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Mexican Cookery, an often crisply fried tortilla folded over and filled, as with seasoned chopped meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. In Spanish the word is used to describe a light snack. This definition does not come close to describing the culinary delight we call the taco. The taco is a symbol of Mexican food and is one of its most popular and well known forms. Corn has been used as a food source for the indigenous people of the Mexicas since 3000 BC. The Aztecs made flat bread out of it and called it tlaxcalli. The Aztecs ate tlaxcalli stuffed with various concoctions of food and thus the taco was born. These concoctions would vary depending on the region. Anthropologists in the lake region of Mexico have found evidence of tacos filled with small fish. The people of Morelos and Guerrero filled their tacos with delightful insects and ants trying to outdo the Puebla and Oaxaca who filled their tacos with locust and snails. When Hernando Cortez and the Spanish arrived they named the Aztec bread a tortilla. Different types of tortillas had different names such as tlaxcalpacholi, a colored corn tortilla; ueitlaxcalli a large white very thin tortilla; quauhtlaxqualli, a large white thick tortilla made with nixtamal and totonqui; tlaxcalli, a standard white tortilla. It is thought that the word taco was derived from one or more of these words. There is another camp of people swearing it comes from “atacar” the Spanish word for attack. Watch out for the killer taco. In the early days of Mexico, tortillas where made by boiling corn (maize) with lime to soften the kernels and loosen the hulls. The grains were then ground on a stone saddle. The tortillas were formed by hand and baked on a griddle. Tortillas were laboriously hand made until 1960 when the tortilla making machine was developed. Immediately following this event, Ken Bell opened up the first Taco Bell in 1962. The famous Dernal Diaz del Castillo documented the first “Taco Bash” in the history of Mexico. The occasion was hosted by one Hernan Cortes in Coyoacan in honor of his captains. It was quite the elegant affair featuring tacos stuffed with imported pork from Cuba. Tacos then made their way north. The first taco recipes for the English speaking world appeared in 1914 in the California Mexican-Spanish Cook Book. A little different from today’s tacos, this recipe called for cooked beef and chili sauce in a folded flour tortilla, sealed with egg, then deep fried. One can now find variations of the taco from Mexico to the Middle Eastern streets of Lebanon. There is scarcely a person that doesn’t know what a taco is. It is truly an international food. Now that you are fully educated taco aficionados, it is time for you to create one of these masterpieces yourself.

A taco to the Mexican people is like a sandwich to Americans. Anything that can be stuffed, rolled or folded into a tortilla is called a taco. My friend, Ed Hackbarth, who started the Del Taco chain, comically and simply refers to himself as a "Taco Bender." As a kid, growing up with his family, I helped them cut cheese and ready the store for business. Never did I consider that taco history really was being reinvented. But long before Ed started his taco chain, the first tacos recorded started appearing in cookbooks about 1914. The rest they say, is history as tacos have enmeshed themselves as not just a Mexican diet, but a part of the American culture.

TACOrific was founded by Economist Pear Girlie Tolentino, Leah May Ejera, Kristine May Delmindo, Kimberly Cuntapay, Orlando Castellon, Ma. Maricar Martinez and Rose Ann Quinones who opened their first stoll, TACOrific cart inside Polytechnic University of the Philippines. And hopefully sooner their business will grow fast. TACOrific has different flavors that will fulfill the customer’s wants and need because Tacos have taken on all comers when it involves the filling. Not too many flavors can compete with tacos. * TACOrific can be eaten...
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