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Somebody Wants Tacos, Not Chili, To Be The Official Food Of Texas

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When you go to Texas, there’s always specific foods that you associate with the Lone Star State – barbecue, chili, and tacos. These food hallmarks have tons of variations across Texas, but only one currently holds the title of “National Dish of Texas” – the chili.

There’s one crusading author, however, that wants to change that. He believes the food that truly represents Texas shouldn’t be chili. Instead, it should be tacos.

In an interview with The Texas Standard, acclaimed author Mando Rayo made his case for tacos as the national food of Texas. The key points of his argument do make good sense. First of all, chili and barbecue can both be turned into tacos. Additionally, tacos are a deep, integral part of Texan culture that everyone across the state can connect to.

“Tacos were not imported here, they were from here, they’re from this land… they’re from the people. When you think about not only the history, but the culture that’s part of eating tacos, or even the trends of food trucks and what-have-you, there’s just so many places to eat a taco. […] I feel that’s kind of one of those foods that people definitely have some sort of connection to. And it’s not just some seasonal connection.”

Rayo has looked at tacos from across the state and turned his experiences into a book and documentary, both entitled “The Tacos of Texas.” He found that tacos aren’t just a food associated with Mexican cuisine anymore. Everybody in Texas who sells food has tacos in some form — breakfast tacos, Asian tacos, traditional tacos… the list goes on.

Rayo has extensively studied tacos and their culture in Texas, and based on that, he feels that tacos should be the official food of Texas. His goal is to make tacos Texas’s state dish, knocking chili off of that pedestal to replace it with a food that runs much deeper in Texas’s culture.

Currently, Rayo has started a Change.org petition to make tacos the official dish of Texas, and is looking for a “hungry legislator” in the state of Texas to help get a law enacted to replace chili and put tacos in their rightful place.

What do you think? Should tacos be the official food of the state of Texas? Or is Mando Rayo crazy to even bring up the suggestion? Let us know what you think and vote in the poll below!


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Whether you agree or disagree with him, there’s one thing we can all agree on: tacos are freaking DELICIOUS.