This is the good stuff, the originals. Tacos as they were designed to be enjoyed. Simple, delicate and stuffed with beautiful flavours. Quite a stretch from the super popular, mainstream tacos most of us dish up once a week. So what happened?
The cooking style with the same nick name, however, originated in the early 1900 with the Tejanos; Texans of Spanish descent. They resided in the South of Texas, between San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley. Now, in this area the cuisine was known for having little variation, and frankly being quite boring. So when the Tejanos stated to bring Mexican influences into their cooking, it instantly became very popular. The use of different chilies, fresh fruit and cilantro became essential to the new style.
Throughout the 19th century the cooking style evolved further. A game changer was the introduction of cumin, which was rarely a part of the Mexican cuisine. It's strong flavour became a signature for the new order and in the 20th century introduction of melted cheddar cheese kind of topped it all. In later years the use of sour cream has also become popular, removing it even further from the original style.
Now, new styles and fusion cuisines are a nice addition to the worlds food scene, but having a look at the roots of modern day favorites is always interesting. And to do so, we travelled to the remote Mexican countryside.
"To get authenticity, do as the locals."
- a well known term. In Mexico, however, this is easier said than done, being an American super holiday destination. In big cities like Acapulco, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta you'll struggle to find the real deal. Because here the Americans feast, and they want cheese, cumin, sour cream and fat. And so it be.
But heading about three hours south of Puerto Vallarta by car, changes everything.
This is farmland. They grow real food, they cook authentic stuff and the living is easy. Quite enjoyable, if you ask me.
This is a traditional Taqueria, a place that sells tacos. Only that, and beer. It's always set up outside on the street, hence the slang "Street Tacos". It's a popular venture, both among the locals and the few tourists that pass by.
The tortillas are baked thinly, abut the size of a hand palm, and then fried. Even though it's not deep fried, it's still an oily affair.
A plain start, this is how it's served. The small size of each single taco, makes this more of a tapas adventure, than anything else.
Most of the time the meat is only flavoured with salt and pepper, whilst chicken often is marinated in a red salsa project. Chorizo has so much flavour on it's own, that no extra is needed.
A Snap worthy moment :)
The dish is quite simple, but incredibly full of flavours. The delightful meat and freshly made hot sauces shine in this dish. The onions provide the necessary crunch and cilantro takes us instantly to Mexico, if you're not there I mean :)
Surf the Web for cool recipes, there's plenty going around, and have yourself a piece of the real deal next time taco cravings hit.