October 4th Taco Day

People love tacos, I love tacos! In fact, last year we ate over 4.5 billion tacos. Laid end-to-end that’s a trip to the moon (490,000 miles).

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No one knows exactly where tacos came from, or the name anyway. One theory states that tacos came from Mexican miners who used to place gunpowder between pieces of paper to blow iron ore out of the rock. Apparently they thought about putting meat between tortillas and naming it after the bombs they made for the mines. The second theory is that it comes from Spain where they used small fish, live insects, ants, locust, and snails in the tortilla for a lively lunch in the 16th century.

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The first known reference of a taco, to eat, came in the late 19th century called, “Miner’s Taco”. Looks like the miners won! (I’m sorta glad cause I wasn’t looking forward to the locust and snails)!

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Tacos can be filled with just about anything though. Fish, chicken, beef, eggs, cheese, lettuce, bacon, you name it, and it could go into a taco. In fact, the actual taco part of a taco is probably the shell the other stuff goes in. Add spices and sauces of your choice and it is a taco!

Taco Bell is the first company to make the taco as popular as it is. Beginning in 1962 in California, Taco Bell has served more tacos than any other restaurant in the world! – though they do tend to stick to the more traditional styles – meat and chicken. Fish has become very popular over the last few years. Ensenada, Mexico is given credit for the fish taco.

The first taco trucks appeared in New York City in 1966, operated by two ladies that hoped there would be a demand for their product. There was! I have to wonder though if they served two of the more interesting types of tacos. Tacos de Cabeza, made from the brains, eyes, tongue, and lips of cattle. Or Tacos al Pastor, made like a shepherd’s pie placed in a taco shell. There are now even dessert tacos!

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No matter what kind of taco you enjoy, this is your day to enjoy it even more!

How to celebrate – Invent your own type of taco (it has probably already been served somewhere though). Go to Taco Bell and savor the flavor!  Have tacos for dinner tonight!

May 28th National Hamburger Day

With summer coming, or in some places already here, the idea of swimming pools, lemonade, and cookouts begin to fill our thoughts. What spells summer more than an outdoor cookout while you enjoy a cool lemonade by the pool.

So where did the hamburger come from?  There are many that claim ownership of the ground beef delight. Congress recognizes Louise Lassen, a Dutch immigrant (legal), who created the treat in 1900 as reported by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. But that would not explain the reports in the Boston Journal in 1884 or the Chicago Tribune in 1896.  Others have claimed to have invented the hamburger, namely Charlie Nagreen, Frank and Charles Menches, Oscar Weber Bilby, Fletcher David, and Otto Kuase ,who later founded White Castle, and whose claim goes back to 1891.

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It may have even been first served in Germany, though most believe it was created in the US. The UK has its own version, generally made out of either turkey or bison.

The world’s largest hamburger is not in debate though, created by the Black Bear Casino in Carlton, Minnesota, in 2012 –  weighing 2014 pounds. Even Wimpie would be impressed by that.

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And lets remember that hamburger is also a part of tacos, pizza, spaghetti, meatballs, picadillo, egg rolls, chili, nachos, pot pies, stuffed potatoes, meatloaf…

So just start a cookout in your backyard and see how many neighbors are your friends!  Find kids you never knew you had. You might even discover a pet that has been missing all winter reappears.

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How to celebrate: Have a cookout this holiday weekend. Try to fix your own 2,000 pound hamburger. Go to McDonalds or any other burger joint you prefer.