Saturday, the AZ Taco Festival was a riot. The eateraz.com boys - David Tyda and Rick Phillips, have much to be proud of. I mean, Lucha Libre AND sombrero-wearing donkeys?Good times.
More than 8,000 people ate more than 20,000 tacos throughout the day. Congrats to Barrio Cantina, which won first place, in a blind taste test as judged by certified taco tasters. Curious about the rest of the results. Good
Tacos were scored by a panel of 40 certified judges. Using the Kansas City Barbecue Society as a model, Tyda and Phillips created the National Taco Association. They put out a call for judges on their blog, Facebook and Twitter, and those who replied were a mix of foodies, students, small-business owners, real-estate agents and, well, nurses.
Michael Reimann, president of state's main barbecue association, AZ Barbecue, trains judges when barbecue events come to town and he ran the judging certification classes for the Taco Festival.
Judges were told to eat from end to end, making sure to get each part of the taco in each bite. Taste and presentation were each worth 40 percent, with the final 20 being originality. And each taco was judged on its own, not comparatively. Winners will split $7,500.