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What is the origin of Mexican tacos? 

The Mexican taco is an emblematic dish of Mexican cuisine that has gained popularity all over the world. 

As we have explained in previous articles, the taco consists of a corn or flour tortilla filled with various ingredients and seasonings.

The base of a Mexican taco is usually a soft and flexible tortilla. Corn tortillas are the most traditional and authentic, while flour tortillas are more common in northern Mexico. These tortillas are heated and filled with a variety of ingredients.

The most common ingredients for a Mexican taco include beef, chicken, pork or seafood. These can be grilled, stewed or roasted. Some popular choices are taco al pastor, carne asada taco, chicken taco or fish taco.

Mexican tacos are known for their versatility and suit different tastes and preferences. You can find vegetarian tacos, vegan tacos and even gluten-free options, using ingredients such as vegetables inside.

In Mexico, tacos are an important part of the culinary culture and can be found in street stalls, taquerias and restaurants all over the country. Their popularity has spread worldwide, and Mexican tacos can now be enjoyed in many places outside of Mexico.

But what is their true origin?

Origin of tacos

Before the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico, the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica already consumed corn tortillas, which were a basic part of their diet. 

These tortillas were used as a kind of utensil to contain other foods, as a kind of wrapper.

In the Aztec culture, for example, there was a dish called “tlaxcalli”, which consisted of a corn tortilla filled with various ingredients such as meat, fish or vegetables. These stuffed tortillas can be considered the forerunners of modern tacos.

After the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century, an important cultural exchange took place between Spanish and indigenous cuisine. 

The Spanish introduced ingredients such as beef, pork and spices, which were combined with the corn tortillas of the indigenous tradition.

In short, tacos have pre-Hispanic roots in Mexico’s indigenous culture and have evolved over time with Spanish and regional influences. Today, tacos are an icon of Mexican cuisine and are enjoyed all over the world.

Most popular tacos

Most popular tacos

Tacos are very popular in Mexico and in many other countries, and there are many different types of tacos. Here are some of the most popular tacos:

  • Taco al Pastor: This is one of the most emblematic tacos in Mexico. It consists of pork marinated in a mixture of spices and chillies, which is grilled on a vertical spinning top and cut into thin slices. It is served in a corn tortilla and is usually accompanied with onion, cilantro, pineapple and salsa.
  • Chicken Taco: This taco is prepared with shredded and seasoned chicken meat. It can be grilled, stewed or roasted. It is served in a corn tortilla and can be accompanied with onion, cilantro, sour cream, guacamole and salsa.
  • Taco de Carnitas: Carnitas are chunks of pork slowly cooked in their own fat until tender and golden brown on the outside. It is shredded and served in a corn tortilla. They can be served with onion, cilantro, salsa and lime.

If you want to go to the oldest taqueria in Madrid, remember! At Taquería de Birra we have been experts in tacos and Mexican food since 1989, so if you want to try some tacos in the purest Mexican style, we invite you to order takeaway or come and try them at C/ Don Pedro, 11 or at Plaza de las Comendadoras, 2.


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