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What is a Taco?

A taco is a traditional Mexican dish or “street food”. Traditionally the taco is small and is easy to eat with ones hands. The authentic street taco has gained popularity in Mexico and other places. The taco is usually served on 2 soft corn tortillas. Why 2? The first tortilla soaks up the meat juices and salsa, the second serves as a back up so that in the event the first layer breaks, the taco remains intact. The taco can be made with a variety of meats from carnitas (shredded pork), asada (steak), pollo (chicken), other anything else that can be placed on tortillas, folded up and eaten. The garnishment is typically minced onion and cilantro. A simple Google search will reveal over 10,000,000 hits alone.


In the USA tacos are usually seen as a hard shell loaded with ground beef or shredded chicken and then smothered in cheese, lettuce, sour cream. This is not a true taco. This is a poor adaptation of what is called a Molote or Fried Taco in Mexico.  There are very few places if any within the USA that sell what is called Tacos Al Pastor or the “Sheppard’s’ Taco”. These tacos are unique and originate from Southern Mexico. Primarily Mexico City and Puebla are the areas where these tacos come from. The meat is prepared on a “trompo”, trump in English or vertical broiler similar to a gyro style meat. A fresh pineapple is places on top of the trump and the meat is slowly cooked. The meat is marinated in an adobo style marinade with oregano, citrus, achiote (annatto seed), and other ingredients. When the meat is ready it is sliced very thin. This taco is the favorite amongst the people of Mexico. This is the primary taco that Tacos Vicente brings to the people of Hawaii.