Critics of Rayo’s proposal (at least the ones willing to write on local news stations’ Facebook pages) are balling their tiny fists and saying that tacos ain’t ‘Merican the way that chili is.
We're one month into Donald Trump's presidency (no, really, it's just been one month) and a resistance has taken hold, as constituents have challenged their elected representatives in angry town halls, countless protesters have marched against Trump and his policies, and Alec Baldwin has become almost likable again.
But one brave man is standing up and taking on one of our most important issues, rallying against an outdated mandate that no longer reflects the times: He believes that tacos should be named the official state food of Texas.
Taco expert Mando Rayo has launched a Change.org petition suggesting that Texas should slide that bowl of cold chili into our collective trash can and replace it with a plate of delicious, delicious tacos. "Whether you grew up here in Texas or you got here as soon as you could, you're eating tacos. In Texas, people eat tacos on a weekly basis," Rayo wrote by way of explanation. "Hell, tacos were here before Texas was Texas!"
Chili has had a good run in Texas, where the state legislature named it the official state dish in 1977. (The resolution officially began "WHEREAS, One cannot be a true son or daughter of this state without having his taste buds tingle at the thought of the treat that is real, honest-to-goodness, unadulterated Texas chili.") But Rayo believes that Texans' "taste buds tingle" due to a completely different food now—and he would know.
He is a longtime writer for tacojournalism.com and a co-author of the 448-page investigative masterpiece Tacos of Texas, which chronicled his six-week, 7,000-mile drive through the state as he sampled and identified the state's wide-ranging taco styles and cultures. ("No tacos were left untouched," he told The Daily Beast).
Critics of Rayo's proposal (at least the ones willing to write on local news stations' Facebook pages) are balling their tiny fists and saying that tacos ain't 'Merican the way that chili is. Rayo says that's not true. He told The Daily Beast that he believes that flour tortillas were originally created near San Antonio, while one of his Tacos of Texas interviewees—a university professor—believes that the food originated pre-statehood, when Texas was still a colony of New Spain (sometime between 1690 and 1821, for those of us who, um, forgot).
"Tacos were not imported here. They're from here. They're from this land," he told Texas Standard. "They're from the people." (In the same interview, he said that the tortilla "gives the food a hug" to make a taco, which is all the proof we need that tacos are unbeatable. IT LITERALLY HUGS ITSELF, WHY WOULD YOU FIGHT THIS, YOU MONSTERS.)
His Change.org petition currently has 600 supporters. "This isn't just a trend; it's part of the culture that Texas shares with Mexico," one signer wrote. "To some, tacos are a cultural staple."
And shouldn't shared cultures, peace, and unity be celebrated? Yes, they totally should. Besides, Texas's state snack is chips and salsa, so why not add tacos and round out a whole state meal?
Do it, Texas!