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Mexican Cuisine

5 Taco Facts We Learned From LeáLA's La Tacopedia Panel

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Fri, May 24, 2013 at 6:51 AM

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click to enlarge Taco experts - JAVIER CABRAL
  • Javier Cabral
  • Taco experts
La Tacopedia is out. Well, kind of. If you can find it here in the States. And it's exactly what the title infers: an epic, thoroughly researched encyclopedia about regional Mexican tacos. Five years of research to be exact. And in an attractive, very contemporary Lucky Peach-ish layout. If you don't already know how to read and write Spanish, now might be a good time to learn. Not just to get better service and look legit when ordering your next dohs tahcos de asahda con tohdo, but to read every single page of this book. Since, for now, it's only available in Spanish.

For Angelenos, it's a pretty essential read. Deborah Holtz, one of the book's authors, came to this year's Mexican book festival LéaLA to hold an all-Spanish panel about tacos, which included our own high profile taqueros, Jaime Martin Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu of La Casita Mexicana. Turn the page for five things we learned from the taco experts.

click to enlarge AMAZON
  • Amazon

5. No matter how delicious taco fillings and toppings are, it's all about the tortilla:

This seems to have been forgotten among the majority of processed-tortilla-using L.A. taqueros. Sure, anything dipped and toasted in seasoned meat drippings will pretty much taste awesome. But the metallic taste of those preservatives and additives doesn't go unnoticed by a few recent Mexican transplants who spoke up about this unfortunate reality. There is no excuse to not have a tortilla that only has corn, water and lime as the ingredients. Not in the city that is the home of the highest population of Mexicans outside of Mexico City, and where dozens of nixtamal-based tortillerias exist. After all, it's not just a tortilla but an entire country's whole grain staple food.

4. There are more than 4,480 registered mobile food loncheras in Los Angeles County:

According to Jaime Martin Del Campo and a 71-page study by UCLA. And the loncheras' investment and rates of return are comparable to some brick and mortar businesses. Not all of them may serve just tacos; some may sell cocteles de camarón in the Westside, or drive from construction lot to construction lot providing breakfast burritos to construction workers. Something to think about before you complain about the price of your next taco.

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