food and drink

Tejanos Are Pissed Over Austin Columbusing the Breakfast Taco


Matthew Sedacca did a very stupid thing…

Bye Bobst.

A photo posted by Matthew Sedacca (@mattsedacca) on

Credit: @matthewsedecca / Instagram

Don’t know him? Don’t worry. I’ll fill ya in.

He’s the New York-based blogger behind the now very controversial piece for Eater Austin, “How Austin Became the Home of the Crucial Breakfast Taco.”

In his poorly misguided — and maybe troll-y? — piece, Sedacca argued that the phrase “breakfast taco” was first popularized in Austin, Texas and, as a result, the capital city could claim ownership. Unfortunately for Sedacca, this isn’t even true. Cue a crap-ton of backlash.

First came the accusations of whitewashing and cultural appropriation.

This was followed by claims that other places in Texas did breakfast tacos better…

And finally, San Antonio residents started a petition asking Austin to banish Sedecca from Texas…forever.

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 6.12.07 PM

So why is everyone SOOOOO pissed off at Sedacca?


First, Austin prides itself on being different from other Texas cities.

Just look at their “Keep Austin Weird” motto. Also, thanks to its reputation for being the “live music capital of the world,” people — Austinites and non-Austinites alike — see it (rightly so, I might add) as the coolest city in Texas. As a result, cities like San Antonio really resent Austin.

Second, Austin is synonymous with gentrification.

The city’s recent rapid growth resulted in the gentrification of east Austin, the part of the city that’s been historically black and Latino thanks to a 1928 city plan that instituted a “separate but equal” division. By the city’s own admission, the influx of new people has displaced people of color from their historic homes, with Latinos pushed to the outskirts and the the black population dropping steadily.

Wait, what does this have to do with breakfast tacos? EVERYTHING!

Let’s turn to taco expert Mando Rayo, who literally wrote THE book on Austin breakfast tacos.

Credit: @armandorayo / INstagram

“When people think of breakfast tacos, they don’t necessarily associate it with Mexicans or Mexican-Americans,” Rayo, a Latino consulting strategist who is working on another book about the tacos of Texas, told me. “The new Austin, the gentrifying tech bros, are all Colombusing everything, when you think of them, and the guy who wrote this piece, they’re definitely not people of color, and a a large part of what they’re doing is glossing over a culture and traditions that have been here for a long time.”

It’s precisely this whitewashing and cultural appropriation that has rubbed Latinos the wrong way.

Land of tacos and eternal sunshine. #winning ?: @jay.cohen

A photo posted by Torchy's Tacos (@torchystacos) on

And, lbh, it’s also the fact that the breakfast tacos in Austin are mediocre at best, fam.

#Tacodeli #breakfasttacos #lunch #atx

A photo posted by Nick Biasini (@zer0zefx) on

Straight up, I’m not saying that to be a jerk; I’m saying it as a Texas Native who grew up in the borderland region (shout out to the RGV!) and who spent nearly a decade living in Austin. Listen, Austin, no one doubts your obsession with breakfast tacos, but just because they’re everywhere doesn’t mean they’re actually good — especially when very few, if any Austin establishments, make their tortillas from scratch.

It is a well-known fact, outside the 512, that the best breakfast tacos in Texas will be found south of Austin’s city limits.

So Austin, maybe tell your whack mayor to not get you into a war you can’t win.

You’re basically bringing a knife into a nuclear arms race.

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To Pay Off Billions In Debt, Ecuador Is Going To Extremes

things that matter

To Pay Off Billions In Debt, Ecuador Is Going To Extremes

Credit: iStock

In spite of the incredible consequences, Ecuador is auctioning off 3 million pristine Amazonian hectares to oil companies in China to help reduce the country’s debt.

With the sale of part of the Amazon, Ecuador hopes to reduce the $7 billion debt it has with China, who has been loaning money in exchange for oil. “My understanding is that this is more of a debt issue – it’s because the Ecuadoreans are so dependent on the Chinese to finance their development that they’re willing to compromise in other areas such as social and environmental regulations,” said Adam Zuckerman, from the NGO Amazon Watch.

However, there are seven indigenous groups in the area who are fighting the auction since a court ruling said they must give permission to the government to do anything with the land. “They have not consulted us, and we’re here to tell the big investors that they don’t have our permission to exploit our land,” said Narcisa Mashienta, a leader of Ecuador’s Shuar people.

Ecuador’s secretary of hydrocarbons, Andrés Donoso Fabara, rebutted telling The Guardian, “These guys [indigenous leaders] with a political agenda, they are not thinking about development or about fighting against poverty. We are entitled by law, if we wanted, to go in by force and do some activities even if they are against them, but that’s not our policy.”

But it’s not just Ecuador at stake.  The auction comes as neighboring Peru has declared an environmental state of emergency because of the high amounts of pollution in their part of the Amazon. What’s worse is that these groups have been complaining about the pollution for years, since Pluspetrol, an Argentinian oil company, has been working there since 2001.

Read more about the auction from The Guardian here.

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