Your Taco Hard Shells Are Too Cold.
Hard-shell tacos have a reputation for being “inauthentic,” an aberration of a form invented by a white fast food mogul named Glen Bell. (Can you guess what popular chain he founded?) And while Glen — and Taco Bell — are responsible for the huge popularity of hard-shell tacos in the United States, not to mention the plethora of spin-offs and riffs that deserve to be called “aberrations”. He did not receive the title “Inventor of the Hard Shell Taco”.
As MEL’s Andrew Fiuzi explains in “An Oral History of the Hard Shell Taco “, there has not been a single “inventor” of the hard shell taco. According to Gustavo Arellano, author of Tacos in the USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America , experts believe dorado tacos — “golden tacos” made from crispy tortillas — were the inspiration for the ubiquitous hard-shell tacos. which can now be bought for travel across the country:
Tacos dorados are hard shell pockets. Here’s what it comes down to. So no one invented the hard shell taco – there is no “one” creator. I know people want to find a creator, but it’s really a confluence of all these different people capitalizing on what was already there. In fact, the first tacos in the US were hard shell tacos. It was just a style of eating tacos that people brought with them from Mexico. In fact, the earliest known US taco recipe in English is the hard shell taco; it was in the LA Times.
You have to read the entire oral history of hard shell tacos on MEL, but the bottom line is: hard shell tacos deserve your respect. And that means showing him some warmth.
A cold taco shell is a brittle taco shell.
Every hard-shell taco maker knows the frustration of trying to package the ingredients without cracking, but there’s a way to make the process less fraught: preheating the shells causes the fats inside to move and form grooves, making them more pliable and less likely to be. during filling (and eating).
It also makes them taste better, as warm fats are tastier than cold fats, as they can move around a little better for your palate. (Imagine eating toast with cold bacon fat spread on top, then imagine eating a slice of bread toasted with bacon fat. Which sounds more appealing?) Toasting the shell also brings out the sweetness of the corn, reducing bitterness and flavor. . those nixtamalized flavors into the air. Place the shells in a preheated oven at 200℉ for about three minutes until they smell good and are toasted. Fill in as usual (respectfully).