By José R. Ralat @https://www.texasmonthly.com/
Fifty years ago, the tacos most Texans ate—breakfast tacos, barbecue tacos, and crispy tacos—originated in the foodways of South Texas. Not anymore. Today tacos hail from all over and have become a vessel for cultural bridge-building in a wildly multicultural state. The taco is a culinary welcome wagon, inviting Texans to be more adventurous in their eating habits while offering immigrant diners and restaurateurs a passage into American cuisine. Immigrants from around the world and their descendants are adapting their dishes to create new fillings for the familiar tortilla. “I don’t want to say it’s easy to put something in a taco, but it’s more approachable for a lot of people,” says Anna Swann, owner of the Dallas pop-up Ulam Modern Filipino Kitchen.
For anyone raised on tacos, it’s not a huge leap to consume Swann’s signature sisig, a mixed-meat dish composed of pork head and shoulder, seasoned with onions, chiles, and citrus fruit, and nestled in a gossamer flour tortilla. It resembles discada, a mixed-meat preparation popular along the border. This isn’t exactly shocking. From the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries, the Philippines and Mexico, with a shared history of Spanish colonization, were connected by the trade route between Manila and Acapulco, which promoted the exchange of fruits and spices.