When the Taco Cannon made its debut appearance at Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest in 2012, the idea was so beautiful in its simplicity that it quickly became a sensation. The novelty cannon launched tacos into a crowd, much like the novelty cannons at sporting events and concerts launch T-shirts out to fans. Need we say more? If you’re at a three-day music festival, the chance of a delicious taco landing in your hands is heaven.
The year after the Taco Cannon’s debut, Fun Fun Fun Fest and its original sponsor, the Austin-based, Texas-wide chain Torchy’s, had a falling out: the festival partnered with a different taco shop, and Torchy’s responded by making their own taco cannon, challenging Fun Fun Fun Fest’s ownership of the idea by countering that “food launchers have been around for decades,” and asking “Do you think you invented the music festival too?”
A year and a half later, the question of who truly deserves credit for creating the Taco Cannon is back—and this time, it’s not another local chain launching tacos at people randomly, it’s a noted taco mecca in Omaha, Nebraska. As Eater Austin notes, the attention bestowed upon Omaha’s Voodoo Taco has launched some taco beef anew:
Fun Fun Fun Fest wants the world to know they invented the taco cannon, and they’ve made a dedicated Twitter account to prove it. The Austin-based music festival’s claim is threatened by Omaha’s Voodoo Taco, who partnered with the University of Nebraska–Omaha to unleash a taco cannon in their spankin’ new arena.
While Eater’s sister site SB Nation notes Fun Fun Fun got into the taco cannon game first, a number of other media outlets who picked up the story failed to mention the Austin-based music festival’s contribution, prompting the festival to take to Twitter to defend Austin’s honor.
Indeed, the new @TheTacoCannon twitter account is devoted to sharing #TacoTruth with followers. The account, which debuted April 23, is devoted to tweeting at media outlets that described the Nebraska taco cannon as groundbreaking to let them know that the ground broke in Texas in 2012.
Those media outlets haven’t responded thus far, but both Voodoo Taco and representatives of the University of Nebraska–Omaha hockey team—where the bootleg taco cannon will be operating—have gotten involved.
Voodoo Taco responded to the #TacoTruth with “mad respect” for Fun Fun Fun Fest’s Taco Cannon, which failed to assuage the frustrations in Austin—@TheTacoCannon responded by snarking on the idea that a restaurant in Omaha might be capable of serving decent tacos.
The menu at Voodoo Taco is, ahem, a bit curious: far from traditionalist, the restaurant seems to favor a fusion-style of taco, offering items such as a “fish and chips” taco, a spaghetti taco, and a “chicken cordon bleu” taco, wrapping fried chicken, smoked ham, and parmesan dijon root slaw in a tortilla and calling it a taco. (Also: a peanut butter and banana taco, which does sound legitimately delicious.) Voodoo Taco and Omahans have risen to defend the restaurant’s taco-making approach, and University of Nebraska–Omaha hockey enthusiasts have continued to wage the battle.
Fortunately, if the taco contest continues, there’s an easy way to determine not just who was first (definitely Fun Fun Fun Fest) but also who deserves to win—the Taco Cannon is a weapon, after all, and a showdown at high noon seems pretty appropriate here.