A Short History of Taco Shells

Tacos are one of the most flavorful and enjoyable dishes from traditional Mexican cooking. Tacos are made by taking a flat wheat or corn tortilla, placing desired filling and toppings on the flat tortilla, then proceeding to roll up the tortilla. As for the fillings, the sky is the limit as you can create a type of filling that suits your particular taste buds. Tacos are fast, tasty, healthy and convenient. Tacos can be hard or soft. Today, most people choose the crunchy pre-fried, hard taco shells when making or ordering tacos.
The deliciously crunchy ‘U’ shaped taco shell is the result of taking a wheat or corn tortilla and frying it into its characteristic ‘U’ shape. While the tortilla comes from Mexico, according to original U.S. patent records, the familiar U-shaped taco patents belong to Mexican restaurant owners in the 1940s. These hard shell tacos are absolutely delicious and easy to make. In order to make a hard shell taco, you first need to make a tortilla. Tortillas are either made from wheat or corn.
what are taco shells made of? Simply put, both corn and wheat taco shells are made from a mixture of flour and water. In order to make a hard shell taco from a tortilla you need to make the tortilla. To do this, you will need a basic tortilla recipe. Wheat tortillas follow the simple traditional blending of wheat flour, baking powder, salt, water and shortening. The mix is then kneaded by hand. After which small chunks are rolled flat into either a small 6 inch tortilla, or large 10 inch. The corn tortilla is made from a special corn flour called ‘masa harina’ and mixed with water and shaped and flattened.
Once the flat tortillas have been created, they need to be fried into their familiar hard shell taco shape. If you are big on tacos, you can purchase a restaurant grade taco fryer online. Other options include using special taco holders which shape your tortillas into the familiar ‘U’ shape or into taco bowls, that you then place into a deep fryer. The final method, is to simply use a frying pan, laying the fresh tortilla in the pan, and folding it over, making sure to fry both sides.

Hard, crunchy taco shells are a favorite family food, as well as restaurant and take out. They are easy, convenient and cost effective to make, and come with a vast variety of fillings that are sure to please everyone at your dinner table.