Taco Tuesday is upon us and what better way then interviewing taco journalists Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece about their newest TV show United Tacos of America?! The new series kicks off tonight on El Ray Network. Any and every living human being who loves tacos as much as I do, should tune in. Don’t forget your tacos and beverage while your at it, because you’ll most certainly be hungry after watching Rayo and Neece venture to find the greatest tacos in the United States.
We recently caught up with the duo to find out what ignited their enthusiasm for tacos and what’s in store for audiences watching the series.
AFM: Out of all the Mexican dishes, Why tacos?
MANDO: “I always say I was born with a tortilla in my hand. That said before Jarod and I got together to do taco journalism I was always the goto taco guy, a home cook and I was always dabbling in the kitchen with tortillas. I grew up with this dish and growing up in Texas you have it in the culture here whether you had it in your family traditions or adopted it.”
AFM: What are you hoping to achieve as audiences watch your show?
JAROD: “Our goal was always to connect the people who love making tacos with those who love eating tacos. We don’t want to just scratch the surface of what people see and taste we wanted to go deeper. We want to know where did this taco come from, who is the person who created it and what’s the history behind the taco? This is also an opportunity for these people to tell their story, Mando and I are taco journalist and we don’t say we know everything but we try to guide the story and get the people behind the prefect instagram photo tell their own taco tale.”
MANDO: “Tacos are culture, they represent the culture of the people who make them with every bite you take from your favorite taco joint. It creates a deeper meaning for the tacos and the generations it took to develop that recipe. You find out how many years these tacos stories go and what struggles had to happen to get where they are now for many people to enjoy.”
AFM: What do you look for when selecting the perfect tacos to highlight on the show?
JAROD: “A great story, good tasting taco(obviously) what the locals say we should try, places that have history behind it because a taco taste better when you know where it comes from.”
AFM: Okay real talk – what were your favorite tacos?
JAROD: “Valentina’s “The Real Deal Holyfield’’ was definitely our favorite taco and favorite topping was at Johnny Walkers BBQ the habanero salsa was so delicioso.”
AFM: What’s one of the biggest highlights from your experience?
MANDO: “It was important to tell the history of every establishment we visited, giving them some recognition because some places don’t have huge budgets and all they want to do is make people smile with their damn delicious tacos.”
AFM: You’ve enjoyed tacos from all over the United States on this journey. Which taco joints are you planning to try on your next in Austin and how is
MANDO: “They are a lot on our list. We are in Austin but Texas in general has some spots we have been hearing about and wanting to try. We have been here for 20 years plus and we are all about keeping Austin weird as much as we’re all about the tacos!”
AFM: What can the audience look forward to in season 2?
JAROD: “We want the audience to look forward to the next 7 episodes on season one first then we can start cooking up some more for season two! So keep watching on El Rey!”
United Tacos of America will debut on Tuesday October 15th at 10pm. Each 30-minute episode in the 8 episode series airs only on El Rey Network.