Written by | JOSE TORRES |
Tacos are a manmade creation that in comparison to the many other things man has created, such as the wheel itself, shines brighter than all of them. The taco was made from the brightest of minds and is truly appreciated only by ones “it” finds worthiest. I mean, do not get me wrong; I know there will be skeptics out there who will disagree with me or even say tacos are so “unhealthy” because of how greasy they are. To them I say, “Who asked for your opinion?”
“Tacos are a delight; I think I want one tonight. Something crunchy to eat, nothing sugary – just hamburger meat. Not just one – I want a whole bunch. For breakfast, dinner, snack and lunch. Lettuce, tomato and Mexican cheese; let’s go get one now, momma. Pretty please?” That’s a poem by Jessica K. that truly epitomizes the love one feels when dining on the soft corn tortilla or devouring the crunchy shell sent down from the gods.
The word “taco” is the Mexican equivalent of the English word sandwich. The tortilla, which is made of corn or wheat, is wrapped or folded around a filling that generally is made of spiced proteins such as beef, pork or fish. Even though the taco is an equivalent by name to the American sandwich, the taco should be held with respect and dignity while being dined on, for it has defied the trends of time, religion and location. The taco first was created back in 1520 by the great Bernal Diaz del Castillo. Castillo was a Spanish soldier who came with Hernan Cortez to the New World. Tacos also have gone through changes, which is what makes them so adaptive to both religions and locations worldwide.
One obvious and well-liked adaption is the fish taco, where ground beef is replaced by fish. It helps people who cannot eat ground beef either because of allergies or due to religious purposes. Another taco is the Tacos de Lechon, which is slow-roasted suckling pig, again in place of the beef. This taco is served only at Chichen Itza in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Those are only two of the many types out there, but even with that, for National Taco Day this Oct. 14, consider the countless variations you can create using traditional meats or with seafood, chicken, beans, cheese and eggs. Yank out your garnishes – salsa, cilantro, avocado, tomatoes, onions and lettuce – and you have a dish of great versatility and variety.
So with that little bit of knowledge in your brain now, I personally hope you enjoy your next taco experience. If you are one of those who will not be persuaded to eat one of life’s beautiful creations, all I can say is you are missing out.