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What is Fredagstaco?

Many people partake in a fun, unofficial custom called Taco Tuesday in the US. This is when most people enjoy tacos of any kind. In fact, several restaurants also offer different promos and discounts for their tacos on Tuesdays. But did you know that Norwegians have a similar custom done on Fridays instead? 

“Fredagstaco” or “tacofredag” is the Norwegian version of the American “Taco Tuesday.” Instead of having taco specials and promos on Tuesdays, most Norwegian restaurants and groceries do it on Fridays.

The Origin of Taco Tuesday

Taco Tuesday has become something of an American tradition. This custom is widespread across the country, and many people and restaurants take part in it every week. But where did it originate from? There have been many reports on when it started.

Perhaps the most famous claim to the Taco Tuesday origin was the case of Taco John’s, a famous Mexican chain with over 400 stores mainly in the Midwest. Taco John’s registered the trademark for the Taco Tuesday phrase in 1989. But despite the restaurant chain owning the brand of the phrase and claiming its origin, their reports contradict themselves.

Taco John’s trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office shows the company claims its first use of the phrase in 1979. In a press release in later years, the company claims it started using the term in 1983. In another report, the company claims it started Taco Tuesday in February 1982. And yet another report claims that the company’s franchisee, David Olsen, coined the term in the early 1980s.

However, evidence of the cultural phenomenon has been seen as early as 1933.

  • The White Star Cafeteria in El Paso, Texas, ran a campaign as reported on October 16, 1933, El Paso Herald-Post, that it offered Mexican Tacos on Tuesday, three for just 15 cents.
  • In early 1949, Albuquerque’s Zia Lounge gave away free tacos on Tuesday.
  • In the same year, Oliver’s in Green Bay, Wisconsin, offered free coffee with every purchase of Taco on a Tuesday.
  • La Cucaracha declared tacos were their Tuesday special in the April 13, 1965 edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
  • In the January 31, 1967 edition of the Arizona Daily Star, an ad for Pinky’s offered six tacos for 98 cents on Tuesdays.

But the Snow White Drive-In ran an ad on the August 20, 1973 edition of the Rapid City Journal encouraging customers to visit them on Taco Tuesday. And two years later, Marti’s in Kansas published an announcement saying Every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday. (Source: Thrillist)

The Norwegian Version of Taco Tuesday

The somewhat American tradition made its way across the globe. Many restaurants that served some form of Taco adapted it as part of their marketing strategy. However, not all countries adopted it in its most accurate form. In Norway, their version is called fredagstaco or tacofredag.

Fredagstaco, reportedly coined by younger Norwegian generations, literally translates to Friday’s Taco. Their version of Taco Tuesday is done every Friday, where many Norwegians have tacos in their mind for Friday dinner.

A study reported that almost 8.2% of Norwegians eat tacos every Friday. Restaurants have their promos of the tacofredag, and even groceries get in on with the hype. Every Friday, grocery store rearrange their products so that all taco ingredients are at the front. (Source: SOFN)

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