Dietribes: Taco Time!


• The word "taco" describes the traditional Mexican dish that wraps a maize tortilla around a filling (whose varieties number into the infinite), though the etymology of the word itself and how it came to describe the dish remains a riddle inside an enigma, wrapped in a taco shell.

• What began as a humble idea to create a pre-formed taco shell in 1951 turned into a worldwide franchise by Taco Bell founder Glen Bell (Yes, the bell in …). Today, people are actually having Taco Bell weddings.

• In 2010 when Taco Bell expanded to India, beef tacos were replaced with chicken or vegetarian options. Potato and paneer became common filings (I wish we had these in the United States!)

• Alternate fillings are not uncommon - in the 1950s the Baja region created fish tacos (my very favorite!). As I consistently learn while doing Dietribes, creativity is never lacking when it comes to food creation - spaghetti tacos are now apparently all the rage thanks to what started as a joke on the Nickelodeon show "iCarly."

• And where there is a popular food, there closely follows a ridiculously expensive version of it. The Brentwood Restaurant offers its own taco creations such as Short Rib Tacos ($28.50) and Maple Leaf Duck Tacos ($20.50). An alternatively cheap option? How about the winner of the 2009 Roadkill Cook-Off – armadillo tacos.

• If you really love tacos (and I mean really. love. tacos.) you should consider investing in some taco art. The faux gravitas of these pictures is absolutely hilarious.

• Gidget, the Taco Bell Chihuahua passed away in 2009, but you can keep the memory of a taco-hawking dog alive by dressing up your own pooch as, indeed, a small doggie-taco (works on babies, too).

• It's like salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, Rogers and Astaire, yes, you guessed the perfect pairing - tacos and strip clubs. Of course? File this under "Only in Texas" (and light language warning).

• As a pescetarian, fish tacos are my jam. What about you, Flossers? Any creative recipes or favorite places to find them? And while you're at it, drop me a line about what you'd like to see in some upcoming Dietribes on my Twitter!

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

‘Dietribes’ appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.