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Traditional Mexican Tacos


Mexican Tacos. Traditional Mexican tacos are corn or wheat tortillas which are filled with a filling usually prepared with some kind of meat.

The Taco is probably one of the most recognizable dishes found in Mexican cuisine. Traditional Mexican tacos are corn or wheat tortillas which are filled with a filling usually prepared with some kind of meat and folded in the hand when eaten. This is an incredibly versatile dish that where any kind of food,  including vegetables, cheese and a variety of meat are used while often accompanied by a salsa, guacamole and spices.

The word ‘taco’ is derived from the Mexican Spanish word meaning literally "a plug" but also has the meaning of light snack. Today, it is not clear why this word was used to describe a snack, as the origins of the dish date back to before Spanish colonization. Authentic Mexican tacos were eaten by the Aztecs and other indigenous civilizations much in the same way that Europeans use bread, broken into small pieces and used to gather up food, with their meals.

Traditionally Mexican tacos were mainly eaten in rural areas of the country, with each region having creating their own specialties and varieties. Peasants and laborers would use tacos as a practical way to wrap up their lunch. With migration to urban areas from the country, tacos would become an even more common phenomenon and soon street stalls selling tacos became widespread throughout the city.

Recipe for Tacos

The recipe for Mexican tacos is very simple and begins with the ever present Mexican tortilla. To make the tortilla all you need is Masa Harina ( a special corn flour available in ethnic supermarkets, salt and warm water. Here is a basic corn tortilla recipe:

4 cups Masa Harina
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/4 tsp of salt

While tortillas themselves are only made of a few ingredients, the ingredients for taco fillings are almost endless and vary greatly depending on the region or what you feel like eating. Some examples include: tacos de asador, filled with roast meat, served with two overlapped small tacos and garnished with guacamole, salsa and onions; ‘mulita’ tacos, which consist of meat and Oaxaca style cheese and are typically served in the Northern states; ‘gringas tacos from the southern states of Mexico made with wheat; and fish or shrimp or fish tacos from Baja California with snapper (or any other firm fleshed fish) lettuce, sour cream and a citrus sauce.

There are many different varieties of Mexican tacos with the limit really depend on you and your imagination. Whatever you decide to use, this simple and satisfying dish will surely not disappoint.