The Exquisite Mexican "Tacos al Pastor"

These delicious tacos originated in the city of Puebla as the result of adapting the Araba Shawarma, introduced to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants during the 1960’s. This Mexican variation changed the spices and lamb meat for pork. They are similar to dishes from other nations, such as the Gyros from Greece and the Döner Kebap of Turkey.

Tacos al pastor are also known as “tacos de trompo”, and are one of the favorite delicacies of all Mexicans. They are prepared by first marinating many fine layers of pork in an achiote, vinegar, spices and pepper condiment. All these layers of marinated meat are stacked and inserted into an iron rod.

This cylinder or “trompo” ends up weighting a lot and is placed vertically besides a small fire wall, created by gas or charcoal, and is slowly turned so the outer part roasts first. These extremes are then sliced, placed inside a tortilla and added to this taco are pineapple, coriander, chopped onion, lemon and salsas according to taste. The also traditional “gringas” are prepared with this meat inside tortillas with cheese.

Marinating and cooking it takes a long time, so it is what taco restaurants prepare first, always placing it on a visible area for two reasons. First, because the delicious smell of this meat as it roasts awakens the hunger of everyone who passes by and because it is a fun show to see the most skilled taqueros cutting and placing in tortillas these meat and pineapple slices with their sharp knives.

The recipe for this delightful marinade depends on the region and many restaurants zealously safeguard their secret. Tacos al pastor lovers choose their favorite taco restaurant according to the marinade recipe and salsas. These tacos are Mexico’s favorite because they are easy to find, inexpensive and practically a small snack. Most Mexicans living abroad nostalgically state one of the things they miss the most are tacos al pastor and beers in the company of good friends.

Artículo Producido por el Equipo Editorial Explorando México.
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