What Makes Good Quality Asada?
- Eat_Nopal Apr 18, 2009 11:47 PM
Fascinating discussion with lots of great cultural food information - I am really enjoying it!
Would anyone know why the al pastor style meat on the trompa in Baja Norte is called "adobada" ? The topping is an onion, not a pineapple and slices of the onion is not served in the tacos (at least in the versions I've had in Rosarito and parts south of there).
re: Gypsy Jan
Well there are two categories of dishes that predate the invention of Al Pastor by centuries...
1) Cabrito Al Pastor.... the Monterrey specialty of Goat simply seasoned and roasted on a horizontal spit over a fire pit, is really a dish of very ancient Middle Eastern creation. It came with the first Sephardic (Jewish) settlers towards the end of the 16th century. This is likely the first use of the term "Al Pastor" in Mexico
2) Adobado / Adobada this simply means marinaded meat (which is how the Filipinos ended up with a dish named Adobo that is quite different than the common Mexican versions). I am 100% there are also many "Adobo" type dishes in Spain. In Mexico it usually refers to a dark chile paste + herbs, spices & stinky veggies (i.e., garlic, onions etc.,)... but each region has its subtle variations in Adobo.... in Jalisco it might be made primarily with Guajillo chiles, in Hidalgo its made with Pasillas (real Pasillas not Anchos), in Tabasco its made with Achiote & Chile Piquin etc.,
Pollo Adobodo, Cerdo Adobodo, Carne de Res Adobada etc., all types of meats, marinaded with these chile paste adobos then roasted.. and maybe crisped up a bit on a griddle existed well before Tacos al Pastor.
As the Ottoman empire crumbled and the Christian communities of the Leviant were slaughtered & brutalized in various ways... many fled to the New World.... in many case the French, Brittish & American governments took their share of these immigrants (Ralph Nader thanks you) but also found homes throughout the world for the diaspora.
Mexico was also a little machine of taking in immigrants whether political refugees like Trotsky, Polish Jews, Mennonites etc., you name it Mexico become the home for many refugees in those crazy days.
Among the first culinary contributions of these Leviant immigrants was the Schawerma... and more generally the Vertical Spit. An Iraqi immigrant in Puebla began marketing his Tacos Arabes in the 1930s... having invented a bread that was a cross between a tortilla & pita... he started stuffing them with a blend of spit roasted lamb & pork and dressing them with various Salsas & garnishes that combined both cultures i.e., diced cucumbers with raw onions, a little jocoque & a little bit of Arbol salsa etc.,
Today, Puebla is a mecca of Tacos Arabes with the descendants of the original inventor still pimping their creation and dozens of competitors who take different spins on the original idea.
In the early 1950s, a Mexico City taquero decided to combine the Pork Adobada tradition with the Tacos Arabes tradition and a new classic was born that would come to dominate the Mexican taco scene for decades... many even centuries. Some day far in the future.... Eat_Nopal's decendants might even be writing about this exotic & extinct creation for the Quetzalcoatl Interplanetary Library - Milky Way Division.
Now you can extrapolate how Al Pastor might vary as it finds its way throughout the country, away from its birthplace.