When I heard that October 4 is National Taco Day, I got really excited. Finally, tacos are getting the recognition they deserve! I told my husband about this holiday and why tacos are deeply meaningful to me, and he snickered. Using the phrase “deeply meaningful” and “tacos” in the same sentence seemed silly to him. But he was wrong (as he often is); it’s not silly. Then I went home that night and made — wait for it — tacos for dinner, and it got me thinking about why tacos are so important to me.
I think it’s safe to say that tacos are universally liked, but I love tacos; really, really love them. In fact, I would go as far as to call myself a bonafide taco enthusiast. (I wonder if that is that a real thing I can get certified for? I should look into that.) But I digress.
Tacos are the ultimate comfort food by providing an efficient, versatile, and delicious way to eat some protein. Who can forget the way Bubba from Forrest Gump lists all the ways you can utilize shrimp? Tacos are just as practical: breakfast tacos, brisket tacos, beef tacos, vegetable tacos, seafood tacos. There’s something for everyone. Vegetarian? Kale tacos! Trying to watch your weight? Grilled fish tacos! Trying to make your taco as delicious as humanly possible? Smother it with queso and guacamole! Yes and yes! Who would have ever thought to combine the two best things in life together into one taco? A genius, that’s who. There is a time a place for clean eating, and in my opinion, tacos are not it.
Tacos are my love language. I frequently serve them to my friends and family to express my love for them. We have weekly taco night at my house, which is always everyone’s favorite night of the week. At almost every party I host you can bet tacos are involved. My friends look forward to coming over to see what type of tacos we’re serving. The best part is that even the kids will eat tacos because what’s not love about meat covered in cheesy goodness wrapped in a warm tortilla? It’s like a dance party in your mouth with every bite.
Dr. Suess described all the places he ate green eggs and ham because he enjoyed it so much. I wholeheartedly agree when it comes to tacos: I like them in a house. I like them with a mouse. I like them in a box or with a fox. Here, there, or anywhere.
If you are not vigorously shaking your head in agreement with my taco-loving sentiment, I can only assume that you have never been to Texas. Please do yourself a favor and run, not walk there right now. Let me give you a free tip: sometimes the sketchier the place looks, the better their tacos are. This is not usually true in life, but it is true with tacos.
I began to try and pinpoint when my love affair with tacos began and suddenly it came to me that it started when I moved to Texas. I grew up in the Midwest. Sure, I think people there like tacos (who doesn’t?), but they are not lauded like they are here in Texas. Tacos are almost part of the culture here.
When my husband and I were first dating he was trying to convince me to move to Texas with him, so he took me on a tour of the state. We saw a lot of beautiful sites that week, but I think what really sealed the deal was the food. The Mexican food here is the real deal, and I was in love at first bite. Instead of wine tasting, we went taco tasting. We ate some barbacoa tacos that I still vividly remember. Next, was a cauliflower taco covered in jalapeño and pineapple. The combination of spice and sweetness were perfection. Some other memorable creations were a chicken fried steak taco and a bacon and fried mushroom taco.
Now that I think about, I don’t know if one day is even enough to truly celebrate this magnificent culinary manifestation. Might I suggest making the entire fall one big, long taco party? Write your congressman, folks.
For me, tacos are Texas. I equate tacos with all the joy I have experienced here in the great state of Texas. God bless tacos, and God bless Texas!