Mexican cuisine is famous for food packed with flavours you will never forget. The main spices, fruits, and vegetables that go into Mexican cuisine are mostly available all over the world. But the magic that happens when it comes together is unique and delicious because it has influences from Spain and the indigenous people of America. Spices like cumin, cinnamon, and cloves along with herbs like cilantro and thyme bring out the true Mexican flavour. But any Mexican dish is incomplete without chillies, pepper, and corn. Tacos are famous throughout the world and are one of the most loved dishes in Mexican cuisine. For those wondering what a taco is, it is a fried tortilla stuffed with fillings, sauces and seasoning. What makes tacos in Mexico stand out is that the tortilla is made of corn. Mexican Tacos are best eaten served hot, with your favourite vegetables and meat.
Also read: 10 Mexican dishes you need to try
Types Of Tacos In Mexico City
1. Succulent Lamb Tacos: Barbacoa
This taco is a weekend special in Mexico City. Barbacoa tacos are a Sunday tradition where local restaurants and street food vendors serve them on weekends. These Mexican tacos are made filled with lamb but sometimes it’s replaced with beef or goat. The meat in Barbacoa tacos is very tender and juicy because it is stuffed in banana or agave leaves and cooked slowly over an open flame or in an underground pit with coals. These tacos in Mexico City are usually served with a broth made from meat drippings.
2. Delicious Pork With Hot Salsa: Carnitas
These Mexican tacos are made of pork shoulder that is first shredded into tiny pieces and then braised in different herbs, spices, and the fat of the pork. The word carnitas means small meat. This is where the taco gets the name, as the taco’s filling is made of small pieces of pork. Cooking the pork this way makes it tender and should be topped with a dash of lime, some onion, and cilantro. A spicy salsa will make a good dip for these delicious tacos in Mexico.
3. Most Popular Tacos In Mexico City: Al Pastor
One of the most famous tacos in Mexico City comes from Al Pastor. What makes Al Pastor special is the method of cooking. It is prepared on a vertical rotisserie with pieces of meat shaved off to put in the tortillas. Al Pastor tacos in Mexico City are usually served with caramelized pineapple and topped with onions and cilantro. The herbs and the corn tortillas bring out the taste of the meat that has been marinated in adobo sauce, with chillies and achiote (a typical Mexican paste made with a mix of annatto seeds (aka achiote), garlic, optional chillies, bitter orange juice and seasonings), and cooked on the spit. The most loved street food in Mexico City, the Al Pastor tacos is served by different local vendors. Spices from the Yucatan region of Mexico, like oregano, garlic, cumin, and coriander seeds, feature in the taco and make it more delicious.
4. The Common Man’s Taco: Guisados
Another crowd-favourite taco in Mexico City is the Guisados taco. It is a typical taco made in a Mexican household. The street-style tacos are made of small corn tortillas that are packed with different fillings like homemade stews, red rice with hard-boiled eggs, blood sausages, scrambled eggs with tomato sauce, tortillas, chicken liver, and others. These tacos in Mexico City are also famous as breakfast dishes and can be spotted during busy mornings in the market. The working class prefers these Mexican tacos because it reminds them of a homemade meal and it is also easy to make.
5. The ‘Any And Every’ Filling Taco: Canasta
The thing that makes Canasta a common taco in Mexico City is that it does not have a specific filling. The tortillas are filled with wet fillings, like a stew, or dry fillings, like meat, then fried and held in baskets. They are also called ‘sweaty tacos’ or tacos de sudados because they are steamed. These tacos in Mexico are dominated by sauces more than meat, like the adobo sauce and have fillings of potato and fried beans. Locals eat the tacos before noon because it is treated mostly as a snack and not a whole meal. These Mexican tacos are accompanied by a side of pickled vegetables.
6. The Cure For A Hangover: Birria
Even though this Mexican taco comes from the state of Jalisco, it is very loved by Mexico City. A soup or stew-like marinated lamb or goat is served as a taco and a consommé. The broth or the consommé is made of juices and fat from the meat and is mixed with spices, herbs, and vegetables like tomatoes and onions. A beef variant of these Mexican tacos is also popular. These tacos in Mexico are used to treat a hangover or as Mexicans call it cruda.
7. Too Hot To Handle: Chorizo
Chorizo tacos in Mexico City originally come from Spain. These tacos are made of minced pork meat and the flavour of spicy chilli peppers are blended. There are two kinds of Chorizo tacos, red and green. The difference in colours is caused by the ingredients. Red chillies are used to make red chorizo tacos while the green ones have poblanos (dark green chilli pepper) and serranos (small and spicy green chilli pepper) and herbs like cilantro. Red chorizo tacos are famous in Mexico City. The city of Toluca is the capital for Chorizo tacos but it is also in high demand in Mexico City. According to the Spanish version, different types of meats are used as fillings but the tacos in Mexico City use pork.
8. Crispy And Fried Tacos: Fritanga
These fried tacos have a filling made of pig’s brains and offal. These tacos in Mexico City are ordered with pig’s stomach or hog’s maw or buche. The vendors who serve these tacos have a stainless steel disc with a convex centre which they use to cook the meat slowly. To cook fragile parts like the brain and tongue, these vendors use steam tables. The meat also needs to be crispy so it is also burnt a little in the centre.
9. Cannot Leave Seafood Behind: Pescado
Fish tacos in Mexico City are also very popular. The filling for these tacos in Mexico is made of grilled or fried white fish. Vegetables like lettuce or cabbage and creamy sauce or sour cream or sour mayonnaise are mixed and added to the fish. A shrimp variant of these tacos is also available and bacon and cheese may accompany it too.
Tacos In Mexico City: A Must Try
Tacos in Mexico City is something everyone has to try. Whichever meat you prefer, Mexican tacos cater to your taste. Tacos are flexible with the vegetables and sauces making the dishes more flavoursome. At the same time, they offer a variety of taste palettes with combination of influences from Spain and their indigenous ancestors in America.