Most tourists, when they come to Mexico, cannot wait to hit the taco stand in their first couple of days. Whilst this is of course a very smart move, and one which will get you the very best in culinary experiences, there are some things which you should watch out for.
When I first came to Mexico City I was warned of a few things by my good friend Rose Burillo, who has spent her life in the capital. These lessons were well received and they are something which I thought I should pass on, to any of you who may be coming down to Mexico in the coming months.
Picking The Right Stand
There is never a perfect science behind picking the right taco stand, but there is a rule of thumb which you can follow which will usually see you right. This is that if there is nobody buying from a stand, don’t go there, as there is probably a reason for this. Making sure that a taco stand is full of people is the best way for you to ensure that you are making the right choice. Locals know their tacos, so trust in them.
Try The Salsa
I always thought that I was pretty good with spice, but there are some salsas here which just blow my head off, and that is something to be careful of. I once thought that red was hotter than green, but this is just not the case at all, and certainly not a rule which you can live by. And so the best advice here is to always put a little salsa on your plate, and try it with your finger before you slather it all over your tacos. If you don’t, you may be in trouble.
Contrary to what many tourists think, there isn’t really much of a queue system at the taco stand and that is why you have to make sure that you shout out what you want. This can be frustrating if you are hanging around and someone shouts from behind, so sharpen those elbows and get ready to stake your claim on your tacos.
I must confess that I can be a little picky when it comes to meat, and anything which is a little too extreme I will avoid. What I was pleased to be made aware of then, was the fact that on the taco stand they will often cook up just about every part of the animal which you can think of. This is why I had to learn the names of things like brains and offal, and ensure that I knew what I was asking for. If you have a desire to eat just about anything then pick what you like and enjoy, if you are choosy like me, be careful what you ask for.
These are the key things to watch out for at the taco stand.