Friday, November 17, 2006

I love tacos...

Oyster tacos!

Steak tacos!

One of my favorite things about Mexico is the prevalance of great street food – it´s cheap, tasty, extremely diverse, very “authentic” and (…the croupier spins the roulette wheel and releases the ball... ) there is always the chance of contracting Montezumas revenge! But as the recent E. Coli epedemic linked to bagged spinach showed us – there is an inherent risk in eating anything, even something that is “triple washed.” But I´m getting into another topic entirely.

Anyways, the undisputed king of the Mexican street scene is the taco. There are a number of tasty treats that fall under the umbrella term “taco”- basically a tortilla wrap (various incarnations of maize or wheat flour) around a filling. Over the course of this trip, I have lost track of the number of tacos I have eaten – around the second week I was at 40+ (these are much, much smaller than your Taco Bell taco), not including all the times I used tortillas as the vehicle to transport food from my plate to my greedy mouth.

Along our drive, we have seen (and tasted) a great number of fillings for tacos: carne asada (grilled beef steak), bistec (another steak cut), chorizo (spicy pork sausage), cabeza (“head” from the cow – I think it is neck and cheeks that are stewed), tripa (tripe), adobada (marinated pork), carnitas (pieces of pork fried in fat, then cooked again), camarones (shrimp), ositones (oysters), marlin (smoked gamefish), machaca (dried shredded beef), birria (stewed goat meat), costilla (pork ribs), al pastor (rotisserie pork).
This doesn't need a caption.

Beto and his taco stand - he starts serving at 7AM, in time for breakfast.

Some of the fancier rigs even have little stools or tables for you to sit at, and a whole smorgasbord of salsas, pickled chile peppers, chopped vegetables and limes to choose from. However, the process is more or less the same. The cook asks you what you want (say... 4 tacos with carne asada), and if you want it with “greens” aka, onion and cilantro. You then take your piping hot tacos to where there is a great variety of salsas and lime wedges to add the right touch of heat. You can always go for seconds or thirds. Don´t be shy. At about 60 cents each taco, Heather and I walk away satiated and happy for under 5 bucks every time. I absolutely love these little stands and wanted to share some of that with all of you and to encourage you to patron one of these little stands the next time you are here. Just make sure you go to one where the cook is not the same person handling money!

Tacos de Birria

My favorite so far: Tacos de Birria – this is a filling of stewed goat - a really spicy, tender, rich flavoured meat that is a speciality of Jalisco and Guadalarajara. Or... maybe the Gorditas I just had at Bernal are really my favorite..
These gorditas, made fresh with blue corn masa are then opened and filled with a number of great combinations.

14 comments:

brian said...

Enough Kraig!!! All your talk of tacos is making my gob salivate like a rabid dog. I'm still dreaming of the pastor and pina tacos we had this year in Mexico city. Though the goat tacos you describe sound really delicious. I'm also delighted to read that your carniverous ways are being thoroughly sated there. Or is this possible?

Be safe. Peace out.

hikoyedaj said...

all bow to the god of the iron stomach, bottomless pit of enumerable tacos. ay-ya-a... fertile tales of a roving agronomist. will consumption never end or end in comsumption?

Anonymous said...

Hey Kraig and Heather,

I am enjoying reading about your adventures. It's nice to know where you two kids are and what is going on. I don't want to have to worry about you. :)
I read the taco post and it sounds so much more exciting that the victuals I am eating.
You guys stay safe and enjoy the amazing trip. I am enjoying the posts.
Ltr,
Panama Denese

wineman said...

Hey Guys - this is a fantastic virtual tasting menu, complete with visuals! I've been salivating like a labrador while reading and viewing the taco tour de force. I hope that in addition to merely eating all these wonderful treats, you are also collecting receipies so you can make us some when you return!! Stay well....

dad said...

happy tg, guess where we are??? keith and katie's hacienda! wish you were here, food was great, but no tacos...keith is challenging you to a "tac-off" at Pancho's all-you-can-eat mexican buffet. he will eat double the amount of flautas as you!

besame mucho,
dad, mom, g-ma, keithy, katie, kerstin, & brittany

yoshtigo said...

we try to make grecian cuisine sound exciting, but truth be told: we're DYING for some mexican food, and your posts aren't helping the matter. we're so desperate for something even resembling heat that, just today, i stooped to picking chiles off an ornamental plant tossed out by someone into a dumpster. will DHL handle taco shipments from mexico to greece? even if, i imagine the 3 months in phytosanitary would have undesirable effects.

ee said...

Ok, so Mexico has it all over Greece when it comes to spicy morsel bites, or anything spicy at all. After 2 months in this place that relies almost solely on the mighty lemon, olive and salt to flavor their dishes, I'd give almost anything for a taco lathered in eyewateringly hot salsa... so enjoy them amigos and bring home muchas recetas to share at our belated tg-2 celebration in January!

ee said...

Ok, so Mexico has it all over Greece when it comes to spicy morsel bites, or anything spicy at all. After 2 months in this place that relies almost solely on the mighty lemon, olive and salt to flavor their dishes, I'd give almost anything for a taco lathered in eyewateringly hot salsa... so enjoy them amigos and bring home muchas recetas to share at our belated tg-2 celebration in January!

ee said...

Ok, so Mexico has it all over Greece when it comes to spicy morsel bites, or anything spicy at all. After 2 months in this place that relies almost solely on the mighty lemon, olive and salt to flavor their dishes, I'd give almost anything for a taco lathered in eyewateringly hot salsa... so enjoy them amigos and bring home muchas recetas to share at our belated tg-2 celebration in January!

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