National Fajita Day Date in the current year: August 18, 2024

National Fajita Day August 18 is the perfect day to indulge in Tex-Mex cuisine because it is National Fajita Day. It was created to celebrate a delicious grilled meat dish that has been around since the 1930s but didn’t become popular until the 1970s.

A fajita is a Tex-Mex dish consisting of strips of meat grilled with bell peppers and onions. It is usually served on a sizzling pan with a corn or flour tortilla and various condiments such as diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, refried beans, shredded cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

Fajitas are believed by have been developed in the early 1930s by Mexican vaqueros (cowboys) in South and West Texas. As part of their payment for herding livestock, they were given throwaway strips of meet cut from the skirt. Vaqueros cooked the meat over a campfire or grilled and ate it with tortillas and whatever condiments they had. It was an easy, quick, cheap and hearty meal for hardworking ranch workers.

The word “fajita” originally referred not to the dish itself, but to the meat trimmings used to cook it. It is a diminutive of the Spanish word faja, which means “belt”, “girdle”, or “strip”. According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the first known use of the word “fajita” in print referring to the dish is dated 1971. It can be found in Tex-Mex Cookbook self-published by Sam Huddlestone.

For several decades, fajitas remained a relatively obscure meal familiar only to vaqueros and butchers because skirt steak, which was used for fajitas, was not widely available commercially. Fajitas were introduced to the general public in the late 1960s.

The person credited with taking the first step to popularize the dish is Sonny Falcón, nicknamed the Fajita King. He operated a fajita taco stand at a Mexico Independence Day celebration in Kyle, Texas in September 1969. That same year, fajitas appeared on the menu of Otilia Garza’s Round-up Restaurant in Pharr, Texas.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the easy and delicious dish was popularized by numerous restaurants in the major cities of Texas such as the Hyatt Regency and La Vista in Austin, Ninfa’s in Houston, and various establishments in San Antonio. Mexican fast food restaurants started using the word “fajitas” in their marketing in the 1990s.

National Fajita Day has been celebrated every August 18 since 2016. It was launched by On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, a Texas-based chain of Tex-Mex casual dining restaurants that operates locations in the United States and South Korea. Since then, other Tex-Mes restaurants and chains have joined the celebration and offer various deals and promotions on National Fajita Day.

You can celebrate the holiday by going out to your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant or checking out a new one, cooking delicious fajitas at home, or even throwing a Tex-Mex dinner party for your friends and family. The holiday is the perfect excuse to experiment with fajita ingredients and seasonings to figure out the flavor combinations you like the most. And don’t forget to raise awareness about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #NationalFajitaDay.

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National Fajita Day, food days, unofficial holidays, holidays in the United States, Tex-Mex cuisine