Donald Trump has been in the headlines more than just about any other celebrity this year, but the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee really outdid himself on Cinco De Mayo when he tweeted “The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” Well, we hate to break it to you, Donald, but taco bowls, or taco salads, aren’t “Hispanic” (or Mexican) at all.
Mexican food expert Gustavo Arellano did some research for his book Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, and discovered that the earliest version of taco salads were called Ta-Cups, and were made of “ground beef, beans, sour cream and cheese served in a small bowl made entirely of Fritos.” The creator was none other than the founder of Fritos himself, Elmer Doolin.
Doolin’s Fritos brand ran a restaurant at Disneyland called Casa de Fritos, which was hugely influential in introducing Americans to “Mexican” food. Doolin added the Ta-Cup to the menu at the restaurant in 1955, and they took off. Over time the dish grew in size into the taco bowl we know today (although we wish the bowls themselves were still giant Fritos). Also worth noting: The Morales family, which ran Casa de Fritos, also invented another well-known snack food at the restaurant: Doritos.