Get some steak sizzling over an open flame because August 18 is National Fajita Day. It’s a day to celebrate the authentic taste of the Southwest with the fiesta of flavor known as the fajita. Throw in some awesome black beans or even add a little hot sauce, guacamole, sour cream, or cheese. The combinations are endless. It’s National Fajita Day so you know what you’ve got to do (eat fajitas, obviously).
History of National Fajita Day
A true manifesto of what Tex-Mex culture is, the fajita has taken the culinary world by storm but it all started from some very humble beginnings.
The concept of fajitas began to make the rounds in the early 1930s when Mexican vaqueros in Texas developed the fajita from throwaway cuts of beef – part of their payment for their job. Because of this, said workers learned to use the tough cuts the best they could, especially the flavorsome skirt steak. They cooked the steak over an open fire or grill and were typically served with flour or corn tortillas, pico de gallo, guacamole, and southwestern spices. Soon the cheap, efficient meal meant as a quick fix for workers was becoming a staple in the area, finding its way into new mouths and bellies.
As such, there are numerous different joints that were around at the time that claim to be the launchpad for the fajita. It’s not surprising, everyone wants to be part of a success story. It was in the late 1960s that Sonny Falcon started selling fajitas. He sold so many that he was eventually christened “The Fajita King” as recognition for his role in introducing fajitas to the general public.
Other big moments in fajita history include the restaurant Ninfa’s creating their own version of fajitas in 1973, and Austin’s La Vista restaurant putting “sizzling fajitas” on the menu in 1982. National Fajita Day itself was coined by the restaurant chain On the Border to celebrate the show-stopping dish. If all of this hasn’t got you watering at the mouth then we don’t know what will.