Lately I’ve been obsessed with tacos. Going gluten-free has been pretty easy at home, but dining out is a bit of a challenge. No short ribs because they’re dusted in flour before searing; sushi is a bit complicated unless you bring your own tamari (gluten-free soy sauce); and watching people gobble down a giant bowl of pasta is just not fun. So I’ve latched onto Mexican cuisine. It was already one of my favorite cuisines, but knowing it’s pretty much all naturally gluten-free, so long as the tortilla shells are corn, it’s a no brainer. Though ordering or dining out on tacos a few times a week does add up.
Who doesn’t love tacos. If you tell me you don’t I already know you’re lying. And we don’t want to start this relationship based on lies do we? So, I’ll just move forward with the assumption that you’re as big a taco lover as I am.
For most of a life, my tacos came out of an Orega or El Paso box—there was a Taco Bell branded kit period, but I don’t think it lasted. Of course, the actual tacos didn’t come out of the box, but the magical sauces and powders to make them did. Brown the beef (or chicken), add some water, powder and cook it up. The first taco shack I went to in Philly was truly a college student’s dream. Cheap, with raw walls and tables made of old Pac-Man games (still playable for a quarter!). These tacos were magic. Sadly it closed a few months before I left Philly. I think it was in mourning that I was leaving. I’ve encountered many imposters and replicas ever since, some okay, some outstanding. But my boxed taco mix could never match any of these tacos and I never really thought about why that was.