If you have to eat only tacos for the rest of your life, Texas is the place to live. I went on a “Taco-journey”and found out why tacos are considered a cult.
“You can’t pray if you haven’t heard from God yet”. That’s what my friend Steve from California said while we were tasting the “best tacos of Berlin”. He was living in the German capital for almost six months and was telling me very often how much he missed tacos. Even though our experience was not as satisfying as I though it would be, some words stuck into my head for some time: “You need to go to Mexico, California or Texas to really understand what I’m talking about”.
Luckily, some months later, I traveled to Texas without having any idea how influential tacos in Texans’ social life are. Here, I met my Texan friends Daphne and Eric, which in only a few days showed me exactly what Steve meant back in Berlin.
Either as an early morning bite, a quick lunch in the middle of the day or a late night treat, tacos are that perfect dish that will take you to heaven in just a few seconds. Uncomplicated, juicy, tasty – is there really anything better than this?
Brought first by the Mexican migrants, later improved by the second and third generations born in the USA and finally perfectioned by Texans using traditional BBQ traditions. Texans considered tacos a religion and after tasting some of the most simple, as well, weird, unhealthy and delicious taco combinations you can imagine, I can certainly assure that a trip to Texas must include tacos at least once a day.
Eric and Daphne drove me around Texas, where we spent full days tasting at least 20 different types of tacos.
After getting my license as an amateur taco connoisseur, these were some of the best styles I found in this part of the world.
Normally made with a flour tortilla, breakfast tacos became Texan tradition. Perfect to take away and as delicious as they sound, a breakfast taco is stuffed with a choice of scrambled eggs, small pan-fried cubed potatoes, chorizo, and cheese.
Breakfast tacos are available all day long in most Texan “taquerias”. Still, I prefer to kept them as a bite before 10 am.
Two thin corn tortillas, onion, habanero sauce, cilantro and one of the many traditional variations of meat (chicken, barbacoa, beef tongue or al pastor). Preparing a classic Mexican taco is a ritual and the “abuelas” in Texas know that.
And while some style of classic tacos will be always available in almost every taqueria all over Texas, Texans know that the best classic tacos come from the working-class cafes and not the restaurants offering quinoa smoothies and avocado shakes.
Prepared with a corn tortilla fried into a U shape and filled with traditional seasoned beef, pico, iceberg lettuce, and cheese, crispy tacos are the bite that generates controversy all over the state. Either you love it or hate it, nobody can deny that crispy and crunchy bite has something special.
Perfect as a late night bite, or a party snack, crispy tacos have won a spot at the hall of fame for tacos and leaving Texas without tasting at least one of these is like going to a brewery and not tried any of their beers.
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Diverse, cheesy and with hundreds of calories, Tex-Mex tacos are the best representation of America on a single plate. Offered on either corn or flour tortillas (always corn) this style of tacos are best represented by adding nontraditional ingredients such as Monterrey Jack cheese, fried plantain, and sour cream to the traditional Mexican taco style.
Loved by everyone who loves tacos, Tex-Mex tacos offer a more decadent option, for those who go out for fast food and want to feel that heavy and tasty meal you wish for. This style became so popular all over the world, that Tex-Mex cuisine is easy to find in each continent of the planet.
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This is where things get tricky and we get to see a glimpse of the future of tacos in the United States. Special tacos are a multicultural mash-up that food experts can’t even explain. Tacos with tuna, quinoa and seaweed, mustard fried chicken tacos or any other crazy combination you can imagine.
This is where the creativity of each restaurant comes into place and while most “taco traditionalists” might be a little bit upset each time they see a special taco menu, there is no doubt that some of these combinations are out of this world when it comes to taste.
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Tacos are in the food world way bigger than we think. The New York Times has a taco blogger, Netflix did a full show only about this dish diversity and they are catalogued as one of the top 10 best dishes in the world.
Tacos are available in almost every country in the world, but in comparison to burgers or pizzas, where taste does not change to much from country to country, there is nothing compared to traveling to southern U.S. or Mexico and tasting the real thing.