From Academic Kids

For other uses, see Taco (disambiguation)
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Tacos al pastor
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Plate of tacos

A taco is a traditional Mexican dish comprising a rolled or folded, pliable tortilla (of either maize or wheat flour) filled with meat (generally grilled beef, pork, or variety meats such as tongue or brains), chili-based salsa, guacamole, and garnishes such as pico de gallo or cilantro. It may also contain just about any other filling that lends itself to it — generally meats or vegetables that are chopped and fairly dry. There are many subvarieties of the taco, and most of them have a certain set of traditional fillings.

The normal presentation of the taco is served flat on a tortilla that has been warmed up on the comal; since the tortilla is still soft, it can be folded over or pinched together into a U-shape for convenient consumption. In the variant known as the taco dorado ("fried taco"), the pre-stuffed tortilla is rolled into a cylinder and deep-fried until crispy.

One speciality found at many taco stands across Mexico (and a particular favorite in Mexico City) is the taco al pastor. Here the main ingredient is spiced pork, which is cut in slivers, from a loaf of meat standing on a vertical spit in front of an open flame; the method is similar to that used to prepare Döner kebabs and gyros in the Mediterranean. The cooked meat is then placed on a maize tortilla and garnished with chopped cilantro, onion, and a wedge of pineapple, with a dash of salsa as a finishing touch. Since tacos al pastor tend to be among the cheapest tacos, they are the mainstay of many a visit to the taquería; for the same reason, it is perhaps best not to enquire too closely about the provenance of the meat.

Americanized versions may use a deep-fried crispy tortilla shell, and include ingredients such as lettuce and cheese. The taco made with a crispy taco shell is probably descended not from the taco, but from the tostada, which it resembles more closely. Crispy shelled tacos were originally sold at taco stands as a convenient, quick lunch on the run. They are found at restaurants like Taco Bell, Del Taco and Taco Tico. A popular Americanized variation of the taco that does not use a crispy tortilla shell is the breakfast taco, consisting of a soft flour tortilla filled with some combination of traditional breakfast foods, such as eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, sausage, chorizo, or migas. In South Texas the breakfast taco is generally referred to as a taquito (literally, "little taco"), but this usage is not widespread, and in other contexts the word may refer to baked or deep-fried tacos, or tacos cut into small portions and served as hors d'oeuvres.

External links

fr:Tacos ja:タコス sv:Taco (mat)


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