Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Al Pastor

"Sin cebolla" means "without onions"...something I forgot to request this time.
not my picture
By request...this particular taco is made "in the style of the shepherd" or Al pastor. It involves a huge shawarma pole of what looks like pre-sliced pork.* This is doused in some kind of salt and sugar syrup and then a gas and ceramic roasting element is put on one side and the pole is turned. I've seen a butane torch used in a pinch. A pineapple is put on top and in my case an onion was put on the bottom. These are small corn tacos and the recommended serving size is 5 tacos but after 3 I start groaning. Tonight I got 2 as a way of reintroducing my bowels to this delicious central Mexican staple. The noble Pig has no friends here in Mexico...all parts of him are used to feed everyone. Carnitas stands are everywhere, as are Al Pastor. Carnitas are less involved and are simply shredded pork chopped up with fried pork fat and hacked bone but in this region street vendors are putting an additional slab of pure pork fat as a garnish. It's really too much for me. One detail I love about carnitas is the tradition of chopping up the pork on an ancient round wooden cutting board that has never been sterilized. Then I know I'm in Mexico.

*Don't ask me if Mexican shepherds watch over flocks of pigs. Methinks the original meat was lamb or goat and it became pork but the name stayed the same.
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.