It’s tough to say exactly when the taco landed in Sydney. Its arrival can probably be traced back to the advent of the Old El Paso “taco kit” in 1984. And for a while, that’s probably what the form represented to most: a helpful yellow box with (mostly) unbroken hard-shelled tortillas, silver sachets of a mysterious, spicy sauce and taco “seasoning”. Add a cooked protein of choice, grated cheddar and – if you could be bothered – some shredded iceberg to achieve taco nirvana. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then.
Today, tacos in Sydney resemble their Mexican counterparts more closely than ever. From where and how they’re sold, such as out of stalls and carpark trucks; all the way down to the traditional ingredients and cooking methods used to make them. (Fresh pineapple and raw onion on carnitas are in, as are imported chillies, and nixtamalised corn tortillas.)
We’re also taking tacos to new places, such as the pub. And it’s increasingly common to see unusual vegan fillings and flavours from other cuisines, such as Japan and Korea, getting a go on the tortilla.
Both styles, authentic and new school, can be found right here in Sydney.
¿Por que no los dos?