When I first arrived in Mexico I couldn’t wait for my very first taco tour and I did a bit of research to find out which the best ones were. Each day I would try out a new stand and then rate them, with the idea of making a video-guide for others who may be visiting the city. On the first couple of days I have to be honest that as a foreigner with poor Spanish, the taco stand experience can be a pressurized one and it is something which I can certainly say took me a while to get into the groove of. I wanted to share some tips that I have learned so that you can rock up to the stand like a pro and order some tasty tacos.
I foolishly thought that each taco stand would probably offer 3 or 4 different types of taco filling, how wrong I was! The truth is that whilst each will probably specialize in something, a mixiotes stand for example will focus solely on selling those, in the main however there is a lot of choice. Now this is fine if you are the only one at the stand, but when there is a queue breathing down your neck, there is no time to ask what is available and you need to think quickly. For this reason I would most certainly recommend that you educate yourself on what options there are before you go, or pick a quiet place.
There is not really an etiquette when it comes to dressing your tacos, do whatever you feel, be very wary however when it comes to the salsa, that is where many come unstuck. The issue is not so much that there are hot salsas on offer, the key issue is really that there is such a variety in tastes and in flavors that you really have to be careful. Each place serves variety of salsas and to avoid blowing your mouth off, it will be important that you ask which is hottest, or try a little with your finger.
The Separation Technique
My buddy Javier Burillo taught me a cool little trick that makes those tacos last for just a little bit longer, or at least it feels that way. When you are served tacos in Mexico they are usually two small corn tortillas that are place on top of each other and then filled. They use two so that the filling doesn’t break the tortilla. Usually the tacos are pretty well packed so before you dress the taco, separate the tortillas, add some filling to the other one and then dress them. Whilst you still have the same amount of food, psychologically you get fuller quicker as you feel that you are eating more than one.
Simple tips which will help you to appear like a local the next time that you get some tacos on the street.