The word taco actually means “snack” in Spanish, but this word is used for one dish in particular. A taco is a sandwich like snack made with tortillas, a meat or bean filling, garnish, and spicy sauce. You may find taco shells, or folded and fried tortillas, in U.S. supermarkets, but you won’t find them in Mexico. Mexicans do sometimes fry tacos, filling and all, and then eat the snacks while still hot.


6 7-inch corn tortillas
1 1/4 c. filling, such as shredded chicken or refried beans
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
grated Monterey Jack cheese
bottled salsa or homemade salsa cruda (see recipe on below)

1. Place about 3 tbsp. of filling and desired garnishes (lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese) on each tortilla.* Pass sauce so that everyone can help themselves.

2. To eat the taco, fold the tortilla over the filling and pick the bundle up with your fingers.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves 6

*Green and red peppers, pimentos, onions, and kidney beans are delicious additions to any kind of taco.

Salsa Cruda

If you would like homemade salsa for your tacos, try this simple one made of fresh tomatoes and green chiles. Called salsa cruda (raw sauce), this spicy mixture can usually be found on all Mexican tables. It makes a good addition to almost any Mexican dish.

6 medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 c. finely chopped jalapeno or serrano chiles
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. salt

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend.

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus overnight refrigeration
Makes about 2 cups