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Mando Rayo

October 11, 2021

Taco Misinformation

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…


September 27, 2021

Chicanos & Chingonas on The Rise

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).


September 13, 2021

West Texas: The Origins of the Discada

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).



Taco journalist, author and Texas Standard contributor Mando Rayo has travelled Texas to uncover the tastiest tacos. In his new podcast Mando talks Texas taqueros, tortilleras & makers, explores food cultures and engages lovers of tacos on topics like the rise of Tex-Mex BBQ, the West Texas origins of the Discada and other True Taco stories.

Sponsored by Laredo Taco Company
Production: IDENTITY Productions
Mixed by Nicholas Worthen
Creative Producer: Dennis Burnett
Story Producer: Trey Gutierrez
Producer and Host: Mando Rayo


Mando Rayo’s experience is deep-rooted in Latinx & BIPOC communities. Mando is a digital story-teller and uses his Latinx identity to inspire and build bridges through his production company, IDENTITY. From working with Laredo Taco Company, Beef Loving Texans, KLRU-TV, PBS Austin, Whataburger, Austin Film Society, People en Español y más, Mando shares stories through food, culture, documentaries and digital platforms. As an avid taco ambassador, food explorer and street ethnographers, 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. Mando is the producer and co-author of ‘The Tacos of Texas book (UT Press) & docu-series with PBS Digital Studios and United Tacos of America TV Show on El Rey Network. Mando’s work has been featured on Bon Appetit Magazine, The Food Network, NPR, The New York Times and SXSW.