Mexican Taco, Wrapped in a Paradox of its Time

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Who doesn’t like tacos? For many of us who do, taco Tuesday has become a regular date night for the family, friends, and co-workers or even for couples who like to enjoy a buffet of tacos in a taco bar.

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Taco is usually consists of soft or crunchy folded tortilla filled with choice of seasoned meat and freshly cut vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes and onions with toppings like shredded cheese or sour cream or both. This is a very versatile meal so other veggies can be added too like beans, avocado or guacamole, corn, green peppers, or sliced olives.

But do we know the tacos that we all know today are already the American version? They are tacos on American terms?

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We love to eat tacos. We talk about how we love this food and created so many versions of the dish such as taco salad, taco burrito, taco casserole, breakfast taco, taco pasta salad, chicken taco, and others alike.

However, there is one side to the tacos that we seldom talk about or maybe don’t want to talk about – how about the heritage and the people who brought this food into the American tables? Seemingly, it’s not too “safe” to talk about them.
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Cajun Shrimp Stew

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I first learned about Cajun flavor when I started eating and making Jambalaya rice. I usually buy it in a box and I would just add meat or seafood into the rice. Coming from a rice-bowl society in Southeast Asia, the concept and taste of Jambalaya rice is still new to me. Since my introduction to this flavor, it opened my eyes further to the diversity of the flavor traditions in Southern United States, specifically Louisiana.

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You can say that Cajun flavor found an unexplored territory in my palate. That was my first encounter with Cajun cooking. Then I started making soup Gumbo, which is another Louisiana cuisine but in a Creole tradition. A first, it got me confused about its distinction with Cajun. So I started digging for facts and I found the simplest explanation there is on the web.

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It says, the basic difference between Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole cuisines is that the latter (creole) uses tomatoes either fresh, paste or sauce while the former (Cajun) does not.

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Salmon and Potato En Papillote w/ Coconut Curry Sauce

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I don’t know how else to properly describe this recipe except that it’s healthy, clean and very light in the belly. The combination of coconut milk, curry, and honey gives it a very Southeast Asian flavor with a mild spicy kick of cayenne pepper.

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Besides the salmon, the rest of the ingredients are plant-based which dissolve easily in the stomach.

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help in keeping the heart healthy.  It is also an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium, niacin, phosphorus and vitamin B6 for whole body wellness, strong bones and joints, brain and neurological repair, according to Mayo Clinic research.

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