The taco comes of age, by Thomasina Miers
This year is officially “The year of the taco” as quoted by Restaurant magazine. Every world-renowned chef worth their salt seems to be obsessed with them from Noma’s Rene Redzepi who helped his pastry chef Rocio Sánchez open Hija de Sánchez taqueria in Copenhagen (hosting his own taco night there, a little like the impromptu one at the Clove Club last year after the San Pellegrino’s 50 Best) to El Bulli’s Albert Adria who’s just opened Nino Viejo taqueria in Barcelona to critical acclaim.
Gluten-free, multi-layered and textured and an easy, portable way to eat slow-cooked meats and delicious grilled vegetables, tacos are the undisputed street food champion. In Mexico, where the bio-diversity and plethora of insanely good ingredients have chefs from all over the world in paroxysms of pleasure, tacos are filled with such a wide variety of ingredients, there’s an encyclopaedia dedicated to them. Be it wild mushrooms or flash-fried skirt steak, or more unusual seasonal delicacies like ants’ eggs, we’re spoiled for choice. Mexican food is all about creating complex layers of taste and contrasting textures – and never is it better illustrated than with the taco – crunchy slaw, fiery fresh salsas, yielding meats – they are so much more subtle than their northern cousins, the burrito, all laden down with beans and rice.
.All year we will be focussing on these incredible creations. Not only will we be trying out amazingly diverse tacos at our Taco Stand on Wardour Street, Soho, but our specials in Wahaca will be focussed on this incredible invention that we have come to love so much. Think crispy tacos filled with shrimp and spices, tacos with melting, tamarind and chipotle-glazed pork belly and salsa verde, or slow-cooked lamb shoulder with a seasoned ancho adobo. We’re using it as a chance to keep pushing the boundaries too – Like with our experiments in Nixtamalisation (page xx) and who knows what’ll happen there. This is the year to appreciate why Mexico has some of the most avid food fans out there. Come and join us for 12 months of tortilla stuffed tasty. The taco party starts here…