A Tisket, A Tasket: Tacos de Canasta
They’re Mexico City’s original fast food and I, eater of all things, refused to go near them. Starchy little grease bombs, I thought. But it was David Lida, (www.davidlida.com) chronicler of Mexico City’s underbelly, who showed me the light – he loves them. “They’re NOT oily”, he insisted, “It’s just the juice that seeps out”. Well, I recently did some in-depth research into this most low-rent of el D.F.’s street snacks. Result? Greasy. But some less than others. And it’s good, red, chile-infused,
soul-warming grease. Vale la pena. Tacos de canasta, named for the basket in which they are traditionally presented and out of which they are hawked, are sometimes called ‘tacos sudados’ or sweaty tacos. None of the vendors I interviewed seemed to know the origin of this simple and ubiquitous curbside taco phenomena, but most agreed that they are native to Mexico City and/or Hidalgo. They are simply tortillas filled with either frijoles refritos, adobo (a mole-like paste), potatoes, chicharrón (pork skin) or meat-less mole verde, folded over and quickly heated. They’re then packed sardine-like in a basket lined with cloth and brought to market on foot in a little cart, or sometimes by bicyle. Snuggled together, they keep warm, continuing to steam, sweat and ooze for hours. Eaten as they come out of the basket with salsa and escabeche(pickled chiles and vegetables) they’re sold cheap - often for 3 or 4 pesos – and are every chilango’s favorite street food.
While tacos de canasta are usually sold by ambulantes whose locations can’t be pinned down, there are a few recommendable and well-known fixed locations where these filling antojitos, can be found. They make good party food and can be ordered by the thousand for your next cocktail party, quinceañera, wedding or bembé.
Maria Consuelo Yerena will deliver all the tacos you want for your next event. And you get to keep the basket!
Tel. 58 45 44 17
Cel. 044 55 15 01 17 35
READER'S COMMENTS:Velva November 27, 2010
Greasy or not, these authentic little tacos look fabulous. Thanks for sharing.
Ma Luisa December 13, 2010
They are so addictive!!!.. I cook some yesterday for breakfast!Papa con Chorizo.. My kid usually ate 4 at his 5 years old in Monterrey!