting the audience it writes for.

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