I admit it, my timing is awful. It is neither May 5th (5 days late) nor is it Tuesday (missed it by a day), but I figured today would be the day to begin the great debate of our age. That is, which is better: a hard shell taco versus a soft shell taco. Maybe this entered my mind because we did, in fact, go grab tacos last night on the way to a club meeting we were to attend.
My wife and I are on opposite ends in this vital issue. She will consistently get the hard (corn, crunchy) shell while my choice will inevitably be the soft (flour) shell.
Still, both types of tacos have points to make. Each type offers a unique texture, flavor, and eating experience, appealing to different preferences and culinary traditions.
Soft shell tacos are made using flour tortillas or corn tortillas that have been lightly heated or warmed. They have a pliable and tender texture, making them easy to fold and hold while eating. Soft shell tacos are often associated with traditional Mexican street food and are favored for their ability to wrap around fillings, creating a cohesive and satisfying bite. The tortilla acts as a flavorful vehicle for the fillings, allowing the flavors to meld together. Soft shell tacos are typically filled with a variety of ingredients such as grilled meats, sautéed vegetables, salsa, cheese, and guacamole.
On the other hand, hard shell tacos are characterized by their crispy and crunchy texture. They are made by frying or baking corn tortillas until they become rigid and firm. Hard shell tacos provide a satisfying crunch with each bite, adding an enjoyable contrast to the fillings. They are often filled with ground beef, shredded chicken, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and other toppings. The hard shell helps to retain the structural integrity of the taco, preventing it from becoming soggy.
The choice between soft shell and hard shell tacos ultimately comes down to personal preference. Soft shell tacos offer a more pliable and versatile eating experience, while hard shell tacos provide a satisfying crunch. Soft shell tacos are ideal for those who prefer a more delicate and cohesive bite, while hard shell tacos are preferred by those who enjoy a textural contrast and a bit of added crunch.
I guess the reason I lean towards the soft shell taco is too many bad experiences of hard shell tacos breaking apart while I was driving, spewing grated cheese, tomatoes, shredded lettuce and taco meat and sauce all over me and the vehicle. Since I have obtained a newer to me vehicle, I have become fanatical about not getting food spills in it. Last night, when we decided we were going to stop on the way to the meeting I told my wife, “yeah, we're taking your car.” Someday, I'll relate the experience we had in the car that we had that had less than a hundred miles on it, but since I don't want to sleep on the couch, I'll hold off on that for now.
But I have had my share of delicious hard and soft shell tacos during my life, and I expect that I'll consume many more in the days to come.
In the end, whether you opt for a soft shell or a hard shell taco, both variations offer delicious flavors and a delightful culinary experience. It's all about embracing the diversity and savoring the unique qualities of each type.
Or we can do what we do best these days and we can fight about it! Are you in camp soft of on team hard? Drop your answers in the app!