What’s in a Taco Bowl?

By any other name, it’d taste as great. But one particular taco bowl from the grill at Trump Tower has brought more ire to the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign.

By Becky FogelMay 12, 2016 9:57 am

A taco bowl – from Trump Tower no less. The photo of the Presidential candidate – you know who – noshing away.

On one hand, some would say enough already. On the other, there are many who say they were offended. Author Mando Rayo tracks the intersection of culture and cuisine as Texas’s top taco journalist. Rayo says Trump’s going for the retweets, hypocrisy or not.

He’s calling Mexicans criminals and rapists,” he says, “and yet there he is, enjoying a taco bowl that was influenced and created by Mexicans.”

The taco bowl originated in San Antonio, according to Gustavo Arellano in the taco bible “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.” A Mexican immigrant was making tortilla chips with an indent in the middle, to make scooping easier. He sold bags to local restaurants, one of which got into the hands of a Frito-Lay executive.

“That guy just ran with it,” Rayo says. “He started making those (bowls) out of Fritos.” The bowls made their way to Disneyland, where Casa de Frito sold taco bowls. Originally they were called Ta-cups, a portmanteau of “taco” and “cup.”

Old-school Mexican restaurants had them for awhile but people wanted bigger and better.

“‘I want to have a bowl – I don’t want to have just a little cup.’ I think it evolved that way,” he says.

Rayo says the reason the taco bowl is offensive to Mexicans isn’t just simple pandering, or Hispandering. It’s because he’s specifically gone after them, with vitriol and inflammatory comments. “He doesn’t love Hispanics – he wants to keep them out,” Rayo says.

Prepared for web by Hannah McBride.