The Accidental Cannibals
An American couple, recent immigrants from Mexico, received a package sent from the old country. It contained a beautiful jar. They were not sure what it was, and saw no note inside, but checking the return address they saw that it had been sent from the town in which the husband's mother lived.
The mother was well known as a wonderful and inventive cook, and often send her family her latest creations. Opening the jar, the couple found it to be filled with a powder. Assuming it to be a new mix of spices from their mother, they tried a touch of it on the tip of the tongue and found it to be bland. Even so, they trusted her judgment and tried it in a number of items until finally discovering that it worked wonderfully as a tenderizer in taco meat.
They had a big barbeque and the tacos were very popular with friends and family. It wasn't until that night when, cleaning up, the husband found a small card that had been lost in the wrapping the jar came in. Opening the card, the man found a short note in poor English: "So sorry your mother has die. We send you her cremations in this jar and our blessings."
Oh no! He had just fed all his friends tacos seasoned with his mother's cremated remains! What could he do???
The man and his wife had an intense discussion. They couldn't tell everyone what happened. That would mean shame at the least and hatred -- or even prison -- at the worst. So they decided to keep quiet. But what would they do when others asked for more tacos or, by the Blessed Virgin, the recipe? There was no choice. They had to keep it a secret and, if they must, make more of the tacos.
The tacos became immensely popular. So much so that, eventually, the couple had to go in secret and get more of their "special ingredient." But the secrecy paid off. They turned the tacos into a successful business. You probably have one in your town. It's called Taco Bell.
Behind the Legend
We have not been able to verify this story of the first Taco Bell. When we called the chain's headquarters about it, they hung up on us.