At this point in my taco adventure, I have eaten countless tacos. And I would consider myself to have a very good knowledge base when it comes to the subject. I remember as a teen and young adult, I would walk up and ask the person inside the truck for 4 asada tacos. I would pay very little attention to any other menu items or the descriptions next to them. That is except when I was pretending to read through them, posturing as if I was undecided about what to order.
About a year ago, I was at one of my favorite local trucks with a friend and they asked if I knew what different item descriptions meant. To be honest, I didn’t really know at the time. I knew that sometimes I ordered tacos and the tortillas were warm, while other times the tortillas would be moist. That conversation drove me to explore and learn more about the origins of different tacos and find out how they are prepared. I found several great sites describing types of tacos.
These are two great concise articles centered on taco types:
Serioius Eats Guide To Taco Styles
Below you find a brief description of the different styles of tacos that I learned about. Next time you are at a truck or restaurant, see if you can pick out these descriptions.
Tacos De Asador also known as “Spit” or “Grill” Tacos usually are made with grilled fillings such as asada (steak), chorizo (Mexican sausage), pollo (chicken), and tripas (tripe).
Tacos De Cazo – Deep fried fillings typically include tripe, suadero, carnitas, and buche (pork stomach).
Tacos De Sudados or Canasta – corn tortillas filled and then covered to trap moisture “sweat” and soften them.
Tacos Al Pastor or De Adobada – Pork steaks seasoned with adobo. Traditionally the steaks are skewered and stacked on a rotisserie and slow-cooked.
Tacos De Pescado / Fish Tacos – Grilled or fried fish topped with cabbage, pico de gallo, and/or sour cream.
Tacos De Camarones / Shrimp Tacos – Grilled or Fried Shrimp usually topped with cabbage, pico de gallo, and/or sour cream.
Tacos Dorados / Fried Tacos (taquitos)– Rolled, deep-fried tacos usually filled with chicken or beef.
Here is a helpful inforgraphic by Maggie Unzueta @ Fix.com