Tricked-Out Taco Truck Boldly Feeds America

Reality Food TV Series Crosses the Country,
Sharing Cultures and Discovering New Foodways

BY ED MURRIETA

Taco trucks are movable feasts – from their roots in feeding hungry workers in dusty parking lots to inspiring today’s restaurants-on-wheels that serve duck confit and Kobe beef.

In Taco Trek, a new food reality television series, host Ed Murrieta drives a tricked-out taco truck across country and across cultures. From small towns and big cities, from national parks and NASCAR tracks, Taco Trek is on a continuing mission to seek out interesting people and feed them tacos.

Why tacos? Tacos stretch budgets and feed villages; with a little meat, some vegetables, a few tortillas, we eat. As popular street food throughout Mexico, tacos are filled with anything from beef to chicken to mushrooms to potatoes to tongue to goat. Everything is a taco, and tacos are for everyone. Witness the popularity of the Los Angeles taco truck Kogi Barbecue, which serves Mexican-style tacos with Korean-style toppings.

In each 30-minute episode of Taco Trek, host Ed Murrieta, a veteran journalist, restaurant critic and kitchen worker, serves tacos and discovers stories of good food and good people — from the homeless huddled beneath bridges to the high-flying eating up on Wall Street.

Along the way, Taco Trek sources fresh meats and fresh vegetables from local farms and local markets, while spotlighting regional ingredients and local flavors – whipping up wild mushroom tacos in Portland, pulled pork tacos in Memphis, Cajun shrimp tacos in New Orleans, cheesesteak tacos in Philadelphia, Rocky Mountain Oyster tacos in Denver.

Taco Trek’s co-star is a tricked-out taco trucked named Tia, a converted mariachi tour bus outfitted with state-of-the-art mobile kitchen equipment. Remember the talking car in “Knight Rider”? Well, Tia sounds more like Sofia Vergara or Salma Hayek. Tia even makes her own biodiesel.

Taco Trek’s promotional tie-ins include toy versions of the Tia taco truck and cookbooks on both traditional Mexican tacos and the new American tacos that Taco Trek discovers on its cross-culinary-cross-cultural mission to seek out interesting people and feed them tacos.

— Ed Murrieta’s 2012 pitch for a reality television show