I was listening to the radio the other day when a commercial came on about the Central Valley Taco Festival. Oh my goodness that brought back a memory that I just have to share with everyone!
The last time I was at the Taco Festival was about 13 years ago. My then husband and I loved going to food events around town. (We really do have great food here in Fresno, and even better tacos!) So, when we heard about the Taco Festival, we knew we just had to go. It really was everything we thought it would be. Taco trucks lined the blacktop, and there were soooo many tacos to try. Fish tacos, carne asada, chicken, pork, and all the other kinds of meat that I don’t eat. I don’t think there was a taco that I didn’t like. It was also the first time we had Taco Grande, which became a favorite of ours. (Their tacos have whole beans, salsa, meat, and avocado!) There were so many tacos, and they were all so very good.
While we were walking around, I noticed that they were about to have a jalapeño eating contest. Being that I was young, and thinking that I could do anything (this was also around the time that I decided to bungee jump at the fair), I decided to enter the contest. Now, let me pause here to tell you that I
1- Don’t like spicy foods, and
2- I don’t like to be center of attention (hard to believe, I know).
However, I was a poor college student and the grand prize was $50. I guess back then I would do anything for $50, or even just the thought of $50. Well, I felt confident enough, and I entered the contest. I was up against 4 other people. I remember staking out my competition. There was a guy who looked like he ate chilies for breakfast, 2 other people I don’t remember, and another girl who I thought I could take. That is, until they said she was the reigning champion. What? Totally unfair! Still, I was confident I would win. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it’s because I’m half Mexican. Maybe it’s because I see the glass half full. Maybe it’s because I really wanted $50. Whatever the reason, I stood there with the other contestants, fully believing I would take them all down with my fast jalapeño eating skills. Never mind the fact that I probably had never eaten a whole jalapeño in my life. The goal was to eat 5 jalapeños the quickest. Well, guess what? I lost. No surprise there. The reigning champion had won again. I had eaten 2 and a half to her 5. She walked away with the $50 and I walked away with my mouth on fire. (Her mouth was on fi-yah.) Thinking back to this time makes me laugh. Entering a contest like that is so out of character for me. I wasn’t drunk. No one double-dog dared me to do it. I just simply thought I could do it. (Which I guess is a good lesson in believing in oneself, eh?) So, so funny.
Well, this Sunday, June 7th, the Central Valley Taco Festival is back. Its runs from 11-3, and will be at Eaton Plaza, in Downtown Fresno. (Across from the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, and by the Water Tower.) The best taco makers from all over Central Valley will be there, and we get to vote for the best taco. There will be drinks, music, dancing, and a beer garden. So, bring the whole family and enjoy a taco or two! I’m going to head over there after church. This time, however, I won’t be entering any jalapeño eating contests. 😉