Every so often, we’ll run a daily special of chicken tingas tostadas. Like so many of our dishes, there is history behind them that has roots that extend deep into the Mexican culture. Chicken tingas is no different. The tomato and chile sauce based recipe originated in the Puebla area, which is especially famous for its cuisine. Taking into account that true Mexican food “is considered one of the most distinguished in the world due to the complexity of their preparation, distinctive flavors and ancient traditions”*, this is high praise indeed. Like so many of the dishes Mario prepares, his version has a more organic, humble beginning as he learned about the tingas preparation from his mother. It has all the kudos and culture that is distinctive to the region, with a touch of love from the Cercedo family kitchen.
Now you know a little more about the wonderfulness of Mexican food in general, and more specifically, Mario’s culinary inspiration!
Street style tacos with carnitas as the meat option
I’ve had many customers ask about the “Street Style” tacos and what it means. There’s a little bit of history behind this popular treat, and as with so many American ethnic favorites, it’s theorized it started out as a working man’s lunch. Silver miners working in Mexico in the 18th century called the charges used to excavate the ore, “tacos”. After a period of time, this name carried over to their portable meals; easy to carry, tasty to eat, filling and nutritious.
The taco has gone through many transformations since its humble beginnings and continues to change, such as tacos arabes introduced in Mexico City with the arrival of Lebanese migrants back in the 50s, which was changed a little more by the second generation to become tacos al pastor. (Click on link and read the article!) Here in mainstream America, the “street” style has enjoyed great popularity amongst Mexican food devotees and casual restaurant patrons alike. But where did it come from? Mario tells me that the street vendors in Mexico can not have any dairy on their food because the heat spoils the cheese and makes people sick; so, in order for the vendors to offer their hungry customers a favorite, they simply omitted the cheese. Clever, huh? And now you know.