Tacos. Crunchy, spicy, mouth-watering tacos. This simple food can be a source of spicy fun eaten between shots of tequila. Or a warm comforting snack that gives the right balance of meat and vegetables. But there are more to tacos than the cheesy crunchy variety we’re all used to. Let’s sample a few, shall we?
Soft-shelled Street Style Tacos
Mexico is brimming with regional variations of the taco. One of the most famous is the soft white corn tortilla taco. Snack-sized tacos of this variety are sold on the streets, most commonly in food trucks. Here in Washington, you might be familiar with the El Paso Mexican Restaurant’s tacos prepared with corn tortillas. Their taco is garnished with cilantro and onions and served with lime and salsa on the side.
Hard-shelled American Tacos
Contrary to popular belief, it is Juvencio Maldonado, not Glen Bell, whom we should thank for the hard-shelled tacos America grew up on. The Oaxacan immigrant invented a machine that would shape and fry multiple taco shells at the same time. These tacos are usually filled with ground beef, chopped tomatoes and onions, and shredded cheese and lettuce. They may not be as flavorful as other taco varieties, but the process of eating them without cracking the shells in half make them enjoyable to eat.
Baja’s Fish Tacos
Originating from Baja, these fish-filled soft-shelled tacos are popular in Southern California. They consist of fresh fish, grilled or deep-fried, and come with a shredded cabbage slaw and cream or mayonnaise. Some taco vendors use lime, cilantro or chipotle for added flavor.
With culinary fusions and adventurous cooks, more taco varieties are emerging. Fine-dining establishments also now serve a variation of tacos, including chocolate tacos for the dessert lovers. No matter what form tacos take, they will always be one of the nation’s favorite foods.