How can you not love Tacos? It’s a delicious, messy dish that brings out the joy in people. It’s also a fun dish to have at a kid’s birthday party, at get-togethers and even for a last-minute movie night in the snack food menu.
Now, the only other thing that can make a regular taco better is by having it with grilled pork, of course! Can you imagine the taste of marinated, juicy pork cooked to perfection on a crispy taco shell? Why would anyone want to eat anything else after trying this dish!
What exactly is Tacos Al Pastor?
Okay, the name might sound like it’s tacos made specifically for Sunday services. But, Tacos Al Pastor is just Tacos that are served with grilled pork, cooked Mediterranean style instead of the typical beef or chicken used in making traditional Mexican tacos. More specifically, people make this dish with pork shoulder or pork butt. People also add in pineapple juice or pineapple pieces, Middle Eastern spices and achiote paste to enhance its flavours.
Taco Al Pastor is the kind of food you eat when you can’t decide whether to go for Mexican or Mediterranean. It’s the kind of food for those who love pineapple on everything!
The History Behind The Dish
The Tacos Al Pastor is an invention based on the Shawerma lamb that was introduced to the Mexicans by Middle Eastern immigrants. Hence, why most people use Middle-Eastern spices for this dish.
As history would have it, somewhere between the late 19th and early 20th century, there was an upsurge of Lebanese immigrants in Mexico following the anchor of French ships in Mexican ports. Despite most of them being of the Islamic faith, the immigrants that chose to stay did not have any restrictions toward consuming pork. The word “Al Pastor” itself refers to the ‘Shepherd’s style’ in Spanish.
And in the late 1960s, 2nd generation Lebanese-Mexican immigrants started launching restaurants that combined Middle Eastern with Mexican cuisine. Thus, the Tacos Al Pastor was born.
Mexican-Middle Eastern restaurants would typically marinate the pork in Middle Eastern spices, similar to preparing the Shawerma, before grilling it. But instead of using avocados, the restaurants would top the tacos off with fresh onions and pineapples to add another dimension of flavour.
Tacos Al Pastor quickly grew to not only become a famous street food in Mexico, but it also has cultivated a massive cult following in the United States.
The Nutritional Contents of Tacos Al Pastor
This super fun dish is loaded with healthy ingredients. For those of you who are health-conscious, a serving of Tacos Al Pastor is only 175 calories. The grilled pork, is not only a good source of protein, but it also contains Vitamin B6 and Niacin. Both of which can help improve your mood, as well as reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
The pineapples used are also loaded with antioxidants that can help you fight against free radicals, the culprit responsible for ageing. Pineapples also help to reduce the risk of cancer and ease the symptoms of Arthritis.
Where Can You Get Tacos Al Pastor in Malaysia?
If you are one of those unique people who love pineapple and want to try it with a taco, make your way down to the one and only Holy Guacamole. The store located in Georgetown, Penang, and you can get their Al Pastor Taco for only RM10!
Want more Mexican cuisine delivered to your door? Scroll through the foodpanda app and choose from a variety of Mexican restaurants available close to you.