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Dallas tacos get starring role in Tacos of Texas documentary

Dallas tacos get starring role in Tacos of Texas documentary

Trompo Dallas, tacos
Trompo is one of the Dallas taquerias featured in a new documentary series. Trompo

Dallas' taco scene gets to shine as part of a documentary series produced by PBS Digital. Called Tacos of Texas, it explores the "iconic tacos" of Texas and taco culture, with the Dallas episode airing on October 30.

The series is based on The Tacos of Texas, the 2016 book by Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece, who've been writing about tacos on their Taco Journalism website for more than a decade.

"We've eaten tacos our entire lives, we've written about them for over a decade on our blog and in our two books," Rayo says in a release. "Now, after traveling thousands of miles across Texas, we are thrilled to share the tacos of Texas with the world."

The seven-episode series premiered on September 25 with Indie Lens Storycast, a YouTube channel in partnership with PBS Digital Studios. Rayo and Neece serve as co-hosts with each episode featuring one iconic taco and taco style per city.

They began in Austin, where they covered migas tacos. In Houston, it was tacos al pastor. In the Rio Grande Valley, they took on barbacoa. San Antonio was, of course, puffy tacos. Corpus Christi's theme was breakfast tacos.

Beyond the tacos, the episodes have highlighted local issues such as taco gentrification in East Austin; tradition in the Rio Grande Valley; Dreamers in Houston; the importance of masa in San Antonio; cultural appropriation in Corpus Christi; and border fluidity in El Paso.

"It's great to showcase the different styles of tacos in Texas and share the stories of the tacos, but most importantly, they are about the people that make them," Neece says.

The Dallas episode has a "modern Mexican" theme. Featured chefs include Anastacia Quiñones (Tacos de Tacha), Regino Rojas (Revolver Taco Lounge), and Luis Olvera (Trompo).

"Move over Tex-Mex, there's a modern take on Mexican food in Dallas," it says. "Chefs and taqueros alike are taking the taco scene to the next level, from Bon Appetite award-winning taqueria Trompo (Luis Olvera), to local foodie favorites chef Anastacia Quiñones and instigator, gun engraver, & cocinero tradicional Regino Rojas (Revolver Taco Lounge); these chefs are taking on Modern Mexican. Dallas is a bustling metropolis that takes its tacos seriously and is not afraid to embrace new and delicious taco creations from pulpo (octopus) to trompo and pork belly to s'mores."

Rayo elaborates, stating that modern Mexican is a technique rooted in true Mexican culture.

"With a focus on high-quality ingredients, attention to detail, and one of the originators of farm-to-table, this style focuses on regional Mexican cooking styles that go as far back to the Mayas as well as a new and innovative ways to cook traditional Mexican foods," he says.

"With Dallas, we wanted to focus on the innovators and instigators of the culinary scene because of their Mexican roots," he says. "Too often we see the white chefs being tapped to provide insights into the Mexican food and we wanted to provide an outlet for AQ, Regino Rojas, and Luis Olvera to share and understand their points of view."

"We use 'modern Mexican' as a way for people to understand the history and culture of the cuisine," he says. "Food is an extension of people's culture and when we pay attention to and honor where these food styles come from, we pay tribute, not only to the chefs but to their families, abuelas, madres y padres and the traditions they are passing on. In a state filled with Tex-Mex, modern Mexican is making a name for itself in Dallas."

The episodes are streamed on the IndieLensStorycast Youtube channel, or can be viewed at StoryCastDocs.com. But Rayo and Neece will be in Dallas to host a pre-screening party on October 26 from 6-9 pm at Tyler Station.

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