The story behind tacos

During the conquest and colonial times, this product began to become more popular and was named “tortilla” because the Spanish thought it looked like a “torta”

The story behind tacos
Tacos al pastor - Photo: Jorge Sánchez Tallez/EL GRÁFICO
English 18/11/2018 14:38 Notimex Mexico City Actualizada 14:44
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Tacos date back to pre-colonial times. The tortilla was used to transport food so farmers could eat, and now tacos are an icon of Mexican culture, and especially of its cuisine.

In an interview with Guillermo Mateos de la Mora, a gastronomy expert from the Aspic Institute, he explained that anthropological studies show that even emperor Moctezuma used the tortilla as a spoon to eat and not get his hands dirty.

The chef said that during the conquest and colonial times, this product began to become more popular and was named “tortilla” because the Spanish thought it looked like a “torta”, a piece of bread, but thinner, and since then it began to be eaten along with traditional Spanish dishes.

“It's been said that in the Churubusco Convent, one of the first home Hernán Cortés had in Coyoacán, the first “taquiza” (when several types of tacos are served) took place, where they ate stew tacos,” he explained.

He emphasized that nowadays there is a large variety of tacos, some of which have qualities such as the energy it generates since tacos are made of stews, which can be made with proteins, vegetables, chilies, dairy, and the properties of the corn tortillas.

He added that by mixing the different ingredients, we can achieve a larger enrichment of nutritious properties, such as carbohydrates and vegetable protein, and claims that eating three or four different tacos can be a complete meal.

Mateos de la Mora emphasized that tacos have transcended Mexican borders because they have been a great contribution to the world, although a certain food chain has created an incorrect image of this traditional food, which is a gastronomic contribution to the world.

“Fortunately, we have many chefs that have revaluated this product and it has been a great success, as the foreigners who get to know the cultural richness of the country come here to eat tacos, such as the famous “tacos al pastor”, he explained.

He also said that among the most famous and delicious tacos are tacos de suadero, stews, stew and rice, sudados, as well as maciza, tongue, tripe, among others.

He also said that we can talk about a subdivision of tacos, such as quesadillas, sopes, and tlacoyos; “I think that food we can cook can be made into a taco,” he said.

As an expert in Mexican cuisine, he made it clear that a good taco has to be accompanied by a good salsa because it adds another flavor, it makes it more delicious, and explained that a good suadero or pastor has to be accompanied by diced onions and coriander, lemon, and salsa.


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