Tacos are a staple food for many people in Mexico, the United States and other countries. The taco is a tortilla filled with meat – beef, chicken, pork, fish, or other – cheese, beans, salsa and anything else we want to put in them. The tortilla itself can be soft or crispy.
The word “taco” is said to have originated in the silver mines of Mexico in the 1800s. It was a blast of gunpowder wrapped in paper. The word eventually evolved into food wrapped in a tortilla, probably with explosively hot peppers!
Hernan Cortes and his Spanish conquistadores probably enjoyed local foods wrapped in tortillas, but this was not recorded in their march to conquer Mexico. The original Spanish conquistadors were likely the first to name the flat bread made from corn a “tortilla.” It comes from “torta,” Spanish for cake.
Various versions of this flat corn bread cooked on hot stone slabs were eaten by the Mayans, Aztecs, and other native peoples for centuries. The food became popular throughout New Spain and cooks, mostly women, found different and tasty ways to fill the tortillas.
Regional favorites included shredded Sonoran beef, seafood from Baja California and pork from Central Mexico. Tacos called Sudados were steamed in a basket in parts of Northeastern Mexico. Chile peppers, a flavoring and a preservative, were used extensively in the filled tortillas.
Young Mexican girls learned early in life how to soak the corn, or masa, and mix it into a ball that is pressed between between the hands to just the right thickness. Flour tortillas developed when wheat was imported to Mexico. The unleavened bread cooked quickly and it could be wrapped around other foods.
Tacos were brought to the United States by Mexican immigrants, but they did not gain widespread popularity until the late 1940s.
Today, corn and flour tortillas are made by machine. They are the second most popular grain product after sliced bread in the U.S.
Tacos are the ultimate finger food. We hold the taco lovingly in our hands and take a bite out of the corner. The trick is to eat a well-stuffed taco before it falls apart.
The tostada is a variation of the taco. A flat tortilla is covered with beans, meat, cheese, salad and salsa. Fold a soft tortilla around cheese and grill it for a quesadilla. Stuff meat, rice, beans, vegetables and anything you like into a rolled up tortilla for a burrito. Bake tortillas wrapped around cheese and meat covered in various sauces for enchiladas. These dishes are all variations on the original concept of a taco.
The Feisty Bull
The Feisty Bull in Coral Springs, Fl. has taken once-humble tacos to new levels. Start the day with the Buenos Dias taco with scrambled eggs, patatas, chirozo sausage, tomato and fresh cheese.
Move on to El Pollo Loco filled with special chicken, Cotija cheese, cilantro lime slaw and a spicy aioli.
The Pissed-off Pig features mojo pork, pickled onion, cheese and lettuce.
The Marino is for seafood lovers with mahi-mahi, mango salsa, avocado and a special ranch dressing.
This is modern Mexican-fusion cuisine, building on the endless variations of the timeless taco. Enjoy tacos at the Feisty Bull with a selection of fine tequilas and Mexican beer.