Cinco de Mayo gives people an opportunity to celebrate Mexican culture, throw a party, or at the very least, go out and indulge in Mexican food.
Cinco de Mayo is mistakenly believed to honor Mexican independence, but Mexico actually celebrates its independence in September. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza during the Franco-Mexican war. A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has nonetheless become a global phenomenon.
Cinco de Mayo falls on a Tuesday this year. That means Cinco de Mayo coordinates perfectly with the observance of “Taco Tuesday™.” For the past 30 years, the “Taco Tuesday” trademark has belonged to Taco John’s, a Wyoming-based fast-food chain. However, the Taco Tuesday phenomenon has spread, and now Taco Tuesday is a weekly occurrence across the country, and a big marketing opportunity for many regional restaurants — not to mention a perfect chance for families to gather around the dinner table to enjoy some tacos.
This year Cinco de Mayo celebrations can enjoy even more fanfare by capitalizing on Taco Tuesday mania. With a nod to both Taco Tuesday and Cinco de Mayo, here are some tasty taco tips.
• Stick to soft taco shells, according to famed chef Aarón Sánchez, who also hosted “Taco Trip” on the Cooking Channel. He says hard shells are for tostadas and not tacos, and soft corn shells are his preference.
• Make a DIY seasoning mix for taco meats from chili powder, cumin, garlic, and other spices. An added bonus is that homemade seasonings are typically lower in salt than prepackaged varieties.
• If you’re concerned about ingredients falling out of the taco, use small shells or tortillas to reduce the number of bites needed to eat the taco. Or you can just place another shell or tortilla on your dish to catch what falls out of taco number one.
• Think outside of the box with any number of fillings. Try a variety of sliced raw or cooked vegetables for a different twist.
Taco Tuesday and Cinco de Mayo align this year for a celebration of Mexican culture and delicious food.