You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Lawmaker proposes making tacos official Texas dish, supplanting chili


Highlights

Gina Hinojosa’s House Concurrent Resoloution 110 would name tacos the state’s official dish.

The Austin lawmaker could cook up a spicy debate about which food is best.

Tacos or chili?

That is the spicy question state Rep. Gina Hinojosa of Austin has dropped on the plates of her fellow lawmakers. On Friday, the deadline to file most kinds of legislation, Hinojosa proposed naming the taco the official state food — supplanting chili, which has been the official dish of Texas since 1977, atop the state’s food pantheon.

Hinojosa said her proposal was written by journalist Mando Rayo. Rayo started an online petition calling for the taco to supplant chili as “The National Food of Texas” — a petition that more than 1,000 people had signed onto before he delivered a version of it written in legislation-ese earlier this year to Hinojosa, a Democrat who represents North Austin.

“I just got a real kick out of (the proposal),” Hinojosa said, “so we filed it.”

Hinojosa said she does not know whether legislators will have the stomach for a taco vs. chili debate, given that they have meatier issues to chew on, such as the state budget. The proposal would make tacos the official state food of Texas (because tacos need no dish), while chili would remain the official dish.

Hinojosa also said she is reaching out to San Antonio lawmakers to ensure that the proposal, House Concurrent Resolution 110, does not inadvertently reheat the spicy rhetoric that belched forth last year during the Interstate 35 taco war — a conflict that cooled only after the mayors of Austin and San Antonio reached an uneasy truce.

Even if leaders of the two cities can set aside the rivalry, Hinojosa’s legislation does risk spreading the conflict to any part of the state where people have strong feelings about tacos or chili — anywhere in Texas, really. She filed her proposal mere days after state Rep. Stephanie Klick had offered a way to recognize tacos without pitting them against chili.

Klick, a Fort Worth Republican, wants to designate breakfast tacos “the official state breakfast item of Texas.” Her House Concurrent Resolution 92 declares that despite “a spirited debate (that) has arisen over which part of the state originated the breakfast taco … no matter where or when it got its start, the breakfast taco has quickly become popular with both native Texans and delighted visitors from across the nation.”

HUNGRY YET?: Here’s a list of places to find breakfast tacos in Austin

Klick, who said she makes breakfast tacos at home and counts Torchy’s and Rudy’s among her favorites, said she filed the legislation partly as an educational exercise. Her office is working with several schools whose civics classes are tracking the breakfast taco legislation.

“It is a good lesson in how a bill becomes a law,” Klick said. “It’s a noncontroversial issue, and it’s fun.”

The breakfast taco can spark passions, though. The I-35 taco war started early last year when an Austin Eater article declared the state capital the dish’s birthplace. Soon after, a San Antonio resident started a petition to kick the writer out of Texas. San Antonians cried that the breakfast taco claim was yet another example of Austin arrogance, a charge Austin Mayor Steve Adler answered by declaring the taco war.

Klick’s proposal does not address which breakfast tacos are best — or which city. But it does go on to state, “Whether purchased at a drive-through in Fort Worth, ordered at a restaurant in Corpus Christi, or served by a loving grandmother in Del Rio, the breakfast taco has become a signature Texas food on a par with barbecue and chicken-fried steak, and it is enjoyed by countless residents of the Lone Star State each morning as the perfect way to start their day.”

Hinojosa has similarly ebullient praise for the taco. Her proposal declares, “As far as fillings go, we delight in such traditional choices as pork al pastor, beef barbacoa, and chicken fajita, and we also appreciate the more exotic ingredients that have been pressed into service, including everything from octopus to elk to kimchi fried rice.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

UPDATE: Crews now searching for body of missing boater on Lake Travis
UPDATE: Crews now searching for body of missing boater on Lake Travis

3:15 p.m. update: Emergency officials say they now searching for the body of a missing boater on Lake Travis. Rescue crews were called to the area off Hiline Road Sunday afternoon to search for a person who had gone missing from a party barge. It was not known how long the person had been missing. The search was called off shortly after 3 p.m. Officials...
Donald Trump’s first 100 days: How the president has changed Texas
Donald Trump’s first 100 days: How the president has changed Texas

From a renewed focus on deporting unauthorized immigrants to moves to build a wall along the Rio Grande, President Donald Trump has made his presence felt in Texas during his first 100 days in office. Trump moved quickly to follow through on his promise to crack down on illegal immigration, with coordinated raids in Austin and cities across the country...
Bill would give residents final say on whether they’re annexed
Bill would give residents final say on whether they’re annexed

Tim Mattox, an 18-year resident of River Place and a member of the homeowners association board, dreads the day when he and his neighbors in the master-planned community near Northwest Austin will be officially absorbed into the city and begin receiving its hefty tax bills. Despite pushback over the past decade from residents like Mattox — who...
Storms bring cooler weather to Austin, destruction to North Texas
Storms bring cooler weather to Austin, destruction to North Texas

At least five people were killed when a violent storm raced across North Texas Saturday night, however the Austin metro area was mostly spared with only some slight rain and hail that brought significantly cooler temperatures Sunday morning followed by sunny skies. The National Weather Service has confirmed that three tornadoes touched down around...
More Stories