Carnitas and Barbacoa are two kinds of tacos very popular in Mexico City. You would find Carnitas mostly in street-food stands all over the Metropolis nearly every day. Barbacoa, usually sheep meat, is more a weekend kind of food. In Berlin, you can enjoy these tacos (but also as a torta or burrito) in Chaparro-Restaurant on the Wiener Strasse in Kreuzberg.
Carnitas and Barbacoa Sunday
Taquería Chaparro offers in its menu both Carnitas and Barbacoa, you can eat it in a taco, burrito or torta, the latter is the Mexican version of a "baguette" or panini in France or "bocata" in Spain. Carnitas means in Spanish "little meat" and that is because pork will be cut in pieces to be braised or simmered in its lard. In Mexico City carnitas are to be found almost in every corner of the city and even when there are different styles of this dish, the most popular and the original one comes from the State of Michoacan.
On the other hand Barbacoa is, usually sheep meat, covered with Maguey leaves and slowly cooked in a hole; yes, Maguey is a synonym of Agave, the plant we use to make Tequila, Mezcal, Pulque, Bacanora or Syrup, the one you may be more familiar with. People eat Barbacoa in many regions of Mexico, but its origins are in the States of Hidalgo, Tlaxcala, Querétaro and México City. I enjoy it better with lemon juice, chopped onions, coriander and of course with a traditional Mexican salsa.
Mexican breakfast in Berlín-Kreuzberg
On this day, we´ve ordered Barbacoa, Carnitas, and another taco classic: Papas con Chorizo (Potatoes and Chorizo). This plate is a Mexican - Spanish combination, Spanish People brought their techniques to make this pork-sausage during the colonial times and in it was complemented with Mexican species, chiles, and even nuts or small dried fruits like raisins. Nowadays you can find many different kinds of Chorizo in Mexico, green, red, with almonds, raisins and so on. Spanish Conquistadores first found Potatoes in Latin-America where most of their cultures ate them long before. This is a very simple dish which flavor, will depend on the quality of the ingredients you use but if you like chorizo and potatoes, the result will hardly disappoint you.
To finish our Sunday-Taco breakfast we´ve also ordered some Mezcal, which (believe it or not) helps me to get over that hangover from last day. However, I would not recommend that for beginners, and you definitely should first learn how to enjoy a good mezcal.