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Taco - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Not to be confused with Tako (disambiguation). For other uses, see Taco (disambiguation)
A taco (/tko/ or /tko/) is a traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled
around a filling. A taco can be made with a variety of fillings, including beef, pork, chicken, seafood, vegetables
and cheese, allowing for great versatility and variety. A taco is generally eaten without utensils and is often
accompanied by garnishes such as salsa, avocado or guacamole, cilantro (coriander), tomatoes, minced meat,
onions and lettuce.

According to the Real Academia Espaola, publisher of Diccionario de la Lengua Espaola, the word taco
describes a typical Mexican dish of a maize tortilla folded around food ("Tortilla de maz enrollada con algn
alimento dentro, tpica de Mxico"). The original sense of the word is of a "plug" or "wad" used to fill a hole
("Pedazo de madera, metal u otra materia, corto y grueso, que se encaja en algn hueco").[1] The Online
Etymological Dictionary defines taco as a "tortilla filled with spiced meat" and describes its etymology as
derived from Mexican Spanish, "light lunch," literally, "plug, wadding."[2] The sense development from "plug"
may have taken place among Mexican silver miners, who used explosive charges in plug form consisting of a
paper wrapper and gunpowder filling.[3]

The taco predates the arrival of Europeans in Mexico. There is anthropological evidence that the indigenous
people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate tacos filled with small fish. Writing at
the time of the Spanish conquistadors, Bernal Daz del Castillo documented the first taco feast enjoyed by
Europeans, a meal which Hernn Corts arranged for his captains in Coyoacn.[4][5] It is not clear why the
Spanish used their word, "taco", to describe this indigenous food.

Traditional tacos
There are many traditional varieties of tacos:
Tacos Al pastor/De Adobada ("shepherd style") are made of thin pork steaks seasoned with adobo
seasoning, then skewered and overlapped on one another on a vertical rotisserie cooked and flamebroiled as it spins.[6][7]
Tacos de Asador ("spit" or "grill" tacos) may be composed of any of the following: carne asada tacos;
tacos de tripita ("tripe tacos"), grilled until crisp; and, chorizo asado (traditional Spanish style sausage).
Each type is served on two overlapped small tortillas and sometimes garnished with guacamole, salsa,
onions, and cilantro (coriander). Also prepared on the grill is a sandwiched taco called mulita ("little
mule") made with meat served between two tortillas and garnished with Oaxaca style cheese. "Mulita" is
used to describe these types of sandwiched tacos in the Northern States of Mexico, while they are known
as Gringa in the Mexican south and are prepared using wheat flour tortillas. Tacos may also be served
with salsa.[6][7]
Tacos de Cabeza or head tacos, in which there is a flat punctured metal plate from which steam emerges
to cook the head of the cow. These include: Cabeza, a serving of the muscles of the head; Sesos

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