In Mexico, the word taco is used as a generic term like the English word sandwich. By definition a taco is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of a corn tortilla folded or rolled around a filling.
If you ever get the opportunity to explore Mexico one thing is for sure that you will not escape the captivating taco! (And why would you? They are absolutely delicious.)
So here is a little bit of taco history…
The taco predates the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico. Anthropological evidence has been found that the indigenous people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate tacos filled with small fish. Writing at the time of the Spanish conquistadors, Bernal Díaz del Castillo documented the first taco feast enjoyed by Europeans, a meal which Hernán Cortés arranged for his captains in Coyoacán.
Lets get down to basics, so what is an authentic MEXICAN taco?
Authentic Mexican tacos:
- Use corn tortillas, not flour.
- Use soft tortillas.
- Are not typically spicy, although homemade salsas maybe added to make them as spicy as you desire.
- Topped with coriander and finely diced onion.
Tex- Mex vs Mexican.
Tex- Mex is a term that started to emerge in the 1940s and is now often confused with Mexican food. The two, although with certain features in common, are still very different.
TEX-MEX- a blend of Mexican, American & Spanish cuisine.
- Use hard taco shells.
- Are usually mild and include store-bought or jarred (lazy) salsa.
- They are usually topped with lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese.
- There is nothing Mexican about sweetcorn, if this little golden nugget is found in your dish, it is most certainly Tex-Mex, they love it.
Hopefully this simple breakdown will give you an insight into the basic authentic qualities of tacos. The long and short of it is that tacos are controversial, symbolic, historic but ultimately absolutely delicious.