tacos

Tacos are delicious, and here is the place you can find all of TPR and NPR's coverage on the amazing culinary invention.

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Steven Alvarez is an assistant professor of English at St. John’s University in Queens, New York. He teaches a course called “Taco Literacy,” which explores the foodways of Mexican immigrants in the U.S.

San Antonio’s chili queens are a focus of study in his class.

tacoliteracy on Instagram

This week on Fronteras, National Guard troops arrive on the border, and students expand their knowledge of Mexican food culture through “taco literacy”’

  • President Trump has called for National Guard members to deploy to the U.S.-Mexico border. Troops are making their way into South Texas (0:00).
  • Tarrant County partners with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enforce immigration law (4:28).
  • A mural of a Mexican abuela peers down on the West Texas border town of Presidio (9:00).
  • Students gain insight into Mexican-American culture through “taco Literacy” (12:47).


The connection between Middle Eastern and Mexican food goes all the way back to the Moors, and is well-known in culinary circles. Al pastor tacos are just a pork version of the shawarma spits that Lebanese immigrants brought with them to Mexico City in the 1930s. In nearby Puebla, a wrap called tacos árabes — Arabic tacos — uses a flatbread that's halfway between pita and lavash. Kibbe (fried meatballs made from bulghur wheat) is popular in the Yucatán, thanks to Syrians who settled in the Peninsula over the past century.

Mike Sutter, food critic for the San Antonio Express-News, always did have good taco game, but would he actually prevail in his mission to eat at a different taco joint every day for a year?

How many taco trucks do you know that not only have a cookbook but a theme song? Wes Avila's Guerrilla Tacos truck does – and has once again made food critic Jonathan Gold's influential list of favorite Los Angeles eateries.

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