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Taco Madness

Our fascination with the taco goes way back. In fact, from what I have read, it was not until around 1914 that taco recipes had first appeared in an English language cookbook. Now, there is even a National Taco Day on October 4th. I guess that declares the taco as a culinary super-star.

We have to say muchas gracias (thank you) to our southern neighbor for this versatile dish which has many faces and nick-names to match the type of taco you wish to eat.

The actual word taco is somewhat of a mystery as there are no clear origins of the word, but some experts believe that the Spanish conquistadors had managed to take a Nahuatl Indian word describing different types of tortillas (flatbread) and truncated it to taco. That's an interesting take on how this small and tasty snack became such a ubiquitous item in today's food culture.

There are two categories of the classic Mexican tacos: soft tacos, which are made with fluffy flour tortillas, and crispy tacos, which are fashioned from deep-fried corn tortillas. It is believed that the first corn tortilla appeared around 500 A.D. This was due to the creation of the comal (cast-iron griddle used to cook toritillas). It was their version of bread used much in the same way as bread is used all over the world -- think Indian naan and pita bread.

Over time, the taco has evolved from a deep fried corn or flour tortilla stuffed with meat and refried beans to a gourmet version. Now, you have a choice of mouth-watering ingredients to fill the shell with such as marinated chicken, beef, pork, seafood, grilled fish or even tempeh and tofu. Lets not forget the delicious garnishes of leafy greens, cilantro, chopped tomatoes, avocados, onions, grated cheese and the famous pico de gallo salsas. Tacos can be eaten as a snack or as a main course served with notable side dishes like beans, and rice.

Okay, we have highlighted some of the ways to enjoy eating your tacos, but the real secret ingredient is in the spices used to create that finger-licking goodness. Most traditional seasoning includes: cilantro, chipotle chilies, cumin, red chile peppers, Mexican oregano, to name a few. To save time in the kitchen, we created a taco seasoning made with traditional Mexican herbs and spices. So why not host your own taco party? Just have plenty of napkins on-hand as there is always the chance that some of the filling will escape from the taco shell onto your chin and fingers that's the fun part of eating a juicy, delicious mouth-watering taco.

You don't have to wait for National Taco Day to host your own taco party - do it today! Here's a recipe for making great tasting tacos:

Tasty Chicken Tacos - click link