the importance of tacos in the mexican economy

  • The taco is an icon of Mexican cuisine and is recognized around the world as a symbol of identity.

  • March 31 is National Taco Day.

  • It is estimated that there are 122,757 registered taco shops in the country.

One of the most emblematic culinary products in Mexico are tacos. The famous food practice has earned a special place in the collective memory of Mexicans (also foreigners), and the topic is a great opportunity to connect with Mexicans. In the context of taco dayit is important to talk about the impact they have on the Mexican economy.

And it is that according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), There are 122,757 registered taquerías and tortillerías in the country.

Guadalajara (2,810), Puebla (2,334), León (2,124), Zapopan (1,748) and Iztapalapa (1,682) are the cities with the most craving for tacos, according to the Inegi Economic Census (2019 ).

It should be noted that corn is the most important agricultural crop in the country and one of the main foods of Mexicans; Nevertheless, the taco goes beyond a simple folded tortilla.

Such is its cultural importance that In Mexico City, 94 percent of the population lives less than 5 minutes from a taqueria.

The importance of tacos beyond the Mexican economy: a symbol of identity

According to the Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, a taco is a “rolled corn tortilla with some food inside, typical of Mexico”.

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) says that the exact date on which it was invented cannot be determined exactly, pBut it is believed that it has its origin in pre-Hispanic times, in the times of Moctezumawho used the tortilla as a spoon to hold the food.

Some researchers say that the first known “taquiza” was performed by Hernán Cortés for his captains in Coyoacán and was documented by Bernal Díaz del Castillo.

Later, in the years of the Porfiriato, the taco became common among popular social groups.

In history, the taco has a great space in the community and the imagination of the Mexican has not been enough and that is why the diversity of products that we can in any corner of the city arrived. Today, the taco is the favorite dish of 28.3 percent of Mexicans, according to data from the Strategic Communication Cabinet (GCE).

Currently, the icons of Mexico City, according to “InterContinental Icons” -InterContinental Hotel Groups survey- are tacos al pastor, mezcal, the Museums of the Center and Fine Arts, the Historic Center, zocalo and National Palace, and Paseo de reform.

In this sociocultural context, the taco has become the food that every 5 out of 10 Mexicans consume at least once a week. Per year, it is estimated that the consumption of tacos reaches 22.3 million tons per year, says the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader).

Regarding the jobs generated by the taco industry: agriculture provides 13 percent of jobs, the meat industry 80 thousand direct jobs and the tortilla industry more than 200 thousand jobs.

According to the National Tortilla Council (CNT), it says that There are 130,000 tortilla factories, which represent an economic income of more than 147,000 million pesos a year.

Whether it is pastor, cochinita, stew, dorados, fish, basket, birria, barbecue or carnitas, the taco is a symbol of Mexican identity that is considered intangible heritage by the United Nations Organization for the Education, Science and Culture (Unesco).

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