I would just like to acknowledge the beauty of aggressively salty corn chips that soften and mellow in the presence of meat juice, cheese that glues every bite to your plastic utensil, and all the add-ins—from jalapeños to (lots of) sour cream—that make this handy snack your own. Officially, the walking taco, or Frito Pie in some parts, might have taken its first steps out West or down South. Everyone from the Frito-Lay corporation, to Disneyland’s long-beloved Casa de Fritos restaurant, to a Louisiana short-order cook wants credit for its genesis. I believe it belongs here with us. If every region can lay claim to its own style of taco—the Mexican street taco, the Baja fish taco—then the walking taco, basically a casserole that you crush to mix and eat straight from the container like a hobo, represents everything that is Hoosier and good.
If you have never snipped off the top of a single-serve bag of Fritos and filled it with chili-powdered ground beef and taco fixings … well, it’s time you do. I’m not saying the walking taco is an authentic representation of its genus or deserves a special place at the splendid table, or really anywhere beyond the concession stand at a suburban Little League game, gathering of food trucks, or tailgate party.