Diatribe Against Tacos

Shown above is a standard taco—not the pre-curved ones from Taco Bell, but an authentic taco, usually made by actual Mexicans, especially in California and maybe Texas. This is not so much a “diatribe against tacos,” as the title of this article has rather glibly implied, but a diatribe against a kind of evasive vagueness coming from the people of Mexico about the proper way to eat one. So far, we only have 3 options; none of them are optimal.

Option 1: Just fucking eat it

As you can see, the surface area and density of the “filler” (i.e. Mexican food’s generic constituents: meat, beans, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, and cheese) are so excessive that one cannot come close to securely wrapping it like the burrito, a well-rounded rational object. To call a taco an “informal loose burrito” seems reasonable, however absurd. I have seen people just fucking trying to eat the taco by cupping it, still flapped open, and they always get shit (i.e. the “filler”) all over their faces, straining or even injuring their neck and mouth muscles. The people who just fucking try to eat tacos are usually recent college graduates, or recent widows, as they both lack structure in life. This option seems insane.

Option 2: Somehow create 2 tacos

My personal choice, I will take the bottom layer (Tortilla 2) and move it to the side—which presents its own set of problems of needing an extra plate, or table surface. Then, carefully, I will reallocate ~50% of the “filler” onto the orphaned tortilla, forming a second-generation somewhat inferior new taco. The problem with this is it’s impossible to preserve the ratio of the filler’s constituents, and one ends up with too much sour cream and not enough beans (just an example—there’s an endless combination of how fucked up things can get). Also, the main layer (Tortilla 1) is by now so saturated with juice that it’s structural integrity is compromised. This taco will often “fall apart.” People who somehow create 2 tacos often have too much time on their hands, not enough “real problems,” and need to get laid more. This is the way to go, in my opinion.

Option 3: Use a fork

Interesting how our taco situation has invoked gender roles and/or prejudices. For example, it is perfectly fine for a female (perhaps a middle-aged English woman) to mitigate the aforementioned fuck’dness of option 1 and 2 by simply using a fork; but if a man does it, he will look like an asshole. Using a fork to eat a taco essentially turns the tortillas (1 and 2) into an edible plate, on which an “open Mexican salad” rests. Given the low ratio of shredded lettuce (if any), liberties are taken in using the term salad; it’s more like a “skinned burrito.” The Mexican people have taken liberties in creating this absurd food item, so liberties will be taken upon them. People who use a fork to eat a taco tend to be either anal retentive, English women going through menopause, or assholes.

I feel like this hasn’t entirely been a diatribe. I started this article very angry—I had just eaten a taco (via Option 2) and was viscerally distressed—and wanted to use the word “diatribe.” It seems I am not so angry now, just a little frustrated and confused about the proper way to eat a taco. In short, though, I do feel that Mexico, like their drug trade, needs more parameters. Thank you. TC mark

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  • http://thevagabondisland.tumblr.com REI KOZ

    >Mexican food’s generic constituents: meat, beans, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, and cheese
    >sour cream
    >lettuce
    >cheese

    STOPPED READING THERE.

    >MEIN GESICHT WENN “AUTHENTIC MEXICAN TACOS” DO NOT HAVE THOSE INGREDIENTS.

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      damn, that's worse than 'drtl.' had to google translate 'mein gesicht wenn' and it said 'if my face' and i don't understand that.

      • http://thevagabondisland.tumblr.com REI KOZ

        LOL.

        >MON VISAGE QUAND MEIN GESICHT WENN MEANS MY FACE WHEN.

  • Sofia

    As a Mexican born and raised in Mexico, I had never seen tacos like those made in the U.S. We do not put lettuce in our tacos, or sour cream. We don't serve them on 2 tortillas and don't over stuff them, thus leaving only one way to eat a taco. You just fucking eat it.

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      fair nuff. i'm just saying in california they make tacos the way i describe. obviously your 'mex cred' is for realz, and i'm just an asian-gringo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505759069 Julian Tully Alexander

    What I do is take the 'back of the taco' and fold it up. burritoesque. Then pull the sides up. This way ensure use of one hand. Allows for beer consumption in the other. Allow allows for tacos to be eaten “on the go.” I am also Mexican. Seems like the best way.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505759069 Julian Tully Alexander

      ps as highlighted above “real” tacos are only made in Mexico by your mom/ a cart.

      • Daniela

        The real taco can also be found on the corner of a street in a taco stand. The person working the stand takes the money with the same hand that is used to make your tacos. This might seem unhealthy but makes the tacos extra delicious.

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      thanks for the back of the taco fold tip. i will try it next time, though i have unsure hands in taco world

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bee-Goode/100001676566533 Bee Goode

    which method do you use for pink tacos?

  • Perrier

    Solid article on tacos right here, solid article on tacos right here fo' sure

  • http://htmlgiant.com/ Ryan Call

    breakfast tacos.

  • Ranniebalias

    **OR
    Option 4!
    which is to use the filler as a 'dip', and use a side of chips to scoop the majority of it up, before then folding a reasonable amount into a manageable taco.

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      damn, i didn't think of that. i have done option 4 in the past, which rocked.

      • Ranniebalias

        ;)

  • Ben Leach

    yeah i rarely see sour cream or lettuce in my usual taco fair. I live in Chicago. However, i have a trick where i eat the taco option one style but not be so focused with getting everything in on one bit. I then add the lost taco filler or “droppings” into the second taco shell that they serve and enjoy a nice half taco. this ones also good for dipping.

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      seems like a mellow 'option 1' while embracing an invariable 'option 2,' with a splash of ranniebalias' dip concept; highly evolved, and well-adjusted. Chicago is lucky to have you.

  • http://kumquatparadise.tumblr.com aaron nicholas

    regardless of the authenticity of taco filler, the method(s) still remain(s) the same. whether it is an americanized taco or 'true' mexican taco, one must still apply this taco consumption methodology when engaging in a taco experience. this has been very helpful indeed mr. chen.

  • Seth Vietti

    The correct way to eat a taco was staring you in the face and you missed it:

    -Curl tortilla no. 1 around the filler, eat it.
    – Filler will fall out onto tortilla no. 2
    – Curl tortilla no. 2 around fallen filler, eat it.

    • http://jimmychenchen.com/ Jimmy Chen

      what kind of food involves entropy? and don't say 'stir fry'

  • Stefay

    Now the only problem you have left to tackle is the case of the “Crunchy” taco. I'd like the guidebook on how to eat one of those suckers without destroying:
    1.the meal
    2. your shirt
    or in some cases (like when eating in front of a cute member of the opposite sex)
    3.your pride.

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