10 Interesting and Delicious Taco Facts You May Not Know

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Impress your friends, your children, and your cat when you share one of these taco fun facts at the next taco party.

  1. The first recorded taco party was held in 1520 by Hernan Cortes, a Spanish conquistador. He and his fellow conquistadors showed up in the new world in 1519 and the local Aztecs introduced them to tacos. Bernal Diaz del Castillo, a soldier who arrived with Cort, wrote detailed reports of these taco extravaganzas.

2. The word “taco” originally meant “paper wrapped around gunpowder.” And literally means “plug” or “wad” in Spanish.

First Taco Bell

3. Taco Bell, once called Taco Tia and opened by Glen Bell in 1954, also sold hot dogs and burgers

4. In 1962, Glen Bell made Taco Tia the first Mexican fast food franchise and changed the name to Taco Bell. The oldest Taco Bell and McDonald’s are located in the same town.

5. While Glen Bell likes to take credit for the hard shell taco, he did not invent it. The crispy shell has been a part of north Mexican cooking since the first half of the 20th century.

6. Tacos were brought to the United States by refugees during the Mexican Revolution. And now over 4.5 billion tacos are sold each year in the United States.

7. Supposedly, the first taco truck was opened and operated by two New York City housewives in 1966. We couldn’t find an original source for this fun fact, but we’ll share it all the same.

8. In 1979 Maris Bustamante supposedly patented the taco as part of a satirical performance called Patente del Taco, according to Wikipedia. There’s a reference but no evidence on the US Patent & Trade Office to support that.
Trademark entry

9. Taco John’s was the first to trademark “Taco Tuesday” 1989, and still has some claim to the phrase.

10. The World’s Biggest Taco (in a flour tortilla) was made by the city of Mexicali in 2003. It was 35.9 feet long and included, among other things, 1182 POUNDS of grilled steak! If you search “world’s biggest taco”, you can find others that are larger, but since this is the one listed in Guinness World Records, we’ll say it’s most official.

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