Do you love al pastor tacos? 

by | Apr 4, 2023 | Blog, Cooking Tips and Tricks, Culinary Anthropology | 0 comments

Al pastor tacos come directly from Lebanese immigrating to Puebla, Mexico. Without going down a huge historical rabbit hole, these immigrants left due to the fall and disintegration of the Ottoman empire. If you’ve ever seen the way the meat is cooked for the taco, it’s a lot like looking at the meat cooking for a shawarma, and that’s no coincidence.

Taking a cue from their immigrant neighbors, the people of Puebla began cooking their meat on a vertical spit. In its origin, the taco was known as “tacos arabes” and involved lamb instead of pork. As the cooking method progressed and evolved, pork replaced the lamb and it was marinated instead of given a simple seasoning of salt. Thin slices of marinated pork are stacked on the spit. As it rotates and cooks, fat drips down, basting the pork while the outer layer crisps and caramelizes. When done, it’s shaved off by the taquero and ready to be served in a warm corn tortilla with fresh salsa. 

Written by David Salerno

Originally from the Northeast, David (he/him) has been in Seattle since 2016. He studied classic culinary arts at the French Culinary Institute in NYC and currently works as the Senior Meal Program Coordinator at HIP. He can completely nerd out over culinary anthropology and can talk about food and food science for hours with anyone who is willing to listen. When not in the kitchen, you can find him playing hockey or running in different neighborhoods of Seattle.

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