When most people think of Mexican food, they tend to think of tacos—at least in California and the United States. It’s no secret that the taco is a Mexican food staple here in the states, as evidenced by the estimated 4.5 billion tacos consumed here each year. But have you ever stopped to actually think about the history of the taco: where it came from, how it made its way to Santa Rosa, CA, and how it grew to become such a prominent food? The next time you’re enjoying a delicious taco at La Palapa Restaurant in Santa Rosa CA, you’ll be glad you took the time to learn.

The Origins of the Taco

Believe it or not, nobody actually knows for sure who first invented the taco. We do know, however, that the first tacos were served up at some point in the 18th century. The name “taco” actually has quite a colorful history, as it’s believed “taco” first referred to dynamite used in mines; the gunpowder in this dynamite was wrapped tightly in paper, much like a modern-day taco’s ingredients are wrapped in a tortilla. Most people agree that the term was probably adapted as a reference to the food by the Aztecs, back when they ruled what is now Mexico.

The United States’ Adoption of Mexican Street Taco

Obviously, the taco is a Mexican food, so just how did it make its way over to the states? It’s hard to know for sure, but evidence suggests that tacos were first introduced in the United States by an influx of Mexican immigrants in the 19th century. More than likely, this first occurred in the Los Angeles area in California, where Mexican street tacos were sold by vendors. However, as generations of Mexican immigrants saw continued success in America, so did tacos. Gradually, they began making their way from food trucks to the menus of gourmet restaurants  and coming to Santa Rosa, CA .

The Modern-Day Taco Love Affair

Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a major city without at least a few different Mexican-inspired (or authentic Mexican) restaurants within its limits. And while it’s true that tacos have been Americanized in many ways (with the addition of piles of cheese, tomatoes, and other non-authentic toppings), you can still find good, old-fashioned Mexican tacos in some restaurants across the country like in our  Mexican restaurant La Palapa, at Santa Rosa, CA.

As you can see, the taco has an interesting and rather mysterious history. Here at our Mexican Restaurant in Santa Rosa CA, we pride ourselves in dishing up some of the most delicious tacos and other Mexican dishes you’ll ever taste. Stop by today and give our famous tacos a try for yourself! We’re sure you’ll love them.