TACO FAST FACTS

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Treat - (SOURCE: SMITH­SO­NIAN.COM)

FIRST TACOS

Mex­i­can sil­ver min­ers from the 18th cen­tury most likely in­vented the taco, says his­tory pro­fes­sor Jef­frey M. Pilcher, who trav­eled the world to eat tacos.

MAK­ING IT MAIN­STREAM

Mex­i­can mi­grants work­ing in mines and rail­roads brought the taco with them to the United States in the early 1900s. By the 1920s, the taco be­came main­stream Amer­i­can food.

REIN­VENT­ING THE TACO

There are more than a dozen vari­a­tions of tacos. Non­tra­di­tional ones in­clude the taco arabes, or Arab tacos, which came to be when mi­grants from the Mid­dle East started com­ing into Mex­ico.

FAST-FOOD TACO

With­out the taco shell, there’s no fast-food taco.

In an in­ter­view with the Smith­so­nian, Pro­fes­sor Pilcher says the orig­i­nal patents for mak­ing taco shells “were awarded in the 1940s to Mex­i­can restau­ra­teurs,” not to the founder of Taco Bell.

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