Record-Breaking World's Largest Taco Created with Cochinita Pibil--And Why That's Important

Not the record-breaking taco in question; still delicious
Not the record-breaking taco in question; still delicious
Photo by Niyaz Pirani

If you want further proof of how Mexican food is conquering the world--and even Mexico--look no further than the recent successful attempt in Guadalajara to create the world's largest taco. The final result, according to reports, was over two miles long and used over a ton of meat and tortillas. Now THAT'S a taquiza!

But instead of using a stuffing common to Jalisco--say, carne asada or carnitas, or birria--the chefs decided to use something diametrically opposed to the state, but now embraced by la república wholeheartedly: the Yucateco pork specialty cochinita pibil.

A generation ago, cochinita pibil would've been dismissed as pinche indio food; now, it's rightfully considered one of the best pork preparations on Earth for its intricate sour orange-achiote rub and liberal use of pickled red onions. The taco was created as part of a huge food festival designed to attract tourists to Mexico, with Yucatán as a featured state.

"We try to generate food tourism, which identifies us as of high quality if we want to compete with the gastronomic capitals of the world, Madrid, London, and Rome" the head of a restaurant industry association told a Mexican newspaper. "There's work to be done to reach those levels, but we have to start."

A generation ago, such a food group would be boasting of continental cuisine or Señor Frog's in trying to get the world's attention toward Mexican food. But Mexico is currently experiencing a food renaissance, not just with alta cocina chefs but also a new-found appreciation for its regional treasures. AJUA!

And finally, for those of ustedes at home, here's a recipe from our archives. Enjoy, and viva el taco!

Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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