Taco in our A-Z - Cooking Index
A Taco is a Mexican dish which consists of a soft tortilla filled with a variety of food. In Mexico, the filling ingredients tend to be shredded meat (chicken or beef are most popular) or cheese (Oaxaca cheeese or similar string-like cheese is the most popular). Additional popular ingredients include salsa, guacamole, salt, lemon juice, onions and cucumbers.
The warm tortilla is filled with the ingredients and then either wrapped over itself or made into a U-shape to make it easier to eat.
In the United States a taco is more likely to be in a hard shell tortilla or, more rarely, prepared in a soft tortilla and then deep fried. Fast food restaurants tend to use the hard shell tortillas and then fill them with ground (or shredded) beef, pork or chicken, cheese and lettuce. Sour cream and tomato are other populer additions.
There is some argument about the difference between a taco and quesadilla but the generally accepted difference is that a taco consists of a tortilla that has already cooked food added into it and is then eaten, while a quesadilla is cooked after it has been filled.