Corn is the most important crop of the Americas. It sustained the Western Hemisphere for centuries, and with the colonization of its lands, came the colonization of corn. In the past century, corn went from maíz production to mass production, with companies modifying it and depleting it of its natural riches. In this episode we rally with masa makers on a journey to reconnect our comunidades with the nutrients and flavors of the superfood in a more pure form than the mass-produced maseca, with which many of us are familiar. We talk to Andres Garza, now Nixta Taqueria’s Director of Masa Development and Fermentation, Olivia Lopez, chef and co-owner of Molino Olōyō in Dallas, Texas, and Julian Maltby of Mercado Sin Nombre in Austin, TX about decolonizing the once magical maiz and the many shapes of tacos being made with their corn tortillas.
As some politicians take more notice of the voting power of the communidad Latina, we see our cultura make its way into campaign slogans, hear Spanish being spoken from debate podiums, and even Tacos being used as an effort to rally up support! While some taco tactics may just be lip service, others have made sincere connections with the communities they go into. In this episode we talk tacos and politics with Councilmember Vanessa Fuentes, AISD Trustee Ofelia Zapata and Jilma Palacio from Taqueria King as we get to know the Dove Springs neighborhood in Austin, Texas.
Barbacoa, from Sunday traditions to everyday goodness, barbacoa continues to evolve and surprise us. In this episode, we talk barbacoa basics before chatting with Joel Garcia, owner and pitmaster at Teddy’s Barbecue in Weslaco, Texas. Joel shares his barbecue and barbacoa story and how smoking beef heads takes barbacoa to the next level.
The tradition of cooking cabrito goes back centuries. For Rebecca’s Mexican Restaurant, in McAllen, Texas, it goes back over 30 years, for a mother and her two daughters. In this episode we stop by this G.O.A.T. of a restaurant and talk cabrito traditions of the RGV with both hijas, Jessica Gutierrez and Laurie Johnson and some fellow taco-loving customers at the restaurant.
Don’t forget to take your Vitamin T! That’s T for Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales. In this episode, taco journalist Mando Rayo and bilingual educator Suzanne Garcia-Mateus sit down and browse through the spanglish children’s book that they co-wrote called Vitamina T for Tacos. They connect over their shared experiences of growing up bilingual and speaking spanglish and how that motivated them to write a book that represented the complex culture that they didn’t see in children’s books when they were growing up.
They say that Filipinos are the Mexicans of Asia. From the adobo and the chicharrones, to cultural traditions, we share an overlap in our identities. In this episode, we bond with our Filipino primos Isabel Protomartir (host of Identity Productions show Até) and Ralph Xavier Degala (Master Chef Season 9). We discuss how Filipino culture is thriving in Texas and the tasty tacos that come with it.
Latino culture isn’t exactly known to be LGTBQia+ friendly. We’ve seen this through some of our biggest cultural icons, who remained closeted their entire lives. Much of the intolerance is driven by machismo in our culture, which can be prevalent in spaces like taquerias. We connect with Angel Cabrera, owner of Tacos Doña Lena in Houston, and Kristen Martinez, owner of MB Foodhouse in Minneapolis, about their experience in the taco community. They share with us how they have persevered and risen above the odds… even during a pandemic.
What goes better with tacos than with a little Screwmbia? That’s cumbia chopped and screwed. We’ll talk with los mero meros de screwmbia, including Principe Q (Corpus Christi DJ, chef, and nephew of Selena, yes that Selena) and Gracie Chavez (co-founder of Houston’s Bombón collective) to understand how the music genre took off. We’ll also take a deep dive into creating taco beats with music producer Adrian Graniel who helped IDENTITY Productions create their own taco beats that go perfect with tacos al pastor and a bien sazonada carne asada.
Let’s talk tacos with Mando Rayo, Taco Journalist and the co-creator of United Tacos of America TV Show & Tacos of Texas book and PBS digital series.
As an avid taco ambassador, food explorer and street ethnographer, Mando has traveled across the U.S. to uncover the tastiest tacos, from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to L.A. and New Orleans to New York City. And we’re keeping the conversation front and center through the Tacos of Texas podcast Season Two.
Keeping it true to our TacoJournalist roots, we’ll talk to Texas taqueros, tortilleras & makers; we’ll also explore food cultures & people while exploring issues like Taco Beats, Taco Identity, Smoked Beef Barbacoa, Taco Gentrification and of course, we’ll keep it muy caliente with our “sound of tacos” and “where taqueros eat” segments by people across the great state of Texas.
Learn from two Chingonas making it in the taco world including Lis Mariscal, Veracruz All Natural and Victoria Elizondo, Chef/Owner of Cochinita & co. Moderated by Taco Journalist, Mando Rayo. Recorded live on the podcast stage at Austin City Limits Festival 2021.
Learn from Taco Journalist, Mando Rayo and Director Dennis Burnett on how they’re building platforms for people of color, from the tacos of Texas Podcast, United Tacos of America tv show and cooking shows, Tex-Mex Queen and ATE (ah-teh). Recorded live on the podcast stage at Austin City Limits Festival 2021.
In this episode, we spend 24-hours with Houston-based pitmaster Eduardo Ortiz (and his tortilla pressing mother!) to learn his process for creating some of Houston’s best-smoked carne. As we follow his masterful smoking process, we’ll learn how he learned his trade, how Eddie O’s first pop-ups were received, and what it takes to be Texas pitmaster in the clutch city, Houston, Texas.
Beneath the city’s trendy surface, Austin’s undersung “Taco Mile” (located up north on Rundberg Ln.) is serving up some of the most authentic tacos in the area. In this episode, we’ll examine how this hidden gem of a taco scene reflects Austin’s segregationist history, changing demographics, and the plight of immigrants in Texas’ capital city. Guests include Laura Toledo, owner, and operator of Taqueria Ceibas, Greg Casar, Austin City Council Member, Representative for Austin’s District Four, and Jose Carrasco, Director of the Family Resource Center at Austin’s Dobie Middle School.
Located in the heart of San Antonio, UTSA’s academic library boasts one of the oldest, most comprehensive collections of historic Mexican cookbooks in the world (many of which are over a century old). In this episode, we’ll explore what these archaic texts teach us about Mexico’s rich culinary history and how its dishes are prepared today. We’ll talk with Rico Torres, a James Beard-nominated chef who’s built a career off of recreating these age-old recipes at his uber-popular restaurant, Mixtli and Steph Noell, the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Special Collection’s Librarian.
Some taco trucks are colorful, some hand-written and painted, and others are inspired by the food they make. In this episode, we’ll capture the most creative taco trucks, the inspiration, and stories behind the art, and eat along the way. Guests include muralist, Ernesto “Cheche” Hernandez (El Paso) and Reyna and Mariza Vasquez, Veracruz All Natural (Austin).
Tacos aren’t just delicious — they’re also big bucks! In this episode, we break down the numbers behind America’s favorite food. We’ll crunch the numbers to answer such burning questions as how much money does your average Texan spend on Tacos per year? How much does it cost to run a taco truck? And exactly how much of the state’s economy relies on Mexican food? Guests include the owner of Dallas-based Trompo! Taqueria owner Luis Olvera, Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) Vice President Kelsey Erickson Streufert, and Director of Hispanic Research at the Pew Research Center Mark Hugo Lopez.
Since the turn of the century, the taco has become a staple of American cuisine, one on par with sushi and pizza. And yet misinformation about the dish (and Mexican food in general) still runs rampant in the United States. For example, did you know that the misconception that taco trucks are somehow dirtier or less sanitary than other operations can be traced back to bigotry against the first Latina entrepreneurs who sold street food in San Antonio in the 1800s? In this episode, we take a deep dive into the long and messy history of Mexican Food misinformation and how that misinformation continues still today. Guests include Dr. Mary Beltrán, of the University of Texas at Austin and Dr. Ellen Riojas Clark of, the University of Texas at San Antonio.
2020 is the taco’s time to shine — and it’s the Chicanos, Latinx, Chingonas behind it all. In this episode, we’ll check in with the entrepreneurs who are behind some of Texas’s hottest food trends. We’ll also examine the ways in which these taqueros are working together to keep traditions alive and the culture as strong as ever. Guests include Emiliano Marentes – Elemi (El Paso), Edgar Rico, Nixta Taqueria (Austin) and Victoria Elizondo, Cochinita & Co (Houston).
Using the Disco, (a cooking apparatus whose origins are often attributed to the camaraderie between Mexican and Chinese rail workers in the early 20th century), we’ll trace how traditions and cultures intersect, and what effects that cultural fusion has on subsequent generations for years. We’ll explore the connections and history of the Chinese and Mexican roots of their own versions of the disco. Guests include Dr. Guillermina Gina Nunez-Mchiri, UT El Paso (El Paso), and Francisco “Paco” Wong (El Paso).
As our uncertain world turns, it seems like only one thing stays consistent — the generosity of Texas taqueros. Whether they’re feeding communities in need during natural disasters, or simply working to enforce their operation’s mask mandate during a global pandemic, it’s not often these brave culinary craftsmen and women get the recognition they deserve. In this episode, we’ll chat with some taco do-gooders about their work to lift up their communities and care for society’s most vulnerable. Because like most things, humanitarianism is best when it’s wrapped in a homemade tortilla hecho con amor. Guests include Jessica Villa-Gomez BoomBox Taco (Houston) and TK Tunchez, Founder of Frida Fridays (Austin).