Food Trends

Taco enthusiast wants to make tacos the official state food of Texas

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The official state dish of Texas is listed as chili by the Texas State Library, but one man is looking to swap that classic dish for a South-of-the-Border staple. 

A Change.org petition, titled “Make Tacos the National Food of Texas,” seeks to replace the state’s current official dish with — you guessed it — the taco. Mando Rayo, the petition’s author, cites the food’s prevalence in the Lonestar State as one of his main reasons, writing that tacos are “infused with Texas food culture.”

“In Texas, you can find tacos almost anywhere, not just at Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurants but food trucks, trailers, gas stations, Asian food places, barbecue joints and even all-American restaurants,” reads the petition.

Rayo is a major connoisseur of the tortilla wrapped dish. He’s writes for TacoJournalism.com, and according to the profile on his company’s website — MandoRayoCollective.com — Rayo is already the author of two separate books on tacos.

Chili, however, has been the state food of Texas since 1977, when the House of Representatives of the State of Texas proclaimed chili as its official dish "in recognition of the fact that the only real ‘bowl of red’ is that prepared by Texans.”

But Rayo argues that tacos, although a Mexican invention, have been enjoyed in Texas since well before the land was granted statehood in 1845, or even recognized as a republic in 1836.

“We've been eating tacos from our abuelita's kitchens way before the days of the Alamo,” writes Rayo. “Hell, tacos were here before Texas was Texas!”

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Rayo’s call for a new state food isn’t without its detractors, though. Since posting his petition, Twitter has seen responses from plenty of chili purists, anti-taco posters and even people who would prefer a third option altogether.

As of Monday, Rayo's petition has garnered more than 900 petition signees, but it’s not yet clear what he plans to do with the project once the post reaches its 1,000-signature goal.