Posted by Patrick Maness
We tend to categorize tacos as Mexican or Tex-Mex food, but many chefs have discovered that tacos actually cannot be so easily categorized. With some creativity and fresh ingredients, the taco is finding a home in all kinds of restaurants and making a bold new appearance in a number of fusion cuisines across the country.
The reason for this is simple. If the chef is an artist, then the tortilla or shell is an ideal blank canvas. It is a surface on which new combinations and flavors can be explored — often in exciting and unexpected ways.
The many types of tacos
To get a taste of how cosmopolitan the taco can be, let’s look at a few examples of how some have fused together culinary cultures to bring about some truly unique combinations.
The first to consider is the Thai taco, which combines shredded vegetables and chicken with spicy Thai peanut sauce and other Southeast Asian flavors. It’s like a spring roll, but way better. The idea behind this can be applied to other ethnic cuisines, such as South Asian curry or Korean beef with kimchi. These would make incredible taco ingredients.
For a more American spin, check out this barbecue chicken taco, which brings thick sliced bacon and barbecue chicken into a crunchy shell. It’s not hard to imagine tossing in some coleslaw or baked beans for a complete barbecue picnic in a shell.
Catering to diets
You don’t have to mix up ethnic cuisines to make unique tacos that fit your menu. One of the many great things about tacos is how well they lend themselves to special diets. Not only are they almost always gluten free, but the various fillings for tacos also work extremely well as vegetarian and vegan options.
For example, this grilled vegetable taco combines fresh spices with a cornucopia of veggies in what may be one of the healthiest tacos out there. For vegans, something like this white bean and potato taco provides a savory, high-protein meal that even carnivores would want to try.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that breakfast tacos are making a strong stand against their cousin, the breakfast burrito. With scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon in a crispy shell, a breakfast taco makes it more than possible to eat tacos for every meal.
And for dessert, don’t forget about serving a choco taco.
As you can see, there’s a world of possibilities when it comes to crafting a taco, and hopefully, this blog will inspire you to make your own variation on this versatile food.
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