Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Sometimes, tacos can make everything okay.  After a long day of coaxing and convincing 150+ students that literacy is important, I need a couple of  Del Tacos to remind me why I get up in the morning. The crunch of the shell as it shatters into flakes of salty goodness on my tongue, the grease drips out the corner, pools in my hand and then runs down my arm, the bite of cheese, the cool, crisp lettuce . . .

I understand why an entire day of the week is dedicated to tacos.
As a kid, when my mom would ask what I wanted for my birthday dinner, I would often request those golden parabolas filled with happiness.

Despite my need, respect, and admiration for the power of the taco, I do have one complaint: how they are assembled: first meat, then sour cream/salsa, lettuce, cheese and finally tomatoes.

There are many kinds of tacos, but my issue relates to the hard-shell tacos from fast-food and sit-down restaurants.

Eating a hard-shell taco goes something like this: bite into taco, scoop up what falls out of the taco and tuck it back into the shell. Bite, scoop, tuck.  Bite, scoop, tuck. As the shell whittles away, what beef, cheese, salsa, tomato escapes gets scooped directly into the mouth. At that point, one wonders why he or she didn't just order a taco salad.

Why not just let what tumbled from the taco remain on the plate (or in your lap or on the floor of the car)?  Because what is first to fall is what is on top, and what is usually on top is the cheese and tomatoes. And what eventually gets shoved out of one end of the taco after each bite is the meat and sour cream. Who is their right mind is going to leave behind that beautiful cheese? Those ripe, red tomatoes? That seasoned, spicy meat? That refreshing sour cream?  I'll eat cheese off a pile of shit if that's the only way I can get it.

If lettuce was to fall out of my taco, I wouldn't care. Who scrounges for lettuce? Dieters, that's who. But dieters don't eat tacos because dieters have given up their souls.

I understand the reasoning behind putting the cheese and tomatoes on top: marketing appeal.  I see that cheese smiling from over the top of a taco shell and it's like an old friend.  A taco bursting with lettuce is not going to draw anyone. Except dieters. And they'll only buy one.

So Mexican restaurants of America, display those cheese and tomato crowned tacos, but do me a favor: make sure that cheese and tomato is ensconced between the meat and lettuce.  I promise I won't complain that what you give me doesn't look like the picture.

1 comment:

  1. I ditto your thoughts on the construction of tacos. Let's keep the good stuff tucked carefully inside. Happy Taco Tuesday!


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