Snackshot of the Day: Keep Calm and Have a Taco at Rubi's in Chicago's Maxwell Street Market

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Make Tacos Not War

The sign outside Rubi's in Chicago's Maxwell Street Market reads, "Keep Calm and Have a Taco."

The Daily Meal's editors, contributors, and readers dig into some pretty great restaurants, festivals, and meals. There's not always enough time to give a full review of a restaurant or describe in depth why a place, its food, and the people who prepare it are noteworthy, so Snackshot of the Day does what photographs do best, rely on the image to do most of the talking. Today's Snackshot comes from the line at Rubi's, a popular taco and quesadilla stand in Chicago's Maxwell Street Market.

You've undoubtedly seen the Keep Calm and Carry On signs and the many riffs on them that seem to be popping up with increasing frequency. But did you know where the saying comes from? It's from one of three posters that were created by a department called the Ministry of Information, which was formed by the British Government to handle publicity and propaganda during World War II. After the outbreak of the war, the Ministry of Information designed a number of morale-boosting posters for the trying times that lay ahead.

What on Earth does this have to do with tacos?

There were three posters designed, but only two of them were really distributed: "Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory" and "Freedom is in Peril." The third, "Keep Calm and Carry On" was in the event of an invasion by the Germans. Given that that obviously never happened, the poster didn't get widely distributed. In fact, most of them are thought to have been destroyed. Then a funny thing happened: a bookseller stumbled across a copy hidden amongst a pile of dusty old books bought at auction, and earlier this year, 15 more were discovered at the BBC's Antiques Roadshow. Now, the previously least-known poster is probably the most famous one, with make-your-own variations popping up everywhere.

So it is that "Keep Calm and Have a Taco" has appeared at the Rubi's stand in Chicago's new Maxwell Street Market. Considering the wait for the tacos and quesadillas (make sure you get there early if you want squash blossoms or cactus, or anything for that matter — they're packed and so run out), this take on that quintessential British advice is definitely something to take to heart.

 

Read more about The Daily Meal's Snackshot feature. To submit your own photo, email jbruce[at]thedailymeal.com, subject line "Snackshots."

 

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Arthur Bovino is The Daily Meal's executive editor. Follow Arthur on Twitter.