My Cinco de Mayo Taco Story

In the same way that everyone is Irish on St Patrick's Day, today everyone is Mexican.. at least in the way that they eat and drink to celebrate the day that commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over the French on May 5, 1862.

I think this funny picture is the image of Mexican food that I had in 1970 when my Army buddy, Conrad, brought me from El Paso to his home in Phoenix. When we got there his mom announced that we were having tacos. I hope that I didn't but I may have made a face about eating something "Mexican". Although I had lived in the El Paso, Texas area for several years I had not even tried Mexican food.

I was a finicky eater back then - not so much these days.. unfortunately. In retrospect it is pretty funny.. sometimes I think that tacos are more American than Mexican. I can still remember that dinner in Phoenix and how much I loved those tacos. The following year was replete with many trips to Taco Bell in El Paso to grab some of those delicious folded tortilla sandwiches. I even branched out a bit eating the occasional burrito but think that I mainly stayed with those wonderful tacos.

My wife and I left the Army and El Paso in October of 1971 (yes I got married in June of that year) and moved back to New York - the place of no tacos or burritos. A year or so later we introduced my New York family to the world of tacos.. I am not sure where we got the shells. Our taco dinner was met with raves as my New York family was introduced to the world of Cinco de Mayo.. well.. they liked the tacos and eventually.. years later.. a Taco Bell showed up in the area.. and people of the New York area had access to fast food Mexican.

Do you remember the first time you tried Mexican food? How will you celebrate today?


  1. I don't remember the first time I had Mexican food, but I do remember my mom making us tacos for dinner when I was a kid. Like most holidays, i don't celebrate Cinco De Mayo. I really only celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, though I have gone to the occasional New Years party.

  2. I was pretty young so I don't remember my first taco. I do recall that as a child all we ever ate were hard shell. Though I enjoyed the taste, I disliked having them for supper because of their "fragility." :D

  3. I don't remember any Mexican food growing up...funny I hadn't thought about that until you asked. I think my first taste was fast food, like Taco Bell, or Del Taco.

    I love Mexican food now and it is just behind Italian in my favorite foods to eat.

  4. I was 12 years old. We had moved from a small farming town in Ohio to the Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA. I saw my first Mexicans and we ate a place called Taco Bell. Wow! Fellow so much in love with Mexican food I married a Mexican American!

  5. I love mexican food. I've eaten the americanized version of it as long as I can remember. Growing up, we ate at taco via at metcalfe south mall all the time. I still love it, but you can't go to any taco via. Only the one on 95th and antioch still makes the food the same way.


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