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November 7, 2023

Taco Pop Culture: A Taco Talk on All Things Tacos on the Interwebs

By: Mando Rayo

Stephanie Guerra, of Puro Pinche, hangs with us in the studio to talk taco pop culture. From taco shticks, antics in media, and cultural appropriation, we’ll explore the highs and lows of taco pop culture. Many taco tangents will be had!

The full transcript of this episode of Tacos of Texas is available on the KUT & KUTX Studio website. The transcript is also available as subtitles or captions on some podcast apps.

Intro Hi, I’m Cloud Delfina Cardona. I’m a poet and artist from San Antonio, Texas. To me, tacos sound like my family’s front door creaking open as my father walks in with a brown bag stained with grease. It’s the pop of the salsa containers lid. It’s the sound of the weather report in the background. My mother’s laughter, my sibling sips of coffee between each bite. It’s the crinkle of foil as we ball it up and throw it back into the bag. This is Cloud Delfina Cardona. And you’re listening to Tacos of Texas on KUT.

[sound of a dialing a phone call] Let’s get a taco. Taco Tuesday. [sound of static and feedback layered with voices]. I made it up all by myself. I think the catastrophe yesterday was a blessing in disguise because it led to my new invention. Flat tacos. [music starts to play] [crunch sound effect]

Mando Rayo What’s up, Taco world? I’m taco journalist Mando Rayo, and welcome to the Tacos of Texas podcast season tres, tres, tres produced by Identity Productions in partnership with KUT and KUTX Studios. And we’re back exploring taco culture in Texas through the eyes of the people in the Lone Star State. So grab an enchirrito and a taco pizza and get ready for some muy tasty taco conversation. [music plays] In today’s episode, we’re bringing our longtime friend Stephanie Guerra of San Antonio’s Puro Pinche, into the studio y vamos a tener un chat where we’re going to talk about taco pop culture on the interwebs, the highs, the lows and everything in between. You remember, “Yeah way.” “Listen, listen, Linda. Linda, listen, honey.” And most recently, “Yo soy bien delicado y na’ mas como puro chicken,” So yeah, we’re having fun in the studio over tacos and tangents. And I’m excited that you’re joining us today on Tacos of Texas. [music plays] [crunch sound effect] Oh, it’s taco time. And now here’s a word from our sponsors. From me. Vamos at Chuco Town con Visit El Paso. It’s the hometown of this taco journalist. Gateway to Big Bend. There’s no other place like Big Bend, Texas, where the stark beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert can be enjoyed in all its magnificence. Situated along the Texas Mexico border in far west Texas, Big Ben’s remote location makes the journey here a long one. Unless you’re coming from El Paso, the Sun City is the best starting point to your Big Bend adventure. Not only is El Paso easy to get to, but you’ll also find everything you need for as long as you’re in town. Take your pick from upscale downtown hotels to comfortable accommodations from the biggest names in the business. When you’re ready to explore Big Bend, you’ll find that the national park is less than 300 miles away from El Paso. Muchas gracias to our friends at Visit El Paso for sponsoring this podcast episode. Follow Visit El Paso on Instagram and Facebook at Visit El Paso or on their website at Visit El Paso dot com. [crunch sound effect] No fees equals more tacos at Amplify Credit Union. With fee free banking at Amplify, you’ll never pay another account fee, overdraft fee, or transfer fee ever again. And no fees means un poquito mas de sabor. It’s not a bank, it’s a credit union. And their goal is to remove the obstacles that stand between their members and financial success. So they turned off all their bank fees. Because it’s not just about giving back. Sometimes it’s about not taking in the first place. And you know what? Amplify is the first financial institution in Texas to put an end to bank fees. Amplify charges $0 in overdraft fees. That’s right. Zero. Amplify offers fee free banking to both personal and business members. To learn more, go to go amplify dot com slash tacos. [music plays] Today’s guest is Stephanie Guerro from Puro Pinche based in San Antonio, Texas. Stephanie is an experienced consultant offering creative services such as social media marketing, event production, content creation and more. Stephanie founded Puro Pinche, Puro Pinche dot com in 2010 to help celebrate and support San Antonio’s vibrant cultural scene. Puro Pinche’s recognition has made her the go to person for when and what is happening in South Texas. Puro Pinche social media channels constantly aggregate and share need to know information about culture and events happening to its audience of over 60,000 people. Come join me and Stephanie in the studio. Thumbs up, We’re rolling. All right, here we go. [clears throat] Coming in all the way from San Antonio. We’ve got Stephanie Guerra of Puro Pinche. [crowd sound effect plays] That’s right. Welcome to Austin, Stephanie.

Stephanie Guerra Woo! I made it. I’m so tired. That was the longest trip of my life.

Mando Rayo Oh, really?

Stephanie Guerra No, it’s like an hour. [laughs]

Mando Rayo You didn’t take the monorail?

Stephanie Guerra What monorail? [both laugh] If anybody’s listening out there, we could use one.

Mando Rayo I know right? Right, right. Do we still have the buses that kind of go back and forth?

Stephanie Guerra Was that a thing?

Mando Rayo It was the thing. It was like 20 bucks. And you’re in San Antonio, like 5 hours later.

Stephanie Guerra Oh, like the Megabus?

Mando Rayo The Megabus.

Stephanie Guerra No, but if you want to sponsor us, we’ll take it. I haven’t taken the Megabus. I know you can take the Amtrak, but it only leaves, like, once and comes back once during the day. And then no. Car’s the fastest way, unfortunately. And most of the time we take the toll, so we avoid 35.

Mando Rayo Oh, that’s, that’s a good call. That’s definitely a good call.

Stephanie Guerra It was good. I’m glad to be here. We haven’t been asked in in a little while because we’ve just been working away in San Antonio making tacos.

Mando Rayo That’s right. That’s right. Yes. Yes. And today we’re talking about taco pop culture, right? The ins and the outs, the highs and the lows, the what I call the High-spanics and the Low-tinos and everything in between. How about that?

Stephanie Guerra Wait, what do you call me?

Mando Rayo I don’t know. [both laugh] Yes, yes, yes. So we’re talking about that. And, you know, when we were kind of thinking about this episode, I was like, okay, we need to get Stephanie in here because she knows what’s up. Right. You’re in San Antonio.

Stephanie Guerra We’re in our endless scrolling. Yeah. And always trying to pay attention to the news and what’s going on in San Antonio and Austin, south Texas, and around the country. You know, keep with Latinos in the news. And obviously, we need more of us in it, but we’re always being talked about.

Mando Rayo That’s true – it’s so weird, right? Yeah, I know that. All right. All right. So speaking of owning your own, you own or you are Puro Pinche.

Stephanie Guerra I am. We have become one.

Mando Rayo You have. You have become one. So, okay, so for somebody that maybe you know is listening from Kyle, Texas, that hasn’t been to San Antonio, what is Puro Pinche?

Stephanie Guerra Howdy, Kyle. Puro Pinche is my entertainment and culture guide to San Antonio and South Texas. So I am Latina, born and raised in San Antonio, and I grew up in a bilingual, multicultural world. My parents, you know, grew up speaking Spanish, went to school and had were forced to speak English, then didn’t teach me Spanish. I had to learn through eavesdropping to my abuelas and my mom and I really wanted to showcase that culture in San Antonio and show that there is so much going on with Latinos and people of color in San Antonio that you may not have seen in mainstream media because there wasn’t funds to advertise and to get our art events, our music events, our cultural events onto TV and radio and newspapers. And so I started Puro Pinche as a list of events going on, and it evolved into being more of a community centric website blog. And now it’s on social media. And I like to just spotlight our culture, you know, spotlight Latino culture, spotlight everybody that’s, you know, a mom and pop business, local business owners, small businesses, entrepreneurs, people that are making changes in their community. And I live in San Antonio. So that’s what comes, you know, natural and closest to me. But I try to talk about all parts of Texas that I know where there are Latinos that we’re living in. And also whenever we travel, we try to keep it puro, which means like keeping it real. Keeping it authentic.

Mando Rayo That’s right, That’s right.

Stephanie Guerra And find those same people in places, wherever we go.

Mando Rayo Love it, love it. And, you know, whenever somebody brings up Austin and San Antonio, there’s this like brotherly love, sisterly love.

Stephanie Guerra Sometimes.

Mando Rayo No, it’s the opposite.

Stephanie Guerra Mas o menos.

Mando Rayo Mas o menos, mas o menos. And, you know, just I mean, I’m OG El Paso. Right. So but I live in Austin and I love Austin, and I’m always about you taking care of our gente and our people and my taqueros here.

Stephanie Guerra Yeah. You do a great job, by the way.

Mando Rayo Oh, thank you. Thank you. I try and and then, you know, like when I go to San Antonio, like, man, it just feels like home, though. It feels it’s that feeling that you don’t have to explain yourself.

Stephanie Guerra Yeah, we are, you know, 70% Latino in San Antonio and Austin is not.

Mando Rayo That is true.

Stephanie Guerra You know, I did look at some demographics through the I think the city website recently for Austin and Austin is like 35% Latino. So there are a lot of Latinos here in Austin and you know yes I don’t know how deep we want to go into this right now, but I always get oh, well, there’s no good tacos in Austin. And I’m like, well, yeah, there are because there’s Mexicans there.

Mando Rayo Yeah, right, right. Yeah.

Stephanie Guerra Wherever the Mexicans are you can get good tacos.

Mando Rayo Yeah. Well, I think Austin has a bad rap because, like, white people try to Columbus the taco all the time. Yeah, there’s Torchy’s Tacos here. And so when people think of Austin.

Stephanie Guerra There’s Torchy’s Tacos everywhere.

Mando Rayo I know there’s Torchy’s Tacos everywhere.

Stephanie Guerra When you have friends that live in other states and they’re like, you know, yeah, let’s go get some tacos. And then they take you to Torchy’s, right? Did I not teach you anything?

Mando Rayo I know, I know, I know.

Stephanie Guerra But I agree. You know, Austin is a great city for marketers. And they have marketed that they are the breakfast taco capital of the country. But those breakfast tacos have not been the ones that are made by Mexican people right, it’s their marketing. So it is tough to always defend Austin, but I love Austin. Yeah, I have lots of friends that live here, have been coming here ever since I was old enough to go to concerts. I still believe it is a great live music city and there is lots to do here. There’s lots of entertainment and it’s hanging on to the culture.

Mando Rayo Yeah.

Stephanie Guerra Really, really trying hard.

Mando Rayo I think those of us that are here are in it to win it, you know what I mean? And represent for the culture. So that brings me to the highs and lows of our conversation today. And so I was looking at some of our notes. Right. And then I asked you to bring me, you know, a few ideas around the highs and the lows. But one thing because we’re talking about it, it’s this taco war that keeps coming back. I mean, like the taco war has been going on for like ten years.

Stephanie Guerra Those damn marketers.

Mando Rayo I know, right? And everybody, it’s clickbait from that, you know? Like, for me, I settled it. I said, San Antonio. Yeah. You know, when the breakfast taco wars.

Stephanie Guerra And, you know, you would know Austin tacos and taquerias is the best, right? Like it is. There’s a lot of factors that play into it’s not just one place that has a really good taco, you know, it’s there’s so many people.

Mando Rayo Give us a little historical perspective on the breakfast taco war.

Stephanie Guerra Somebody, probably a Texan. I don’t know.

Mando Rayo From New York.

Stephanie Guerra Somebody from New York, New York City, you know, they stepped in and they said, I’m going to draw a line in the sand. Who has the better tacos? Well, Austin, Texas, does. Why? Because I have money. And so San Antonio said, no, you don’t. We have all the Mexicans, Mexican Americans, Latinos here. We have better tacos. There’s a taquerias on every corner, Right. We went to war in the news. And then our mayor’s right.

Mando Rayo They design and build them, represent.

Stephanie Guerra The whole city and go to battle at South by Southwest. I’m not going to not the chefs that they chose during that battle, but I don’t think it was representative of our entire communities. And San Antonio won. Of course, it was South by Southwest.

Mando Rayo I don’t think anybody from Austin showed up, actually.

Stephanie Guerra Yeah well Mando, you didn’t need to say that detail.

Mando Rayo Oh, my bad, My bad. No, but I’m like Switzerland. I’m neutral.

Stephanie Guerra I try to be because again, I. I have had amazing tacos here in Austin. There are not taquerias on every corner. But we’ve had amazing tacos. And then you got the RGV coming in.

Mando Rayo Oh, yeah. Like, yeah.

Stephanie Guerra What are y’all talking about?

Mando Rayo Right, right, right.

Stephanie Guerra Neither one of y’all like, we are the border, We are Mexico. We’ve got the best tacos.

Mando Rayo Yeah, Yeah.

Stephanie Guerra It’s all subjective, right? You know? Like what kind of tacos are you talking about? Tex-Mex? Mexican? Are you calling a burrito a taco, an enchilada a taco? Like, I don’t know what’s going on.

Mando Rayo It’s called “enchirrito.”

Stephanie Guerra Sorry. I don’t play with those Taco Bell names.

Mando Rayo I know, right? So. So, like, for me, it’s like, okay, first couple of years, but now it’s played out. It’s done. And but it comes back every year.

Stephanie Guerra Yeah. Because Pedro Pascal was at South by Southwest.

Mando Rayo Oh yeah he was.

Stephanie Guerra The number one reporters in Austin wanted to ask him was, Who has better tacos? San Antonio or Austin? And when do you think the last time was that this guy has sat down and compared tacos from two cities.

Mando Rayo Right, right, right, right.

Stephanie Guerra Yes. We’re we’re proud to claim him. He used to live in San Antonio for a little while. Went to school there for a little bit when he was really young. But do you think he was old enough to, like, go judge tacos from taquerias around San Antonio?

Mando Rayo I doubt it.

Stephanie Guerra He’s a smart man, though. He knows where the people are.

Mando Rayo He knows where the people are. This is the way.

Stephanie Guerra Call me. No offense to my husband whose nearby.

Mando Rayo His role today is Instagram husband.

Stephanie Guerra That’s right.

Mando Rayo So from my point of view, being based in Austin, I will always defend taqeuros and taqueras in Austin one 2% because people just say, Oh, well, I’ve had two or three places. But yeah, how can you judge a city by only going to a handful of places? You know what I mean? But it’s just like this thing that kind of just keeps getting recycled. And I’m like, okay, let’s move on. You know.

Stephanie Guerra I think another thing again that we talk about when it comes to like representation all the time is that it’s also a cliche already, right? Latinos are not a monolith. Not everybody is Mexican, not everybody’s Puerto Rican, Cuban, Venezuelan, Dominican, whatever. You have all kinds of people making tacos. Are we talking about Tex-Mex? Are we talking about Mexican? You know, we just talked about this. There’s been a lot of talk recently about what is Tex-Mex and cuisine. You know, is that being ignored? Is that? People are dismissive of Tex-Mex as a cuisine. But Tex-Mex is Mexican. Texas used to be Mexico, like these are the roots of our culture. You know, the food is the roots of our culture and our people. That’s what continues with us. So we’re still here. We’re still making tacos. Depending on what part of town, what part of the state, what part of the country you’re in. Those are all going to look different. So exactly how can you compare one set of tacos to another? Or one group of people to another, you know.

Mando Rayo So I think that’s over simplistic view of a people. Or of a food. You know when we look at French food, it’s so complex. And when they go into the detail, even the pronunciation. But when it comes to Mexican or even Spanish, it’s like, oh, well, just give me the easy answer, you know, or, or that’s and so, so oftentimes, except maybe for us and, and now we do see I see a lot more Latinos in media that there’s people outside of our culture talking about our culture. Yes. And so which brings out this whole idea around the trademark of Taco Tuesday.

Stephanie Guerra You know, such a timely topic. It is Tuesday.

Mando Rayo It is. That’s true. That’s true. That’s. We’re recording on a Taco Tuesday.

Stephanie Guerra Yes, always. I know y’all intentionally do that every season. It’s great. I like that you pointed out the trademark wars that are going on right now with Taco Bell and Taco John’s. Yeah. Literally, like would a person named John own Taco Tuesday?

Mando Rayo I mean, definitely it’s I mean, at the core, it’s a marketing play. Obviously. And then for me, it’s this public relations stunt that Taco Bell is trying to do and then LeBron James is hopping on. Yeah, you know what I mean?

Stephanie Guerra He originally tried to market it like a year or two ago.

Mando Rayo Yeah exactly

Stephanie Guerra Like, no LeBron, stay in your lane.

Mando Rayo And then they’re like, oh, we want to set it free. We want to said Taco Tuesday free. Yeah, like Britney. But no, it doesn’t work that way.

Stephanie Guerra Well, it’s already free. Isn’t it?

Mando Rayo It’s already free, right? So.

Stephanie Guerra I think whoever invented tacos owns the trademark to Taco Tuesday.

Mando Rayo Oh there you go. Probably the Aztecs.

Stephanie Guerra You know, exactly like how can you trademark something that doesn’t belong to you that you’re appropriating? And I mean, it happens all the time, right? But it’s like there’s tacos all around the world, you know, how can you, as an American company, try to take that on. And and exactly. Okay. Taco John’s maybe in the eighties, you came up with that phrase on an ad in your restaurant, but you’re still doing the same thing and appropriating our culture, you know, and I don’t think it’s fair. I can’t trademark Puro Pinche because it’s a phrase. I didn’t invent it. I may have brought it to websites and social media when nobody did before, but I wasn’t the originator of Puro Pinche. You know, so. And I can’t trademark it because it’s something that is used all through Mexico.

Mando Rayo Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Stephanie Guerra The United States, wherever there’s Mexicans.

Mando Rayo It belongs to the people.

Stephanie Guerra It belongs to the people. My brand and my business belongs to me. But that phrase doesn’t. And I know that I am on the shoulders of the people who came before me.

Mando Rayo Right. Right.

Stephanie Guerra So they did a lot of the work to bring that to light and bring it in the culture. And even in San Antonio, you know, there was a musician named Randy Garibay, and he used to have puro pinche blues.

Mando Rayo Oh, yeah, yeah. That’s true. He did the–

Stephanie Guerra The abuelito song, yes. So you know, like, I’m not going to say, well, too bad he’s no longer with us. I’m just going to take that over.

Mando Rayo Yeah. So speaking of, like, us owning our own culture and talking about it and being about it, what are some great things happening in the media landscape?

Stephanie Guerra We, I, I think I sent you this TikTok of a girl who, uh.

Mando Rayo Yes. Talks about culinary appropriation spoof, is what it is.

Stephanie Guerra Yes. And you want to talk about putting a spin on who owns what, Right. So she made a TikTok that went viral about a Mexican sandwich.

Mando Rayo Hot dog. It was a hot dog.

Stephanie Guerra It was a hot dog.

Mando Rayo It was a hot dog. And there’s a story on NBC News that says quoting the story here, “What do you call a sausage stuffed in a fluffy tortilla and coated with an American crema? TikTokk creator Daniela Rabalais calls it a sausage taco, although to everyone else, it’s likely to be better known as a hotdog.”

Stephanie Guerra Exactly.

Mando Rayo So I love I love what she did because she was like, Oh, look at this thing. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. Look what I discovered. And look at this tortilla. It’s a really thick tortilla and, you know, and a hotdog and the rest. And the crema. And so so obviously for her, she was spoofing, right.

Stephanie Guerra She wanted to show you what Columbus-ing is all about.

Mando Rayo Right. Because of that. Because of that, you know, you see it on TikTok and Instagram. Oh, I just invented a flat taco. Or look at my. Oh no, it’s not aguas frescas, it’s spa water.

Stephanie Guerra Your enchirrito. Yeah, exactly. You know, I think about. I swear I just saw another TikTok this morning that was a lady who was obviously not Hispanic and she was, you know, making a dip with Velveeta cheese and ground beef and tomato, chopped up tomatoes and peppers and jalapenos. Never once did she call it queso. And, you know, she she baked it all together and mixed it up. And I was like, again, you know what? Where do you get the gall to just, like, take that and come up with a completely Americanized name and call it your own ? And I love that she does spoofs like that. You know, it’s great to see. I’m not that clever, so.

Mando Rayo Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Stephanie Guerra There’s some really clever people on social media and that was really great because it took off and some people were truly confused, you know, and, and believed her and thought she was calling it a sausage taco.

Mando Rayo People are in their own world. And if you don’t know anything about, you know, texting, culture or, or Tex-Mex, you’re not going to know. So they’re like, Oh my God, I accidentally created this. And I’m like, No, it’s called a you know, going back to the the flat taco. Yes, that’s called tostada. You know what I mean?

Stephanie Guerra Exactly! We see it all the time.

Mando Rayo Yeah. Yeah. Being in kind of this production world, I was hit up by PBS and it was interesting because, you know, we did our our episode, Tacos at Texas PBS. Um, it was, it was with a different sub PBS thing happening. We did our show on in in the valley around Barbacoa. We went to…

Stephanie Guerra Vera’s?

Mando Rayo To Vera’s! And then we went to a ranch and we did, we cooked our own barbacoa. So I got a call from a some PBS producer from maybe another like department or whatever. They’re like, Oh, we’re we’re trying to do this show and it looks like this and this and this. I’m like, Oh, okay, yeah, I did that. But we but this time we have a white actor that’s going to come in to be the host. And like, this happens a lot, I think in media landscape where people helicopter into a community without understanding, you know, what’s happening in that community. And how to honor that and honor the work that’s been done there. And so I think we, I think we as Latinos, as content creators, as activists, need to just call that out. You know?

Stephanie Guerra We do. We do. I hope I hope you’re the host of that show.

Mando Rayo No, I’m not.

Stephanie Guerra I don’t understand it. No matter what race that other person is, are they from the community? Do they know the community? They probably don’t know it as well as somebody from the community. Right. So if a a a TV station channel media outlet wants to do a great job, you’re going to involve somebody in the community in that storytelling, because the best people to tell our stories are ourselves. Yeah, And I don’t think that it’s fair that that happens, that you we have the ideas, we pioneer them, we tell our own stories, and then somebody comes in and copies the exact same thing without including us.

Mando Rayo Yeah.

Stephanie Guerra I am vocal about that also. I know you are, and I always appreciate it if you follow me on Twitter. You know, I do talk a lot of crap on there because there’s just so many things that I can’t believe we’re leaving the actual people out of and we need to be involved in that. Right? But then I also want to just talk about on the other side of that, then you see people like Eva Longoria and John Leguizamo with their own travel shows, too. And I have seen so many Latinos complaining about this. And I’m like, why? Yeah, they are. Okay. Sure. Eva Longoria grew up in Texas, right? But she’s Tejana. She’s Latina. She came from Corpus, just like Selena. You know, like we’re Mexican-American in Corpus, right? She is telling the story and including storytellers, and so is John Leguizamo, a people in the community just like Anthony Bourdain did. But because they’re Latino, they get all the flack for it. You know, they’re not white like Anthony Bourdain. May he rest in peace. We love him. Right? And…

Mando Rayo Guy Fieri. How about that?

Stephanie Guerra Okay, here we go. Guy Fieri. You come here to my diner and get it, and you’re not appreciating it. But please come back to San Antonio whenever you like.

Mando Rayo Yeah.

Stephanie Guerra But exactly. You know, Eva Longoria and John Leguizamo are heavily invested in our communities. They spend money in our communities. They are. They know that they are telling this story to a non-Latino audience. And that’s the whole point, right? Like, we want everybody else to see the culture for what it really is, not what other non-Latino media hosts and personalities and shows tell about us. Yeah.

Mando Rayo Yeah.

Stephanie Guerra And we need to be a part of that. And if you don’t like it, make your own show. You know, like. Like we do need to see more people making their own shows and podcasts and creating content around what it’s like to be in our community. Because those are two celebrities. They can’t get everywhere. They can’t get to every story. You know, they have budgets, I’m sure.

Mando Rayo Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Stephanie Guerra But not everybody can get those resources. But you can if you have a a smartphone, go in your community and tell those stories and document them and preserve them. And then if you know how to just reach out to other people in your community and connect, you can share those.

Mando Rayo Yeah. Yeah.

Stephanie Guerra It makes a difference. Even if you tell it, you know, to five people or 50 people or in your own neighborhood or your community center or your library, you know, it’s very important to do that.

Mando Rayo Yeah, there’s so many Latinos out there with so many different perspectives that we need to make room for all of us. Exactly right. And so versus a few of us. And then maybe people outside the culture coming in, that kind of thing. But the taqueros are doing some great things. You know, I mean, we were just in in Houston for Encuentro, Adán Medrano’s Food Conference. And it’s amazing what, you know, these taqueros are doing, a lot of Chicanos as well are a lot of them. You know, we’re interviewing, you know, throughout the season.

Stephanie Guerra Awesome.

Mando Rayo And all the craze of like, you know, use the advantage of the craze of all the the food. Like birria, you know and use that and capitalize that to talk about like we always say you know use tacos as a Trojan horse. You know, exactly. Wow, this is great video, but let’s dig deeper into that.  What does that mean for people?

Stephanie Guerra Look at my spa waters now. They’re viral, right? And then I got to show you the real world of aguas frescas. You know, like, Latinos are very smart and we are crafty, and we’re going to work hard to find those little niches, right? And then create our own or tag on to them. And I’m excited to hear the broadcast of Encuentro, we recently had that discussion too about Tex-Mex food and those those discussions need to be in front of a huge audience in front of everybody.

Mando Rayo Not just the usual suspects.

Stephanie Guerra Exactly. Not just in front of the cooks and the chefs and the culinary world, not just in front of you local radio nerds. You know, like me, I am too.

Mando Rayo Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Stephanie Guerra But everybody needs to hear that. Everyone needs to know that their stories are important and we can talk about those things and we don’t try to take something and say it’s ours, right? Like birria ramen? Mexicans are out there saying they invented that they are partnering with our AA, I’m sorry, AAPI brothers and sisters to make those menu items happen and get them in front of everybody. We know the struggles we face together and that we want to take that on and I think it’s really awesome in San Antonio and I’m sure a lot of places there’s the Mexican sushi that you see everywhere.

Mando Rayo Yeah, that’s true. That’s true.

Stephanie Guerra I know there’s some people in San Antonio that call it Japa Mex and like, you know, it’s it’s awesome to see, like, the fusions of our cultures that are not just American, you know, like, it’s stuff you don’t typically see everywhere. Yeah, we had a sushi roll recently that was like, hot Cheetos and, like, a spicy mayo, you know, on top of the sushi roll. And that was really good. And it was surprising because Hot Cheetos are everywhere, you know? But it’s awesome to see it at a Mexican sushi restaurant.

Mando Rayo Right? Right. Yeah, I love it. I love it. Well, Stephanie, thanks so much for your banter. I love it. I love it.

Stephanie Guerra We always talk a lot when we get together.

Mando Rayo We do. We do. We do. And yeah, I mean, if somebody wanted to connect with you and hash it out with you, how can they connect with you?

Stephanie Guerra Yeah. Send me all your taco pop culture trends. I am @puropincheSA on every social media outlet you can think of. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat bubble.

Mando Rayo Vine?

Stephanie Guerra BeReal. That’s what my my son told me. Mom, are you on BeReal? No, I don’t know what BeReal is. I’m old. But yeah I love always being a part of Tacos of Texas. I am so glad that you talk to people from all over the state, but you are centrally located here in Austin so we can easily drive here and I don’t have to drive to El Paso. I’m looking forward to all the people you interview this season. I know there’s some really important discussions this year because of who’s in charge and in Texas. Yeah, and I always love keeping those dialogues open with you because you keep it puro.

Mando Rayo Ay! Thanks so much, Steph.

Stephanie Guerra Thanks, Mando. Adios.

Mando Rayo Peace. [music plays] Well, it’s always a good time when Stephanie is in the studio and when I get to talk about all things surrounding my favorite food and pop culture icon, the taco. My biggest takeaway from the conversation with Stephanie is that Latinos have to be creators and authors of our own culture. Special thanks to our guest, Stephanie Guerra of Puro Pinche in San Antonio, Texas. You can find her on the interwebs or at puro pinche dot com. Shout out to some of our favorite taco pop culture creators. BarbacoApparel out of San Antonio. So Bonita out of Corpus Christi and Las Ofrendas, a.k.a. Frito Friday ATX out of Austin, Texas. This has been the talk of the Texas podcast developed and produced by Identity Productions. If you enjoyed today’s episode and are craving more taco content, go to our website at www dot identity dot productions or follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube at Identity Productions and United Tacos of America. This is your host, Mando “from the Internets” Rayo. Vamos a las tacos!

Outro The Tacos of Texas podcast is presented by Identity Productions in partnership with KUT and KUTX Studios. Our host and producer is Mando Rayo. Our audio is mixed by Nicholas Worthen and Ever Calderon. Our story producer is me, Sharon Arteaga, and our creative producer is Dennis Burnett. Music was created by Peligrosa in Austin, Texas, and King Benny Productions, located in the Quinto Barrio of Houston. [music fades]

Mando Rayo I like saying “puro pinche,” by the way.

This transcript was transcribed by AI, and lightly edited by a human. Accuracy may vary. This text may be revised in the future.