Tacos have become synonymous with Mexican cuisine around the world. In this post, we round up four interesting facts about tacos you probably didn’t know.
1. Tacos Began as Low-Class Food
While all Mexicans love tacos nowadays, in the 19th century they were considered low-class food. Rich people looked down on tortillas and preferred to eat with bread, in the European fashion. However, it didn’t take long for tacos to take the entire country — and then the world — by storm.
2. The Origins of Taquerias
Taquerias are restaurants that specialize in tacos. They began as humble street stands in the 19th century and became an important part of everyday life in all Mexican cities. Today, every city or town has its share of famous taquerias, although taco stands still exist and are pretty popular.
3. Emiliano Zapata and His Taco-Loving Horse
The history of tacos is tightly intertwined with that of Mexico. For example, legend has it that Emiliano Zapata, one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution, was a patron of Tacos Beatriz, one of the oldest taquerias in Mexico city, and loved to order tacos not only for himself, but for his horse as well. “My horse doesn’t eat garbage,” Zapata explained. “And he doesn’t eat just anywhere.”
4. Tacos in Space
Tacos are so versatile that NASA has included them in its space menus. The cosmic adventure of tacos began in 1985, when Mexican astronaut Rodolfo Neri Vela took part in a Space Shuttle mission as payload specialist. Neri Vela’s love for tacos made engineers at NASA realize that this is the perfect space food: easy to make, easy to handle, and it doesn’t create pesky crumbs that may interfere with the circuitry of a spacecraft. Since then, tacos have become a staple of space missions.
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