Anatomy of a taco

Anatomy of a taco
In California we call them street tacos because the prodigious snack is usually made and sold from taco stands and trucks at most corners in Mexican neighborhoods. The building blocks of this full-flavored meal come cradled in a corn tortilla, the ideal portable edible container.
A foundation of corn
Nothing beats the chewy goodness of two homemade yellow or white corn tortillas. Even in Mexico, tortillas "hecho a mano," made by hand, have given way to machine-made ones.
A mouthful for meat lovers
Three common fillings you'll want to try:
Carne asada | Char-broiled flank steak typically marinated in lime, sometimes beer, and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Carnitas | Pork butt slowly cooked in lard until crispy outside and tender inside.
Al pastor | Chile- and pineapple-seasoned, spit-grilled rotisserie-roasted pork thinly sliced off its skewer.
The seasonings of Mexico
Ole on flavor The condiment combination of diced white onion and cilantro adds the perfect blend of flavor to complement your filling choice and corn tortillas.
The seasonings of Mexico
Personalize with salsa Salsa flavorings are the only optional ingredients in the "basic taco" and it ususally comes served on the side. Dash your tacos to taste.
The seasonings of Mexico
Add limón Your tacos will come with slices of limon, or lime. Squeeze a wedge on your taco and then try one without lime to see why it's a favorite Mexican flavoring.
SOURCES: The childhood California kitchens of Erin Ailworth, Taryn Luna, and James Abundis
James Abundis/Globe Staff