“An endless stream of refried beans and nacho cheese”

I haven’t had opportunity to post as frequently as I would hope over the last few weeks, but I could not let another day go by without acknowledging the passing of Glen W. Bell Jr

Who is Mr. Bell?  Simply put, the man most responsible for introducing Mexican food to most of the country with his semi-authentic Mexican restaurant chain – the one and only Taco Bell.

If you want to dig deeper into his story, check out Taco Titan: The Glen Bell Story for more on the man “whose idea in 1951 to sell crispy-shell tacos from the window of his hamburger stand became the foundation of Taco Bell”, the first of which opened in Torrance, Calif., in 1965.

And for an appreciation (sort of) by Gustavo Arellano (otherwise known as the author of ¡Ask A Mexican!), check out this opinion piece in today’s Los Angeles Times.

Interesting sentiment that “Taco Bell and its spawn became a gateway for Americans to accept Mexicans”.  Actually, it’s not really much of a stretch to make that claim. 

And even though Arellano characterizes the Taco Bell burrito as containing “bland pinto beans, cheese that tasted like chalk, all within a clammy flour tortilla”, he still acknowledges that Taco Bell revolutionized the Mexican food industry and notes its recent push into international markets as an American brand representing U.S. culture.

Personally, I’ve moved away from Taco Bell over the years to appreciate the more genuine article, but if not for the acumen of the “Taco Titan” all those years ago, who knows how many would have been deprived of the opportunity to explore Mexican cuisine – mongrelized or not. 

Glen W. Bell Jr, R.I.P.

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~ by acm213 on January 24, 2010.

One Response to ““An endless stream of refried beans and nacho cheese””

  1. Pouring some “Fire” sauce on the curb here in Pullman…

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