If you were asked,
“What’s cool and trending in society right now?”
What would be your answer?
- You might mention high waisted pants.
- Or maybe micro-brewed beer.
- Definitely living out of a van.
- Perhaps even acai breakfast bowls.
And then you’d think about what you had for lunch and dinner and lunch again and midnight snack and at the top of your lungs you’d shout,
Because yes, tacos are very trendy. But for good reason. They taste like a cloud in heaven. A hint of spice, an explosion of flavor, a gorgeous mouthfeel, a slight crunch and perfect satisfaction.
One might even wonder if tacos were invented by a genius food scientist. Shockingly they weren’t. Rather, their origin is mostly unknown. But experts have done their homework and made some very good guesses about where the taco was born.
In 2012, The Smithsonian Magazine published an interview with Jeffrey M. Pilcher, a professor of history at the University of Minnesota. Pilcher has tested tacos around the world (not a bad job). He’s also tried to figure out where tacos come from.
Pilcher’s theory is that tacos got their start in silver mines in Mexico in the 18th century. Apparently in those mines the word “taco” refers to charges they would use to excavate the ore. So, a “taco” was a piece of paper wrapped around gunpowder and inserted into holes carved into the rock.
If you think about it, it kind of makes sense. Picture a chicken taquito. Now, picture a piece of paper wrapped around gunpowder. Although one would certainly taste better than the other, they may look quite similar.
So there’s that, plus one of the very first types of tacos described was called, “tacos de minero” or “miner’s tacos”.
Now there’s another theory that the word “taco” actually originated with indigenous groups in Mexico. The Nahuatl word “tlahco” (which looks an awful lot like “taco”) means “half” or “in the middle” possibly referring to food being placed in the middle of a tortilla.
Wherever tacos came from, we love them now. Research suggests Americans eat more than 4.5 billion tacos a year. That’s a lot of tacos!
Boise has not been immune to the taco takeover. There are dozens and dozens of restaurants in the Treasure Valley that serve delicious tacos. As well as dozens that serve tacos, specifically! Like they specialize in tacos. How great is that? To those restaurants we owe our gratitude.
Although words will never be enough, we want to highlight three Boise taco joints that you can’t miss. Whether you’re new to town, old to town, or just visiting, this list will tell you exactly where to get a tasty taco.
When you’re hungry, you want to eat and you want to eat now. That’s what Tin Roof Tacos provides, speed. But that’s not all. It’s tastes amazing too. How they do that, I have no clue. Plus it’s a good price. Three tacos, chips and salsa for $8? Yes please! One bite of their corn taco will nearly lull you into a coma it’s so satisfying.
Come hungry, leave, and then come back for dinner. That’s what the motto of Calle 75 should be. With a specialty taco menu, this taco shop has something for everyone. There’s a taco with shrimp cooked to perfection and there’s even a taco with charred kale! Calle 75 will keep you coming back because well, you just have to try them all.
Is there anything better than a salmon taco? Nope. This spot has tacos that you eat so fast, you don’t remember eating them and you have to order more. Another bonus, it sits on the Boise River Greenbelt, so when you’re biking along, you can just pop off the greenbelt, grab a taco or 12, chow down on the restaurant’s incredible patio and be on your way.
So as you can see, if you spend anytime at all in Idaho’s Treasure Valley, you’ll without a doubt be able to track down a taco. What will be more difficult is deciding which one to eat first.