Tacos: the taste of Mexico in a tortilla

Eat one taco a day to enjoy your stay!

A small guide to this delicious dish in Mexico

 

Here in Mexico, we know that anything that can be placed in a tortilla becomes a taco. We have yellow, blue, red and even green tortillas in each of the corners where tacos are sold in the country. It’s enough to take a tour through the center of Mexico City looking for tacos to find “Tacos de Canasta” or to travel to Zacatecas for some “Tacos Envenenados” to realize that this delicious dish is something that can’t be missed during your time in Mexico.

Keep reading to learn some varieties of tacos and the meaning of their names.

Tacos - Xcaret - Riviera Maya

 

Tacos de Canasta or Basket Tacos

These taquitos are a delicacy, and any Mexican has eaten them for breakfast or lunch. What are they made of? Well, the filling of this tacos can be made with potatoes, chorizo, beans, poblano chili or crackling. They are named after the traditional way of selling them: inside a big basket, which allows them to remain warm.

Tacos de Canasta - Xcaret - Riviera Maya

Photo by MxCity

Tacos Gobernador or Governor Tacos

What a name! This taco was invented in the state of Sinaloa, in Los Arcos Restaurant. It is said that on one occasion a governor made a reservation to go to lunch with all his entourage. The owner and the chef upon learning of this particular visit decided to create a special taco. After trying many ingredients, the owner told the chef that the governor’s wife was prepared some tacos of shrimp crush and that they were his favorites. So they decided to try this recipe and add a little cheese, let them brown on one side and voilá.

Tacos Gobernador Travel Report

Photo by Travel Report

Tacos al Pastor or Pastor Tacos

The origin of these tacos is uncertain, some say they are from the Mexican state of Puebla, others say the are from the Middle East. The spin where the meat is cooked was invented by Iskender Efendi and his grandfather in the XIX century. The spin arrived at Puebla, due to the great emigrations from the Middle East to Mexico during the XX century. Many shawarma kiosks settled in the city and sold a dish called “Arab Tacos.” Soon the recipe of “Arab Tacos” was modified to create what we know as Tacos al Pastor.

Chicago Tribune Tacos al Pastor

Photo by Chicago Tribune

Insect Tacos

If there is a distinction between Mexicans, we can make a taco from anything and insects are no exception. There is a vast variety of edible insects that you can taste in Mexico. We have maguey worms, grasshoppers, Chicatanas ants, and escamoles. You only need guacamole, lemon, salt, and some fresh tortillas to make a delicious taco to taste this pre-Hispanic meal.

Tacos de Insectos - Xcaret - Riviera Maya

Photo by Revista Selecciones

Read more: Edible Bugs And How To Cook Them

Tacos Campechanos or Mixed Tacos

In Mexico, we have a word to refer to drinks or meals that mix several ingredients that you don’t usually combine. A taco campechano (Kan- Peh – Cha- Nou)  is basically the one that incorporates two or more types of meat. The most popular is beef and chorizo, but the possibilities are endless in Mexican cuisine. The origin of the word “campechano” as an adjective of these mixtures is still unclear, but the most accepted clue is that it originated during the 17th and 18th centuries.

 

Tacos Campechanos - Xcaret - Riviera Maya

Photo by Chef Lilia Herrera

Tacos Envenenados or Poisoned tacos

Be careful with these… they are a Mexican delight! Invented by Don Lauro in 1940, who had a small food place near the railway. They are stuffed with beans, potatoes, cheese, chorizo and fried, this technique gave them their unique flavor. The same Don Lauro hung a sign outside with the caption: “If you want to get poisoned … eat tacos” that’s where the famous name came from.

Tacos Envenenados - Xcaret - Riviera Maya

 

We want to clarify that these are just some of the vast varieties of tacos you can find in Mexico. As I said at the beginning: everything that can be put inside a tortilla is a taco, so the possibilities are endless. While you finish reading this blog, locate the closest restaurant to your hotel and plan a visit to enjoy some delicious tacos.

 

Do you want us to do a second part to show you more tacos? Leave us your comments.

If you have recommendations, share them too.

Tacos en México - Riviera Maya - Xcaret