By: Daniel Carpenter, Vice President of Food Experience, Nextbite
Who doesn’t love tacos – Taco Trucks, Taco Tuesday, Taco Night – tacos have become as ubiquitous as burgers in today’s American cuisine. We prepare them in our own kitchens, grab them on the go, order them at our favorite restaurants, and now taco lovers can get them delivered to their homes for Taco Night, Taco Day or Taco Whatever Time they choose to enjoy.
The taco does everything well; it’s a snack, a meal, a social occasion. Tacos are customizable for size, spice level, and flavor. I call it the ultimate individual eating experience. But just because tacos seem to be everywhere, do not underestimate the importance of knowing how to make a great – and I mean scrumptious – taco.
As a chef for more than 25 years, I’ve created my fair share of tacos; I have learned the importance of some fundamentals for taco greatness. Here are a few important tips for taco chefs:
- Always use the best tortillas you can find. House-made is the first choice, but locally crafted options can be very good.
- Place a fat barrier between the toppings and the tortilla to prevent soak-in/blowout or the need to use two tortillas for strength. Avocado spreads work very well.
- Don’t skimp on the condiments, and put your best foot forward with careful preparation; white onion, serrano & jalapeño chilis, and cilantro all present better when freshly cut with a sharp knife.
If you are preparing tacos for delivery, avoid the following pitfalls to avoid presenting soggy, unappetizing tacos:
- Avoid pre-assembling tacos for delivery. Wrapping the individual components takes extra time and packaging, but it pays dividends in quality and customer experience.
- Be sure to include extra liquid in your prepared meats because as they travel, they tend to absorb liquid and present as dry when your customers open them.
- Pay attention to your knife cuts; a moment’s extra care creates that memorable hospitality experience we’re all chasing.
The best tacos always start with the best ingredients; I suggest you build on whatever you’re great at making and source at the highest quality. Perennial favorites are marinated grilled skirt steak (Carne Asada), Yucatan-braised pork with Achiote (Cochinita Pibil), and Cactus (Nopales) for a vegetarian option.
One of the biggest challenges to making great tasting tacos is sourcing the best tortilla. Often, it’s preferable to find masa harina and make them yourself. The second concern is preventing the meats from drying out, even for in-house dining. Be generous with your sauces and braising liquids!
At Nextbite, we partnered with renowned multimedia personality George Lopez to create George Lopez Tacos. Our delivery-only menu features tender and slow-cooked meats, flavorful toppings, and salsas for a delicious DIY taco experience at home. Our culinary team perfected the authentic and tantalizing recipes and our operations team handles the sourcing, supplying, and training for restaurants across the country to become George Lopez Tacos restaurant partners.
A couple of taco trends we’re looking forward to include Birria Tacos — the next big thing on the national taco stage. A Birria taco blends a griddled tortilla with consommé and is undeniably delicious. Also, we expect the continued rise of more plant-based taco options, whether traditional or cutting-edge. These appeal broadly to more than just vegetarian/vegan consumers and will be gaining prominence in the coming quarters.
With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to creating mouthwatering tacos in no time. Tacos are the ultimate soul food — we prepare them in moments or we spend days anticipating the flavor of a slow-roasted ingredient. Tacos simultaneously connect and nourish us.
Interested in becoming a Fulfillment Partner? Learn more about Nextbite brands and other concepts by contacting us today.