Another Tradition that's been Americanized
Tacos weren't born with gobs of cheese and sour cream — and while those taste good, the traditional Mexican style definitely satisfies my hunger. Find out where to get these localyl.
This may come as a surprise to some of you, but those delicious tacos with ground beef, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa — the list goes on — are actually not exactly Mexican.
I know, to say a taco isn't a Mexican food seems like an oxymoron. But, consider this: the traditional way tacos are served in Mexico involve the tortilla shell, a portion of finely diced meet, onions and cilantro.
That's it. No cheese. No lettuce. Maybe some hot sauce, otherwise appearing to be green salsa.
Don't panic. I was first in shock when I learned this while studying abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as part of my studies of the Spanish language. In fact, the first time it was served to me at the restaurant I probably thought, "Huh, that's not a taco."
This website, Mexconnect.com, beautifully explains exactly what I am talking about. That's not to say what you eat with meat, cheese, lettuce and all that good, American food — isn't a taco. It's just to say ... that's not how it's always been done in Mexico.
Besides, I suppose "taco" can take on all shapes and sizes — if you really want it to.
"Virtually anything that can be rolled inside a tortilla becomes a taco, as evidenced by the proliferation of taco recipes in foreign newspapers, cookbooks and on Internet sites," Mexconnect.com said.
I truly enjoy authenticity, and I don't want everything to be Americanized. So, I've been extremely overjoyed to find that both La Chimenea and Tellos Grill & Cafe serve these traditional tacos — just some meat, onions and cilantro. MMMMmmm GOOD!
If you've never tried them, I strongly encourage you to give the traditional flavor a try. It's worth it!