The Unique Taco Created In Honor Of Jimmy Carter's Presidential Win

Everyone knows a good breakfast taco is filled to the brim with fluffy eggs and ... peanuts? At least, those were the contents of a special taco created to honor Jimmy Carter's 1976 presidential win.

Breakfast tacos originated in northern Mexico and made their way to the United States via Texas around the 1950s, becoming a sensation. Typically, they consist of a flour tortilla stuffed with favorites familiar in the breakfast and taco categories, like scrambled eggs, bacon, chorizo, and peppers. But, in 1976, a San Antonio restaurateur named Osvaldo Rodriguez felt inspired by Jimmy Carter's victory at the presidential polls. He decided to invent a new breakfast taco for Carter: A flour tortilla, scrambled eggs, and dried, roasted peanuts crushed up and mixed into the eggs. He named it the Jimmy Carter Taco and put it on the menu of his restaurant, Enchilada Hut. Customers actually liked it — per Texas Monthly, Rodriguez told the Associated Press at the time that people said the peanuts added a pork-like flavor.

The peanuts might seem like an odd choice for a breakfast taco, or any taco for that matter, but they were a direct nod to the new president's roots. Carter was from Georgia and had been the state's governor before moving into the White House. He'd even been a peanut farmer before getting into politics. While China produces the largest percentage of the world's peanuts, the United States is fourth on that list and Georgia grows more peanuts than any other state.

The peanut taco wasn't the first Mexican dish to honor Carter

Both Jimmy Carter's presidential victory and campaign are marked with celebrations involving Mexican food. Before the peanut breakfast taco, there was a giant chalupa made for the candidate. 

The National Taco Council, a San Antonio group that advocated for the Latino community in politics, saw a kindred spirit in Carter because of his farming background. When the presidential hopeful made an appearance at the Alamo, the council planned to present him with a whopping 110-pound chalupa, which isn't quite what you're thinking if you're picturing an Americanized chalupa. A Mexican chalupa is a boat-shaped piece of fried or baked masa dough piled with things like meat or beans with cheese, vegetables, and sauces. The National Taco Council's chalupa for Carter had 10 heads of lettuce, 10 pounds of beans, and — you guessed it — peanuts from Georgia, too. If you think that sounds delicious, you're not alone: The massive chalupa never even made it to its intended recipient because people who'd gathered to see Carter just started grabbing and eating pieces the moment it appeared.

Apparently, San Antonio has a bit of a tradition going when it comes to honoring presidents with enormous examples of Mexican fare. Before Carter's peanut taco and extravagant chalupa, President John F. Kennedy was sent a 48-pound tamale by the San Antonio Social Civic Organization. It, too, failed to reach the president — it's said it was enjoyed by White House workers.