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Taco Journalist Wants to Make Tacos the Official State Dish of Texas

Replacing chili

Tacos from Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ’s former trailer Violet Taco
Tacos from Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ’s former trailer Violet Taco
Violet Taco/Official
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Tacos are always on the mind of Texans, so it makes sense that there’s another taco bill in proposed bill about the dish in the Texas State Legislature. This time, taco journalist and author Mando Rayo and state representative Gina Hinojosa are looking to make tacos the official dish of Texas.

The proposed bill highlights the importance of tacos to the state, which has “adopted [the dish as a] mainstay of Texas dining,” spotlighting the range of traditional to out-there fillings (barbacoa to octopus), and while tacos can be found elsewhere, "the tastiest tacos can be found in the great state of Texas.” The full text of the proposed bill follows below.

Mando pushed taco gears into motion when he launched a petition to make the dish an official Texas one in February. If it passes, it would replace chili, the current state dish of Texas.

This comes on the heels of another proposed bill seeking to make breakfast tacos the official state breakfast, from Texas House Member Stephanie Klick, earlier this month.

HCR 110

WHEREAS, From El Paso to Texarkana, from Texline to Brownsville, from the Rio Grande to the Red River, Texans consume a lot of tacos, and most of the other foods Texans enjoy, including brisket, sausage, eggs, chorizo, beans, and seafood, are that much better when served in the warm embrace of a tortilla; and

WHEREAS, While the exact origins of the taco are uncertain, this staple of Mexican cuisine is thought to have been around at least as long as the Lone Star State, and it has been wholeheartedly adopted as a mainstay of Texas dining; and

WHEREAS, Texans have strong opinions about whether flour or corn tortillas reign supreme, and as far as fillings go, we delight in such traditional choices as pork al pastor, beef barbacoa, and chicken fajita, and we also appreciate the more exotic ingredients that have been pressed into service, including everything from octopus to elk to kimchi fried rice; our state is believed to be the birthplace of the breakfast taco, and although Texans have yet to arrive at a consensus regarding which region deserves recognition for the best breakfast tacos, we are happy to indulge in the spirited debate and taste testing related to this serious issue; and

WHEREAS, One thing Texans can agree on is that, despite the availability of tacos in the other 49 states, the tastiest tacos can be found in the great State of Texas; and

WHEREAS, The Texas Legislature has recognized a variety of state symbols as tangible representations of the proud character and colorful heritage of the Lone Star State; while tortilla chips and salsa make for a satisfying state snack and chili is worthy of its selection as the official state dish, the taco, which needs no dish and can be hearty enough to serve as a meal all by itself, is indeed deserving of a place at the table; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate tacos as the official state food of Texas.