Food

‘Chinese chorizo’ honors fusion of two cultures in Arizona
AP, Arizona News, Culture, Features, Food

‘Chinese chorizo’ honors fusion of two cultures in Arizona

Allen Lew points to a display board at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center in Tucson, Arizona, on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022 highlighting his father's grocery store business. (AP Photo/Terry Tang)A vegan chorizo egg roll and a meat chorizo egg roll topped with a fried egg and a papaya and carrot slaw is served on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022 at BOCA restaurant in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Terry Tang)Tamal Niangao, a dish of sticky masa cakes with chorizo, green onion, Napa cabbage and chilies in a soy maggi glaze and topped with jicama, cilantro and two poached eggs is served at 5 Points Market & Restaurant in the Barrio Viejo neighborhood of Tucson, Arizona, on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Terry Tang)A vegan chorizo egg roll and a meat chorizo egg roll topped with a fried egg and a papaya and c...
Tucson Taco Madness: The last taco face-off
Arts & Entertainment, Food, Opinion, Reviews

Tucson Taco Madness: The last taco face-off

By JAVIER DOSAMANTESPima Post This March, we had a tournament for the books. We witnessed upsets, future stars shining and legends coming up short. The 2022 Tucson Taco Tournament has now concluded, and a new champion has been crowned. Last night’s battle went down to the wire and culminated in a grueling journey for everyone who played. Tacos del Rancho and El Tacoson had to reach deep and put together their best tacos on the plate for one last time. It took a hard-fought and complete effort from both, but there could only be one winner. El Tacoson represented the South Central Conference with an al pastor taco, which is most emblematic of Mexico City. While Tacos del Rancho came out from the North Conference with a carne asada taco — the signature taco of the state of...
Tucson Taco Madness: the final four
Food, Opinion

Tucson Taco Madness: the final four

By JAVIER DOSAMANTESPima Post The table was set, and the winners of each division went against each other to compete for their respective conference titles, and advance to the tournament finals. Every taco had to step up against competition that was outside its comfort zone. We saw differing styles within divisions in the last round, but this round was a clash of completely different styles of play. All tacos had to adapt and make the necessary adjustments to come out with a win. A battle ensued between traditional and contemporary in the North Conference. An iconic style of taco versus a new style of taco that has been steadily gaining popularity — and one day perhaps will reach icon status. And in the South Central Conference, we witnessed an all-out prizefight betwee...
Tucson Taco Madness: fish food fight
Culture, Food, Opinion, Reviews

Tucson Taco Madness: fish food fight

By JAVIER DOSAMANTESPima Post Making a fish or shrimp taco sounds like a simple task, right? You grab a tortilla, pack it with fish, pour some “powers” (veggie toppings and salsas) on it and you’re good to go. Well, actually … no. No, I tell you, no. What is known as a fish taco or a shrimp taco, isn’t made willy nilly with any kind of fish or shrimp. Nor with random powers and any kind of tortilla. It is not a simple taco. It is one of the most layered, colorful and loudest tacos. Jazz music is just random sounds and noises, struggling to find a flow and rhythm without structure to the unfamiliar ear. When in fact, it’s a beautiful collection of melodies within a structure. And that from time to time, it steps out of that structure in search of more adventurous soun...
Tucson Taco Madness: A fiery battle of taco powerhouses
Arts & Entertainment, Culture, Food, Opinion, Reviews

Tucson Taco Madness: A fiery battle of taco powerhouses

By JAVIER DOSAMANTESPima Post Mexico City is the Washington, D.C., of Mexico. It is also a standalone district outside of the other states, and it’s the capital of the country.  Perhaps equally important, it is arguably the home of the best al pastor tacos.  It is a taco rooted in history and cultural heritage. Its original conception was introduced by Lebanese immigrants who arrived in Mexico. It was a remix of a homeland dish — with the traditional anatomy substituted with ingredients found in the region. Pita bread was switched for a corn tortilla and lamb for pork. The meat was seasoned with chiles and spices from the region, and voila … the al pastor taco, as we know it today, was born. An al pastor taco is made with cuts of layered and seasoned pork m...
Tucson Taco Madness: The battle between goats and porks
Food, Opinion, Reviews

Tucson Taco Madness: The battle between goats and porks

By JAVIER DOSAMANTESPima Post The state of Jalisco has given the world tequila and mariachi, but equally as artful of a cultural contribution — is birria. Birria has a rustic origin, has a rich tradition and is known for its versatility.  You can enjoy it as a broth with a birria taco on the side. As a taco with broth on the side for dipping … or as a straight up taco. People eat birria for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And with beers, the day after some beers or in family gatherings. Nearby states of Jalisco are known to have mastered the craft of making birria, but one of them is the state known for their carnitas. Michoacan gave birth to this beautiful incarnation of pork — it is tender on the inside and crisped to golden perfection on the outside.  Car...
Tucson Taco Madness: A grilling duel in the Sonoran desert
Food, Opinion, Reviews

Tucson Taco Madness: A grilling duel in the Sonoran desert

By JAVIER DOSAMANTESPima Post Carne asada is not just another menu item in the Mexican state of Sonora. It is a tradition and a symbol of cultural pride. Sonora is mainly a livestock farming and agricultural state. It's a state known for its top-quality beef — and consequently — its carne asada. People have their grilling technique and taco construction philosophy that's passed from generation to generation or friendship to friendship. Although, two cardinal rules are followed by every Sonoran and perfected by some to become oracle-level “taqueros.” The meat (diezmillo or arrachera) should only be salted and not marinated. Marinating is frowned upon and is the mark of a lack of carne asada expertise.Carne asada tacos are to be made with flour tortillas, full stop. ...
2022 Tucson Taco Tournament
Culture, Food, Opinion, Reviews

2022 Tucson Taco Tournament

By JAVIER DOSAMANTESPima Post In 2015, Tucson became the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the United States, a distinction shared by only 36 cities in the world.  Tucson is famous for its unique multicultural food scene, particularly for its rich Mexican cuisine. In the very true and eloquent words of the late Anthony Bourdain: “I should remind you that Mexico is not homogenous. When you say ‘Mexican’ food to a Mexican, you haven’t really said anything at all. There are 32 distinct states, the food changes from region to region.” One universal staple, however, is the taco (seriously, there’s even a Netflix docuseries about it called “Taco Chronicles”). And the taco landscape in Tucson is one of the best in the country. Local chefs who specialize in tacos have app...