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Talking about tacos

taquería takeover @LaDespensa.Berlin

Berlin, 13.02.2017

Taco 101: what is a taco?

Taco is a soft corn tortilla filled with your favorite food; along with bread, rice, and beans, corn is a staple food in Mexico, and corn tortillas are probably the most consumed. The corn- or Mexican- tortilla is a thin, flat bread made of corn, in Germany, the word for this would be "Fladenbrot." However, in Mexico, people use the Nixtamal or nixtamalized corn to make the authentic Mexican tortillas.  

Mesoamerican Cuisine and the Nixtamal

Nixtamal, the result of cooking corn, usually white maize, with an alkaline solution; families, and producers in Mexico use Calcium oxide (easily explained: ashes) or "Cal" in Spanish. Mesoamerican cultures realized that corn was rich in certain vitamins, minerals and most of the essential amino acids; However, our body can only absorb few of those compounds or only part of them. Studies have shown that the process of Nixtamalization changes the cellular structure of corn, increasing the disponibility of most of the essential amino acids for our body to take. 

The Mesoamerican technique to make nixtamal-tortillas has passed from generation to generation, making of it a tradition that we can still taste in the modern Mexican cuisine. Nixtamal-tortillas are not only an important contribution to human nutrition, but they have also defined the traditions of Mexican culture, and its excepcional flavor has been adopted and getting more popular all across the United States and in some parts of Europe.

Taco Tuesday, Monday and the rest of the week

In México, we eat tortilla all the time, and taco is the most common way to eat it because, as I've said in the beginning, you can make tacos with everything; for instance, the most simple taco is the one you get when buying from a tortillería (tortilla backery) with just lime juice and salt. 

Tacos usually get their name depending on their filling (e.g. tacos de carnitas) and its cooking technique (e.g. tacos dorados or fried tacos) but some of the most famous and savory tacos were given a name, like the legendary Tacos al Pastor, most famous in Mexico City or the Tacos Gobernador, a suculent shrimp tacos recipe original from the State of Sinaloa in the north of the country. 

Taco Tuesday Deals

Surely there is no Taco Tuesdays in México. Apparently, this was the trademark a Mexican restaurant in the U.S. registered in the 80´s; however the mark was never developed as many other restaurants across the U.S. adopted the Taco Tuesday promotion. In Berlin, you can find Taco Tuesday promotions in few Mexican restaurants, being Santa María one of the most popular. 

Taco Tuesday at La Despensa Mexicana

This 2017, will be featuring "Taco Tuesday" at La Despensa in Friedrichshain. From 12pm to 4pm you may enjoy a Taco-Lunch-Menu (the classic soft tortilla tacos) which comes with rice, beans and Agua de Sabor (soft drink), almos like Mexican lunch-time. After 4pm we will be serving crispy tacos dorados with salad and Salsa Roja or Verde, all tacos can be ordered in vegan, vegetarian or meat versions and different versions of Salsa Macha, Salsa Roja or Verde, using a variety of Mexican chilis like Guajillo, Morita or Ancho chilis.

As usual I bring the Agave Bar with a fine selection of 100% Agave Spirits and Cocktails as well as the Pulque, a traditional Mexican beverage present also in mesoamerican cultures. We will be happy to meet you all Taco Tuesdays from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm in La Despensa Berlin (Samariter Str. 35)

Photo Credits:
Freddy S Photography - Taco de carnitas, Eddiliecious @Markthalleneun Street Food Thursdays
@polenkao - Taco Placero 14Feb @LaDespensa.Berlin