TACO TRIVIA….Back from lunch. I had tacos. Which reminds of something. Last week I was re-reading Youngblood Hawke, Herman Wouk’s great midcentury ode to supply-side economics (moral of the story: high marginal tax rates on labor income can kill you!) and came across the following conversation. Jeanne is a Southern Californian transplanted to New York City; Gus the attorney is a Kentuckian transplanted to New York City:
Soon the lawyer sat in the living room in his shirtsleeves at Jeanne’s insistence, his tie off, eating tacos from a tray. He needed a shave, and his hair was unkempt. Hawke noticed that the bristles on his face were reddish rather than blond. He looked more tired than Hawke had ever seen him, but the food and the beer brought him to quickly. “Why, these things are marvellous! What do you call them, Jeanne, tacos? I’ve never eaten anything like this. Delicious! Is there a restaurant in town where I can order these?”
She said, pleased, “Well, if you can find a lowbrow enough Mexican joint they’ll probably have tacos, but I wouldn’t endorse the contents, Gus. Better ask me, when you feel like having them again. They’re easy to make.”
Really? In New York City, circa 1952, tacos were so uncommon as to be practically unknown? Who knew?