LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 30:  An exterior view shows a sign at a Taco Bell restaurant on March 30, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Taco Bell Corp. announced that on March 31, 2020, the company will give everyone in the country one free beef nacho cheese Doritos Locos Taco, no purchase necessary, to drive-thru customers at participating locations while supplies last as a way of thanking people who are helping their communities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The company also announced it would relaunch its Round Up program, which gives customers the option to "round up" their order total to the nearest dollar, to raise funds for the No Kid Hungry campaign. The Taco Bell Foundation will also be donating $1 million to the campaign.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Why Taco Bell's 1972 Menu Had To Include A Pronunciation Guide
By Nico Danilovich
In 1962 the first official Taco Bell opened, and it has stayed relevant with additions like the well-known Mountain Dew Baja Blast, a breakfast menu, and the crispy chicken sandwich tacos. The chain is so ubiquitous today that nearly everyone in the United States is familiar with the unique pronunciations of Taco Bell's food items — but that wasn't always the case.
In the 1970s, Taco Bell was teaching its customers how to pronounce the names of its offerings with a pronunciation guide on the menu ("buh-ree-toh" for burrito, "en-chi-re-toh" for enchirito, and so on). The history of the taco serves as a reason for this, as, unlike chili con carne, the taco received little attention in most of America before the 1950s.
Taco Bell's menu has changed a lot since then, and not just because folks tend to know how "taco" is pronounced nowadays. New items often stick around for a while, as Taco Bell's main attention grabber — the tah-co — isn't going anywhere soon.