Last year, Taco Chronicles or Las Cronicas del Taco, a series that documents the history and variety of the versatile taco, debuted on Netflix. The mouthwatering show made you want to instantly pack your bags for Mexico.
The second season takes you on another taco-crawl featuring the American taco, birria, burrito, cabrito, cochinita pibil and pescado. Just like the first season, the second season has quick 30-minute episodes. The series tells the history of the taco in an animated video with characterised narratives, interviews and some serious food porn that will, once again, propel you to make Mexico travel plans. Here are the best moments.
Food that talks
Ever wondered what your food would say to you if it could talk? In the series, every taco is personified based on its history and conception. Every episode begins with a characterised voice-over. For instance, cochinita pibil, a Mayan speciality that hails from the Yucatan peninsula is portrayed as an elderly Mayan grandma who prides on herself on Mayan culinary traditions. Cabrito or the kid taco, a product of the northern goat-herding tradition, is personified by a northern cowboy voice. It works wonders for the show, turning what could’ve been a dry history lesson to a fun account.
Taco and its sidekick
Every great hero has a sidekick in tow. Batman has Robin, Chacha Chaudhary has Sabu and Don Quixote has Sancho Panza. Similarly, the taco has salsa.
The anatomy of a taco is more or less the same regardless of the type of taco or the establishment you eat it from. Meat, corn tortilla, and salsa are sacrosanct to a taco. While there are several permutations and combinations of the content, whether it’s salsa rojo (red salsa) or salsa verde (green salsa), the condiment is the only befitting sidekick to this dish.
Move over Star Wars cantina, tacos have made their interstellar journey already. Food in space has come a long way, from cubes and tubes of dehydrated food with a high shelf life to food that resembles what we eat on earth. The fourth episode features Canadian astronaut Chris Chadfield assembling and eating a space-modified burrito. The footage is sourced from a 2013 video filmed in the International Space Station.
— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) July 13, 2014
Every bit of a taco is a morsel of history
Cochinita pibil, a taco made with a pit-cooked suckling pig is as close as one can get to the millennia-old Mayan culinary ethos. Mayan men and women make these together in a bid to preserve their culture, which was endangered by Spanish colonisation. Cabrito, a kid goat taco, traces its 12,000-year-old origins to Iran and Syria where people domesticated goats, which were brought to Mexican shores. Birria, a lesser-known, heavily spiced taco, a truly deconstructed food, was conceived with the scarps of meat discarded by the colonisers.
The American taco
You can’t recreate a taco outside Mexico and expect it to taste the same. The series dedicates an episode to the American taco, the one brought to American soil by the immigrants. The simple dish was quickly absorbed into various regional American cuisines. The result was hybrids such as Tex-Mex and Cal-Mex. Chains like Taco Bel are popular purveyors of this cuisine.
Creator: David Gelb
Seasons: 2 (2019, 2020)
Streaming on: Netflix