Frying tacos


No. The only time I see flour tortillas used for ‘tacos’ is when they’re ‘soft tacos’ by people who don’t know how to make tacos. (Taco Bell, and every place in the Pacific Northwest.) And as you say, soft tacos are supposed to be made with corn tortillas. IMO if it’s a flour tortilla, it’s not a ‘taco’.

That explains a lot. :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

They’re fried quite often in Mexico, primarily as quesadillas. They’re fried a lot in the US too, but usually called tacos. The two products don’t really differ all that much, but there are lots of variations.

Lots of places in Mexico use flour tortillas for tacos, particularly on the Baja peninsula and other points north.

Interesting. Thanks for the info.

(But I still want corn. :wink: )

Oh man, there was a little place by me that made mashed potato tacos. They were so damn good and cheap too, I think it was like $2.25 for plate of 3 tacos.
Unfortunately it was in a cursed location. Nothing has ever lasted more than 6 months there.

Interesting. I’ve only seen the fried tacos made with corn tortillas. You can certainly make them with flour (especially if you include the rolled taco version like flautas in this category), but the Mexican population in Chicago doesn’t seem to make the folded-over taco that way. Every single fried taco I’ve had here has been shallow or deep fried corn tortillas folded around a filling.

If you’re ever near a Zacataco’s, they have them. They’re just listed under the tacos menu as “de papa/potato,” but they are deep fried. Zacataco’s is known for its steak tacos–and they may be my favorite in the city–but I always order at least one of each the steak and the potato.

The poorer parts around here are pretty much little Mexico. We even have bilingual schools. I have seen and eaten fried flour tacos from what I presume are pretty authentic places. They differ from quesadillas in that the cheese is put on afterwards and there’s more focus on the filling (fish or beef usually). Like I said, you get plenty of soft corn tacos here, either grilled or steamed, but the deep fried kind have always been flour tacos in my experience.

Somebody has to have put together a demographic study of this stuff. I’m sure the prevalence of certain styles in Chicago is based on what state the majority of the Mexican population came from and things like that. I would suspect that it was from Sonora based on the use of flour tortillas anywhere.

We use a catering guy for our league speech tournaments that makes the most amazing street tacos, doubled up grilled corn tortillas with your choice of meats and some amazing salsas. The kids love them.

Former JIB manager checking in.

The tacos come frozen and unfried, with the cooked meat filling already inside them. (According to the ingredients list on the box, it’s a mixture of beef, spices, and about 30% TVP.) The tacos are fried in a special holder for 48 seconds, then removed from the oil, drained, and topped with half a slice of American cheese, 1 ounce of shredded lettuce, and a line of taco sauce.

More relevant to the OP - pretty much every Mexican restaurant in San Diego, where I grew up, makes beef and chicken tacos by putting the meat into a soft corn tortilla, frying it, and adding the cold toppings afterward, and it’s that style which is the origin of the Americanized hard taco shell as seen at Taco Bell and on the shelves of grocery stores nationwide. (JIB is, of course, a San Diego-based company which has been making its tacos pretty much exactly the same way since the '50s, thus the similarity to the local taco shop style.)

JIB tacos are disgusting. I like them.
ETA: I have a real hankering for some lenguas tacos. I don’t know if I can get them past the SO though.


Chicago is mostly corn tortillas, unless I"m misunderstanding your post. I think the plurality of Mexicans here are from Michoacan, but they’re from all over.

DrCube was mentioning flour, which led to the speculation as to Sonora. But yeah, the larger the city the greater the number of immigrants from everywhere. Blessed are the places that have a strong influx from the Yucatan. Their cuisine is amazing.


All restaurant locations are cursed. Occasionally, through very good business skills, a restauranteur is able to break the curse. When you see a new restaurant in the same location every year, it’s not because of anything about that location, it’s just because most new restaurants only last about a year. But if you can last out the first two years or so, you’re probably going to last until the original owner retires, and possibly beyond that.

EDIT: Forgot to chime in on the original topic. This thread is the first I’ve heard of anyone filling tacos before crispifying the shell. Around here, the standard assumption is that (unless specified otherwise) a taco has a crispy shell, and the shell is shaped and made crispy before you do anything else. Filling them first may well be more authentic, and it sounds tasty, but it’s completely new to me.

I don’t know if all Burger Kings have fried tacos, but the one by me does (north side of Chicago). And they’re pretty good. Corn, pre-fabbed (I assume), and quick fried. I’ve heard them compared to Jack-in-the-Box tacos in terms of style and quality. I think it’s *dos *of those babies for about a buck and a half.

This is exactly my experience in central Indiana.

When I was growing up in San Diego, what you call flautas were always made with corn tortillas, and every taco shop referred to them as either “rolled tacos” or “taquitos”. I still personally have to bite my tongue and stop myself from calling them “rolled tacos” when I order them at the one San Diego-style Mexican restaurant I know of up here in the northwest, which prefers “taquitos”. (They do, however, thankfully understand what a California burrito is.)

Ages ago, I knew of a Burger King near San Diego that sold fried tacos, and to the best that I can tell, they were completely identical to JIB tacos, to the point that I’m almost certain the franchise-holder was acquiring them from JIB’s distribution center under false pretenses. (The BK in question also served chili which I’m certain was identical to Wendy’s chili, which added to my suspicion that said franchisee was engaged in dirty dealing.)

Putting a tortilla in a microwave kills its soul. I like white corn tortillas heated by placing on the stove burners. I can do four at once if the cats stay out from under my feet.

I’ve never seen fried flour tacos. The gluten in flour tortillas create layers that separate in hot oil. The standard off the shelf taco shell is corn/masa. Quesadillas aren’t fried, they’re cooked on a hot griddle with little or no oil.
Lately, I’ve enjoyed the mixed corn and flour tortillas. They have the flavor of the corn tortilla and the flexibility of the flour tortilla.
As a teenager, I worked at Jack in the Box and cooked more of those tacos than I care to remember. You have to be fast with that wire cage that they fry them in. As soon as it comes out of the oil, you have to give it a shake and snap it open without dumping the tacos back into the oil. (Big mess) Then you snap them open at the bottom and put in the cheese, lettuce, and sauce. Then you shove them into their sleeve. I spent two years with burnt thumbs from making JIB tacos for drunks.
I admit that I have a set of the As-Seen-on-TV baked taco bowl makers. They work quite well. Authentic? No. Ready for the pages of Gourmet Magazine? No. Handy to take to work for lunch? Yep.

A ‘rolled taco’ made with a corn tortilla and a rolled taco made with a flour tortilla are both ‘taquitos’. In my experience though, taquitos (‘little tacos’) are smaller and make with corn tortillas and flautas (‘flutes’) are larger and made with flour tortillas. When I was growing up in San Diego, we had taquitos. I never saw a flauta until I moved to L.A.

On the rare occasion I want a flauta up here in the PNW, I ask for a ‘flauta’ and point to it. Invariably I’m met with ‘You mean the crispito?’ I refuse to call them ‘crispitos’, god damn it! :mad: (And chimichangas and burritos are different, too. And corn tortillas on my fish taco, too!)