What Are Tacos Called in Mexico?
Tacos, the delicious Mexican street food that has gained immense popularity worldwide, are a staple in Mexican cuisine. From street vendors to high-end restaurants, tacos are enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. However, have you ever wondered what tacos are actually called in Mexico? Let’s dive into the world of Mexican cuisine and explore the various names used for these mouthwatering treats.
In Mexico, tacos are simply known as “tacos.” Unlike in some other countries, where the term “taco” can refer to a variety of different dishes, in Mexico, it specifically refers to a folded or rolled tortilla with a filling. The word “taco” itself comes from the Nahuatl language, spoken by the Aztecs, where it meant “half” or “in the middle.”
Tacos in Mexico come in numerous varieties, each with its own regional specialties and unique flavors. Some of the most popular types of tacos include:
1. Tacos al Pastor: Originating from Central Mexico, these tacos are made with thinly sliced marinated pork that is cooked on a vertical spit, similar to the way shawarma is prepared. They are typically served with pineapple, cilantro, and onions.
2. Tacos de Asada: These tacos are filled with tender, grilled beef. The beef is usually marinated in citrus juices and spices, resulting in a flavorful and juicy filling. Tacos de asada are commonly topped with onions, cilantro, and salsa.
3. Tacos de Carnitas: Hailing from Michoacán, these tacos are prepared with slow-cooked, tender pork that is often simmered in its own fat until it becomes crispy. The carnitas are typically served with diced onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
4. Tacos de Pescado: These tacos feature fresh fish, typically grilled or fried. The fish is often topped with a tangy and spicy mayo-based sauce, shredded cabbage, and pico de gallo. Tacos de pescado are commonly found in coastal regions of Mexico.
5. Tacos de Barbacoa: Originating from the northern states of Mexico, these tacos are filled with slow-cooked, tender beef or lamb. The meat is typically marinated in a combination of spices and cooked in an underground pit until it becomes incredibly tender and flavorful.
Q: Are tacos really a traditional dish in Mexico?
A: Yes, tacos are deeply rooted in Mexican culinary traditions. They have been consumed in Mexico for centuries, and their popularity continues to grow both domestically and internationally.
Q: Are tacos the same in all regions of Mexico?
A: While tacos are enjoyed throughout Mexico, each region has its own unique variations and specialties. From the fillings to the toppings and even the type of tortilla used, tacos can differ significantly from one region to another.
Q: What is the most popular type of taco in Mexico?
A: It is challenging to determine the most popular type of taco in Mexico, as preferences vary across regions. However, tacos al pastor, with its flavorful marinated pork and pineapple topping, are widely loved and commonly found across the country.
Q: Can vegetarians enjoy tacos in Mexico?
A: Absolutely! In Mexico, there are numerous vegetarian options for taco fillings. Some popular vegetarian varieties include tacos de nopales (cactus), tacos de papas (potatoes), and tacos de frijoles (beans).
In conclusion, tacos in Mexico are simply known as “tacos.” They come in a wide array of varieties, each with its own distinct flavors and regional specialties. Whether it’s tacos al pastor, tacos de asada, or any other type, these culinary delights continue to captivate taste buds worldwide. So, if you find yourself in Mexico, be sure to indulge in the authentic flavors of tacos, the nation’s beloved street food.