Today is National Taco Day. While tacos have likely been around for several hundred years, the exact evolution of the dish is obscure.
Some historians, like professor Jeffrey M. Pilcher, suggest that the dish was developed during the 18th century in Mexican silver mines. In one of the first documented instances of the staple, they were known as “tacos de mineros,” or miners’ tacos.
In the early 1900s, tacos made their way into the American consciousness, with a mention in an American newspaper as early as 1905. In the aftermath of the Mexican Revolutionary War, more people from Mexico immigrated to the United States, spreading the dish to a wider audience.
Tacos are a versatile food, with meats and toppings cradled inside a tortilla, often garnished with sauces such as salsa or queso.
One local entrepreneur is dedicated to creating healthy, sustainable sauces. Founded in 2019 by Sarah Zubiate Bennett, her company, Zubi’s, seeks to create “better health alternatives” to traditional items so that people with dietary restrictions or nutritional concerns can enjoy the same tastes without the downsides.
Growing up in the El Paso/Juarez area, Sarah’s heritage factors significantly in her approach to food.
“It’s almost like every person you meet is an extension of your own family,” she told The Dallas Express, “The entire culture of people there is just different and is truly centered around connectedness.”
That sense of connectedness particularly resonated with Sarah, who explained that “it’s the most essential part of my company, Zubi’s, which is connecting people through food.”
Additionally, Sarah noted that the health issues she witnesses in her community also prompted her to develop healthier versions of classic staples such as queso and crema, with products free of the eight most common allergens.
When asked if there were particular health issues she was concerned about, Sarah suggested, “We [Latin Americans] are much more likely to be obese versus our non-Latin peers; it’s heartbreaking.”
She continued, “I believe that by simply replacing the top five most unhealthy foods and moderating the quantity of consumption, we could be on a much healthier trajectory.”
Sarah’s role as an entrepreneur extends not just to the finished product, but to the ingredients inside. Many are sourced from a farm she founded due to her “love for connectedness with the Earth and our supply of food.”
Sarah explained, “I decided to start my farm … because I use no preservatives in my food and use fresh, non-frozen ingredients.”
Sarah reflected on her role as an entrepreneur and related how her experience as a Latina business owner has “been an extremely special one, filled with highs and lows that most entrepreneurs experience.”
She encouraged others to “hold your values close. Remember where you come from, and embrace your full self.”
To celebrate, Sarah has an “Authentic Taco Recipe” and cooking video to help you celebrate National Taco Day.
DISCLOSURE: Sarah is a director and co-founder of The Dallas Express. She helped found the publication because she agreed there was a need to generate unbiased, fact-based news, without anonymous sources, that draws opinions from all backgrounds, just like her own.
Love this feature, Sarah!