There history of the taco is closely tied to the history of Mexican cuisine, and there are 2 main stories around the origin of tacos. Firstly, the word "taco" was used in the expression "tacos de minero" (miner's tacos.) because of their association with the Mexican silver mines. When the word taco first came about, it didn't refer to the delicious meal we know today. These "tacos" were actually paper sheets filled with gunpowder and wrapped; which they would then push into the holes they carved in the rock face.Their wives, would prepare lunch for their husbands in the same manner of a taco, using tortillas and fillings instead.
Nonetheless, the origins of the taco can be traced back to the pre-Columbian era, when the Aztecs and other indigenous peoples of Mexico used small, thick corn tortillas to wrap various foods such as fish, poultry, and insects. One of the earliest tales of this is from the emperor Moctezuma I, who would use tortillas as a spoon to grab more food - something very similar to Indian food and Naan bread.
Tacos as we know them today, began to take shape during the 18th century in Mexico City, where street vendors began selling tacos filled with a variety of meats, such as pork, beef, and chicken. These street tacos were typically made with small, thick corn tortillas and were filled with meat, cheese, cilantro, and onions.
During the Mexican Revolution in the early 20th century, street vendors selling tacos began to migrate to the United States, bringing their taco recipes with them. This is how the taco started to gain popularity in the U.S.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the taco began to gain popularity in the United States, particularly in California and Texas. Taco trucks and taquerias began to appear in cities and towns across the United States, and the taco became an American staple food.
Over the years, the taco has evolved to include a wide variety of fillings, toppings, and styles. Nowadays, you can find tacos with fillings like grilled fish, shrimp, steak, and even fried chicken. You can also find fusion tacos that combine elements of Mexican cuisine with other types of cuisine such as Korean, Japanese and more.
Tacos are considered a staple of Mexican cuisine, and now it's a part of global cuisine as well. The taco is a simple, yet versatile food that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. It is a food that is enjoyed in many different ways, whether it's a traditional street taco or a gourmet restaurant taco.