spice advice: the taco collection
What do you think of when you hear the word “taco?” For most Americans, this word conjures up images of ground beef, crispy corn tortilla shells, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and paper packets of seasoning. While there is no denying that those tacos are delicious, they are a far cry from traditional Mexican street tacos.
The exact origin of tacos is unknown but it is believed that indigenous Mexicans created the first taco long before the arrival of the Spanish in 1519. The word taco comes from the Nahuatl word ‘tlahco’ which means “half or in the middle.” The varieties of tacos found across Mexico are endless and each taquero (taco maker) serves their signature taco and fresh salsa like a badge of honor. So how do you get that authentic Mexican street taco experience in your own kitchen? Thankfully, your friends here at Spicewalla created three taco blends to help you do just that. Let’s break down what these blends are, where they came from and how to cook with them.
Literally translated to “grilled meat”, these tacos are typically served with thinly sliced beef, usually skirt or flank steak, that has been marinated with chiles and citrus and charred to perfection. Compared to many other taco preparations this one is the simplest and arguably one of the most delicious.
Our blend features earthy, citrusy, and slightly spicy flavors, a kick of jalapeno, cumin, and lime juice to create a perfectly balanced marinade.
In the 1930’s there was a large Lebanese migration to Mexico which influenced this style of taco as an adaptation of the Arab shawarma. Prepared by marinating pork in a red chile adobo sauce then cooking on a vertical rotisserie and serving with fresh pineapple and salsa, this Mexican street taco has recently gained popularity in the US. Our blend is inspired by adobo flavors and features Ancho and Guajillo chilli powder for a slow, smoky burn with hints of sweet pineapple & tangy citrus. Toss some of this blend into your Al Pastor tacos!
It is rumored that the very first taco was made with fresh-caught fish. Many coastal regions in Mexico feature fried or grilled fish in their tacos paired with herbs, citrus and salsa verde. This blend is a signature recipe that we created to mirror the flavors of fresh salsa verde to pair with charred fish. This blend is garlicky, citrusy, herbaceous, and carries a little kick of heat. Mix with a neutral oil and spoon over grilled or roasted mahi mahi, grouper, or salmon. Or try it on our Pescado Fish Tacos or Shrimp Ceviche!