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Tacos, in their basic form, are one of the most perfect, Mexican comfort food. Every bite fills your mouth with the taste of savory and tender grilled protein, along with a citrus kick from the lime, salsa and cilantro, all wrapped in a crunchy tortilla.

Imagine it this way: flaky, whole grain wrap? Present. Full-flavored, melt-in-your-mouth, lean meat? Present. Plant-based fixings that add texture and a different flavor profile? Present. Plenty of regional combinations and variations to prepare and eat every single day for the rest of your life? Present.

A great taco has the ability to transport you back to the colorful streets of Mexico. It has been adapted by different cultures from different groups of people.


In the present day, you'd find modernized tacos filled with crema fresca and salmon, and some weird combinations such as gator (yes, alligators) taco, sushi taco, smores taco, and even larvae taco---trust me, you don't want to know.

The Secret

So what really makes a great taco? Is it the protein? Is it the salsa? Experts say: it all lies in the tortilla.

Restaurants that serve handmade tortillas are quite hard to find, largely due to its high price point as well as the labor required to produce these high-quality tortillas. Traditional tortillas require grinding corn kernels that have already been cooked and bathed in an alkaline solution into a masa.

Corn tortillas are risky. More often than not, the product comes out botched and bland---which is why others turn to the next best thing, wheat or flour tortillas. Flour tortillas are incorrectly considered inauthentic. They are, however, used for tacos even in Mexico.

Can't get enough tacos? Check these out:

The Ratio

Tacos are yummy pockets full of colorful and unique combinations of food. A good taco has everything from avocados, to a whip of cream, to a dash of hot sauce. Great tacos---the memorable ones---often maintain the traditional route. With tradition comes proper proportions for best results. Here's how popular tacos are built.


The tortilla will also be 50% of any taco. Tortillas should contain just as much enjoyment as everything it holds. Handmade tortillas will always outperform machine-pressed products. Most machine-made tortillas are made with rehydrated corn flour that leaves an awful aftertaste of preservatives. Handmade tortillas, when drenched in oil and meat drippings, will give you a toasty and extremely unforgettable taco experience.


The best taco meat should bring that smoky, juicy taste that's both tender and bright in flavor. Tacos are usually made with carne asada, nopales, and al pastor. Some variations use fish, turkey, mole, mushrooms, and duck confit.


There are two types of taco salsa: red and green. Red salsa typically includes cooked tomatoes mixed with toasted Mexican chiles. Green salsa is a combination of fresh tomatillos, cilantro, and either jalapeño or serrano chile for that refreshing flavor.


Most taquerias offer diners a choice of standard toppings like minced onion, chopped cilantro, and a burst of lime. Fish tacos are best paired with minced cabbage for a fat-cutting crunch.

The Tortilla

There are plenty of tortilla recipes online. Recipes include everything from simple corn or wheat tortillas, to ones that take the traditional route. We've scoured the internet for ones that are both simple and flavorful. Check them out below.

Flour Tortillas

Corn Tortillas