Part Two: Exploring Baja California Sur’s Taco Wonderland

Updated: Jan 23

Bienvenidos nuevamente, taco enthusiasts! In this second installment of our taco journey, I continue to unravel the rich tapestry of Mexican street food, with a focus on three more mouthwatering varieties that can be found in La Paz and elsewhere around Baja California Sur: carne asada, tacos de birria, and tacos guisado.

If you missed part one of this series, discussing tacos al pastor, carnitas, and tacos de canasta, click here to go check it out!

 

Taco #4 – Carne Asada

Origin: Northern Mexico

 

Prepare your taste buds for a flavour explosion as I first delve into the world of carne asada tacos. Originating from the northern regions of Mexico, this taco variety celebrates grilled and marinated beef as its star ingredient.

 
close up of steak taco with avocado and cilantro garnish, beside a cut lime

Photo by Christine Siracusa on Unsplash

Thin slices of succulent beef, usually skirt or flank steak, are expertly grilled and nestled onto warm tortillas. The marinade, often a blend of lime, garlic, cumin, and Mexican oregano, imparts a smoky and robust taste. Carne asada tacos are typically adorned with grilled onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.

 

Garnish Options: Elevate your carne asada taco with guacamole, pico de gallo (a condiment mix of primarily tomato and onion), or a spicy salsa for an extra kick. Don’t forget to specify your preference for corn or flour tortillas.

 

Taco #5 – Tacos de Birria

Origin: Jalisco

 

Get ready for a comforting and savoury delight with tacos de birria. Hailing from the state of Jalisco, these tacos feature slow-cooked, stewed meat—traditionally goat or lamb (though in BCS you’re more likely to find beef)—in a rich and flavourful broth.

 
close up of hand dipping birria con queso taco into styrofoam cup of broth

Photo by Jesse Cortez on Unsplash

The meat, tender and juicy from hours of slow cooking, is piled onto corn tortillas. What sets birria tacos apart is the consommé, a hearty broth served alongside the tacos for dipping or sipping. This broth, infused with a medley of spices, elevates the entire experience to a soul-warming level. Also, famously an exceptional cure after a late night of perhaps one too many cervezas! 

 

When ordering, you may be asked if you want your taco “dorado” (crispy) or “con queso” (with cheese). The choice depends on your preference for texture, but either way, the combination of flavourful meat and consommé is a match made in taco heaven.

 

Garnish Options: Pair your tacos de birria with chopped onions, fresh cilantro, and lime. Some places also offer diced radishes and cucumber for added freshness to offset the richness of the stewed meat.

 

Taco #6 – Tacos Guisado

Origin: Mexico City

 

Our taco journey culminates with tacos guisado, a delectable creation born in the heart of Mexico City. Tacos guisado refers to stewed tacos, showcasing a diverse array of fillings prepared in savoury sauces.

 
street food pots full of different stews

Photo by Yoav Aziz on Unsplash

From “tinga” (shredded chicken in chipotle sauce) to “rajas con crema” (sliced poblano peppers in cream sauce), to “papas con chorizo” (roast potatoes with chorizo sausage), the recipes for these home-style dishes are endless. Tacos guisado provide a medley of flavours and textures, resulting in options that cater to various palates.

 

When ordering, explore the array of fillings available (often the vendor will have them all out in a warming bowl, so you can see what each looks like) and choose the ones that intrigue your taste buds. Whether you opt for a single filling or a combination, each bite promises a burst of authentic Mexican flavour.

 

Garnish Options: Complement your tacos guisado with salsa verde, salsa roja, or pickled onions. The sauces enhance the overall taste, adding layers of complexity to each taco.

 

As our foodie expedition through Baja California Sur comes to an end, remember that every taco tells a unique story—a tale of culinary heritage, regional pride, and the artistry of Mexican street food.

 

So, follow your appetite, explore the vibrant streets, and let the next chapter of your culinary adventure unfold. Buen provecho!

 

By: Terri Lynn Manna

 

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