Inside Baseball Term: Taco

Noun, Delicious Food

Pronunciation: ˈtɑː.koʊ

Translation: Dynamite, Sandwich

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Its common knowledge that Cinco de Mayo is a massively Americanized holiday, in which gringos everywhere mistakenly celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day1 with considerable amounts of tequila and tacos. Therefore, in honor of Cinco de Mayo revelries everywhere, here’s the inside baseball specifics on tacos!

It’s a widely held belief that the taco got its start back in 18th century Mexican silver mines. Basically taco was the term miners used to describe the type of dynamite being used. Paper wrapped around gunpowder and inserted into rock; tortilla wrapped around deliciousness and inserted into mouth.

However, due to the relentless European attempts at conquering Mexico, the actual Hispanic origin of food itself is unclear. Additionally, due to the class system at that time, corn tortillas had a negative stigma associated with the lower classes, while flour was preferred by the European settlers. So there were multiple varieties of the taco being enjoyed in Mexico from the very beginning.

With each change in location came a change in available provisions, which affected the taco’s contents. In some places like Ensenada tacos were filled with small fish, while those in Oaxaca were filled with locusts and snails. Once the taco came to the United States, though, more Americanized meats and produces filled the shells.

The tacos were an immediate hit in the United States. Areas where Chili Queens2 congregated and sold their tacos3 became huge tourist attractions. Vacationers would go so far as to risk muggings for the famed & illusive tacos.

Luckily enough, the tacos popularity arose even further and are now available everywhere, including Malibu. This Cinco de Mayo come visit Carbon Beach Club and enjoy Chef Victor Morales’ 5 de Mayo special. Five delicious street tacos with an assortment of fillings, none of which include locusts or snails.

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1Considered one of the most important holidays in Mexico, but actually celebrated on September 16th

2Chili Queens – Lady Street Vendors who sold Mexican food during festivals.

3At this point taco was no longer a Spanish word, but rather a phrase used to help the gringos understand what was being sold.