I spent my whole life eating tacos, not the real kind – the kind that comes nicely wrapped up in a bright yellow and red box, with a plastic bag to keep the crispy corn derivatives fresh, the kind you fill with your own mince, shredded lettuce and cheese. Marketed throughout the world as Mexican Food you can make at home. Those Tacos were delicious, yet I always knew deep down that this wasn’t the real-deal, I pined for Mexico and the mystery behind what a real taco might taste like. I wondered if the tacos were really that crispy, or what it would be like to taste that slow cooked pulled pork falling to pieces in my mouth, the zesty lime cutting through the richness.
Growing up in New Zealand, Mexico was a whole world away. It wasn’t as simple as a road trip or a few days off work – it was a giant adventure just beckoning me and once I finally took the leap and visited my life was changed forever.
My first taco was an explosion of sensations – the excitement of being in such a foreign culture, the olfactory overload of smokey comals and slow cooking meats as they wafted down the street towards me. The tortilla was soft and doughy, yet thin and satisfying – made entirely of corn, a far cry from the crispy taco shells or soft flour tortillas from my childhood. Choices of green or red salsas, both tangy and spicy and delicious, with no indication of which was hotter, a roulette game of chilli, I excitedly tried both kinds, one after the other, savouring the complex flavours and textures that this new adventure brought to me.
My first taco exceeded every expectation I had conjured, and answered many of my childhood questions, it stirred a new passion for this exotic country and started me on a life time journey of exploring and devouring Mexican and Central/South American cuisine.
My First Real Taco
Francisco I. Madero
Mexico City 6060