A Brief History of the Taco

Life without tacos? No thank you. We absolutely love us some drool-worthy delicious tacos. However, how did our favorite dinner (or lunch…okay or breakfast) recipe get its start? That’s an interesting tale. Let’s taco-bout how our beloved taco came to be!

Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear timeline in the history of the taco – even Jeffrey M. Pilchner who has studied tacos for 20 years (umm can someone say dream job?) – finds conflicting evidence to our favorite easy dinner recipe. The most accepted version of the taco’s history dates back to the 18th century with Mexican silver miners. The taco, which is Spanish for plug, is named after the small hand-rolled paper and gunpowder explosives that the Mexican silver miners used to break up rock faces. This gave early tacos the name “tacos de minero,” or “miner’s tacos.”

Yet there are other references to the taco throughout history – dating as far back to the 1500’s with the early carne asada taco. However; the first mention of it in the United States is in 1905 when the taco was mentioned in a newspaper. Now, over 110 years later, Americans eat more than 4.5 billion tacos per year – needless to say, we’re big fans.

Now that we have you craving tacos (even more than normal), here are some of our favorite taco recipes: