Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Tacos de Canasta: Urban eats in La Paz
TACOS DE CANASTA or “basket” tacos, sold in the morning, are the only tacos not prepared on the spot. They are made at home, wrapped in layers of cloth and paper to keep warm, and tucked into baskets. Sold from doorways, small stalls and even bicycles, they are sometimes called tacos sudados – “sweated” tacos - because of the steam created by wrapping the warm tacos.
Small corn tortillas are commonly stuffed with either papas con queso (potatoes with cheese), chicharron prensado (pressed pork rind, a bacon-y sort of treat), frijoles (beans), picadillo (spiced ground meat) or a specialty of the housewife who made them. They are popular in cities, where they are often delivered to offices and other places of business, much like the donut carts that cater to workers north of the border.
Formerly an open air stall on Jalisco, Tacos de Canasta has moved to Aquiles Serdan between Nayarit and Sinaloa. This a a clean, bright storefront location offering tacos, quesadillas or the special, chilaquiles verdes plain or with chicken. First select which fillings you want, then if you decided tacos is the way to go, choose between having them deep fried or served as-is.
If you opt for the quesadillas, specify your fillings and sit back with a cold beverage while they are prepared. The corn tortilla is hand formed, rather large, about 10 inches across, and grilled to a crispy tender perfection. The flavor and texture was much like a gordita from Doña Tota (a future topic) and with the addition of salsa, crema and cotija cheese, makes a substantial meal as Diane found out after insisting on ordering two for herself.
You can dress up your tacos with a selection of toppings from the picnic cooler near the counter. Grab a bottle or can of soda, go healthy with orange juice or enjoy an agua fresca and you're good to go. Open from 8 in the morning until 2 every day except Wednesdays. Aquiles Serdan between Nayarit and Sinaloa.
- The Bread Guy
- La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
- Before gaining control of my life, I created pastries for some cool places in California: San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, Brix Restaurant in Napa and The Lodge in Sonoma. Now I am the chef/owner of Pan D' Les bakery in La Paz. My personal favorite is the Multigrano loaf, full of crunchy seeds and a nice chewy crust.