Taco ‘Bout a Discount: Here’s Where You Can Get Free (and Almost Free) Tacos for National Taco Day Today

rez-art/iStock via Getty Images
rez-art/iStock via Getty Images

Taco lovers, you’ve watched from the sidelines as this year’s National Pizza Day, National Doughnut Day, and National Coffee Day have passed by. Now, finally, the day you’ve been waiting for has arrived, and your patience has been rewarded with fabulous deals on the delicious tacos that fill your dreams each night.

From Baja Fresh to Burger King, taco providers everywhere are offering free or deeply discounted tacos to celebrate National Taco Day. USA Today has the lowdown on which restaurants are participating, what apps you should download, and which secret passwords you need to know in order to join the party.

Here are the best National Taco Day 2019 deals:

  • Applebee’s: Some locations in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and New York are offering a $1 Chicken Wonton Taco appetizer for dine-in customers.
  • Baja Fresh: Buy one taco, and present this digital coupon from the Baja Fresh Instagram account to get a second taco for free.
  • Bill Miller Bar-B-Q: Buy up to 10 Bean & Cheese tacos for just $0.75 each.
  • Bubbakoo's Burritos: Buy up to five tacos for $1 each.
  • Burger King: Tacos are $1 at participating locations.
  • California Tortilla: Say "Taco-berfest" when ordering to claim a free taco with your purchase.
  • Chronic Tacos: Say “Taco Life” when ordering to claim a free taco between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Chuy's: Show up to any Chuy’s dressed as a taco and they’ll give you an entrée for free. If you don’t have a costume, you can also add a crispy beef taco to your entrée order for just $1.
  • Del Taco: Join the Raving Fan Eclub or download the app to redeem your free taco. (You’ll also get a free shake on your birthday.)
  • Fuzzy's Taco Shop: Rewards members can claim a free taco with their purchase. Join the rewards program here.
  • Hurricane Grill & Wings: Get a free taco with the purchase of one taco and two drinks.
  • Jack in the Box: E-club members can claim a free taco with their purchase. Sign up here.
  • Rubio’s Coastal Grill: Show this coupon to claim a free taco with any drink purchase.
  • Taco Bell: Buy their “National Taco Day gift set” $5 gift card, which will get you four tacos—two Crunchy Tacos and two Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos. Can you send yourself the gift card? Of course. The taco titan is also offering a free bean burrito with mobile orders through October 17.
  • Taco Cabana: Breakfast tacos, naked tacos (chicken, steak or brisket with no toppings), shredded chicken tacos, and ground beef tacos are each just $1.
  • Taco John's: Download the app to claim a free Crispy Taco.
  • TacoTime: Pick up a free Crisp Taco at participating locations. If you order ahead, they’ll give you two.
  • Wahoo's: Ask for the Taco Day offer, and tacos are buy-one-get-one-free. (Though there’s a limit of two per customer.)

Looking for other ways to treat yourself on National Taco Day? Check out these items that every taco lover needs.

[h/t USA Today]

6 Tasty Facts About Scrapple

Kate Hopkins, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Kate Hopkins, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Love it or hate it, scrapple is a way of life—especially if you grew up in Pennsylvania or another Mid-Atlantic state like New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, or Virginia. And this (typically) pork-filled pudding isn’t going anywhere. While its popularity in America dates back more than 150 years, the dish itself is believed to have originated in pre-Roman times. In celebration of National Scrapple Day, here’s everything you ever—or never—wanted to know about the dish.

1. Scrapple is typically made of pig parts. Lots and lots of pig parts.

Though every scrapple manufacturer has its own particular recipe, it all boils down to the same basic process—literally: boiling up a bunch of pig scraps (yes, the parts you don’t want to know are in there) to create a stock which is then mixed with cornmeal, flour, and a handful of spices to create a slurry. Once the consistency is right, chopped pig parts are added in and the mixture is turned into a loaf and baked.

As the dish has gained popularity, chefs have put their own unique spins on it, adding in different meats and spices to play with the flavor. New York City’s Ivan Ramen even cooked it up waffle-style.

2. People were eating scrapple long before it made its way to America.

People often think that the word scrapple derives from scraps, and it’s easy to understand why. But it’s actually an Americanized derivation of panhaskröppel, a German word meaning "slice of rabbit." Much like its modern-day counterpart, skröppel—which dates back to pre-Roman times—was a dish that was designed to make use of every part of its protein (in this case, a rabbit). It was brought to America in the 17th and 18th centuries by German colonists who settled in the Philadelphia area.

In 1863, the first mass-produced version of scrapple arrived via Habbersett, which is still making the product today. They haven’t tweaked the recipe much in the past 150-plus years, though they do offer a beef version as well.

3. If your scrapple is gray, you're a-ok.

A dull gray isn’t normally the most appetizing color you’d want in a meat product, but that’s the color a proper piece of scrapple should be. (It is typically pork bits, after all.)

4. Scrapple can be topped with all kinds of goodies.

Though there’s no rule that says you can’t enjoy a delicious piece of scrapple at any time of day, it’s considered a breakfast meat. As such, it’s often served with (or over) eggs but can be topped with all sorts of condiments; while some people stick with ketchup or jelly, others go wild with applesauce, mustard, maple syrup, and honey to make the most of the sweet-and-salty flavor combo. There’s also nothing wrong with being a scrapple purist and eating it as is.

5. Dogfish Head made a scrapple beer.

The master brewers at Delaware’s Dogfish Head have never been afraid to get experimental with their flavors. In 2014, they created a Beer for Breakfast Stout that was brewed with Rapa pork scrapple. A representative for the scrapple brand called the collaboration a "unique proposition." Indeed.

6. Delaware holds an annual scrapple festival each October.

Speaking of Delaware: It’s also home to the country’s oldest—and largest—annual scrapple festival. Originating in 1992, the Apple Scrapple Festival in Bridgeville, Delaware is a yearly celebration of all things pig parts, which includes events like a ladies skillet toss and a scrapple chunkin’ contest. More than 25,000 attendees make the trek annually.

What's the Difference Between Yams and Sweet Potatoes?

Julia_Sudnitskaya/iStock via Getty Images
Julia_Sudnitskaya/iStock via Getty Images

This Thanksgiving, families across the country will enjoy a traditional meal of turkey, stuffing, and sweet potatoes ... or are they yams? Discussions on the proper name for the orange starchy stuff on your table can get more heated than arguments about topping them with marshmallows. But there's an easy way to tell the difference between sweet potatoes and yams: If you picked up the tuber from a typical American grocery store, it's probably a sweet potato.

So what's a sweet potato?

Sweet potato and yam aren't just different names for the same thing: The two produce items belong to their own separate botanical categories. Sweet potatoes are members of the morning glory family. Regular potatoes like russets, meanwhile, are considered part of the nightshade family, which means that sweet potatoes aren't actually potatoes at all.

Almost all of the foods most Americans think of as yams are really sweet potatoes. The root vegetable typically has brown or reddish skin with a starchy inside that's orange (though it can also be white or purple). It's sold in most supermarkets in the country and used to make sweet potato fries, sweet potato pie, and the sweet potato casserole you have at Thanksgiving.

Then what's a yam?

Yams.
Yams.
bonchan/iStock via Getty Images

Yams are a different beast altogether. They are more closely related to lilies and grasses and mostly grow in tropical environments. The skin is more rough and bark-like than what you'd see on a sweet potato, and the inside is usually white or yellowish—not orange.

They're a common ingredient in parts of Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Because the inside of a yam is less moist than the inside of a sweet potato, they require more fat to make them soft and creamy. They're also less sweet than their orange-hued counterparts. In many regions in the U.S., yams aren't sold outside of international grocery stores.

Where did the mix-up come from?

Also sweet potatoes.
Also sweet potatoes.
Kateryna Bibro/iStock via Getty Images

So if yams and sweet potatoes are two totally different vegetables that don't look or taste that similar, why are their names used interchangeably in the U.S.? You can blame the food industry. For years, "firm" sweet potatoes, which have brown skin and whitish flesh, were the only sweet potatoes grown in the U.S. In the early 20th century, "soft" sweet potatoes, which have reddish skin and deep-orange flesh, entered the scene. Farmers needed a way to distinguish the two varieties, so soft sweet potatoes became yams.

Nearly a century later, the misnomer shows no signs of disappearing. Many American supermarkets still call their orange-fleshed sweet potatoes yams and their white-fleshed ones sweet potatoes, even though both items are sweet potatoes. But this isn't a strict rule, and stores often swap the names and make things even more confusing for shoppers. So the next time you're shopping for a recipe that calls for sweet potatoes, learn to identify them by sight rather than the name on the label.

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