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Meet Austin's resident taco expert and historian, Mando Rayo

Immerse yourself in Mexican food culture in Texas through the lens of tacos.

Who: Mando Rayo

Title: Podcast host “Tacos of Texas”, author The Tacos of Texas  and Austin Breakfast Tacos

Where: https://www.npr.org/podcasts/1020705155/tacos-of-texas

Advice: “In Austin, finding the best tacos is easy: Just look for Mexicans ordering or making them. Ha! Seriously, just head to the barrios of Austin, whether it’s the East Side, Riverside or the Rundberg area, and you’ll find some great taco trucks, trailers and old-school restaurants.”

  “Texans love tacos because it’s part of the culture. Tacos were here before Texas was ‘Texas,’ so it makes sense that it’s part of our Texan identity,” says Rayo. “To be honest, who doesn’t like to wake up to breakfast tacos por la mañana?”

Whether you were raised in Texas or are new to the state, tacos have probably become part of your go-to cuisine. “Taco Journalist”, Mando Rayo loves all things taco and is the author of Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day and co-author of The Tacos of Texas. 

“Texans love tacos because it’s part of the culture. Tacos were here before Texas was ‘Texas,’ so it makes sense that it’s part of our Texan identity,” says Rayo. “To be honest, who doesn’t like to wake up to breakfast tacos por la mañana?”

Produced by IDENTITY Productions and KUT and KUTX Studios, Rayo’s new podcast “Tacos of Texas,” features Tejano, Mexican and Mexican-American voices from across the Lone Star state sharing culinary traditions around tacos, alongside culture, history and social justice.

“Too often, people outside of our culture talk about tacos without actually talking to the people who make them,” says Rayo. “’Tacos of Texas’ takes you deep into Texas taco culture by inviting the people behind the mom-and-pop taquerias to tell their own stories in their own ways – which means you’ll hear English, Spanish and a little Spanglish on the podcast. We use tacos as a Trojan horse to help people understand where tacos come from, as well as the people, culture and traditions behind them,” says Rayo, host and producer of the podcast. “In each episode, we hyperfocus on a very specific taco style and the history behind it with the goal of educating and entertaining.”

The 12-episode podcast launched in July, with new episodes dropping every other week.

https://www.npr.org/podcasts/1020705155/tacos-of-texas

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