Archive for the ‘France’ Category

On French tacos in Lyon

Posted by Cyrus Farivar on January 6, 2009

So even though I’m in France, far away from traditional taco-land, I was astounded to discover that apparently many kebab huts sell “tacos.”

And as my photographer friend and fellow CTT blogger Alan Wiig noted: “those look just like California tacos! If the taco trucks, etc used crepes and a pannini griller. So not at all like California tacos.”

Indeed.

While I’ve passed many joints claiming to sell tacos, it wasn’t until this past weekend that I actually tried one. Nate Cardozo’s expression in this photo pretty much sums up my reaction to the entire experience. It wasn’t *bad* per say, it just wasn’t anything like a taco at all.

It came in a large boring flour tortilla that you can find in some French supermarkets that just taste bland and uninteresting. Then inside there was the choice of viande hachée, chicken, or kebab meat. Turns out that the viande is basically a hamburger patty, and the chicken is just a small chicken breast. (I stupidly ordered the viande, while Nate and Becky got the kebab.) Clearly, if you’re going to indulge in a French taco, what you want is the kebab, cut straight from the skewer. Then you get your choice of kebab sauces — the obvious choice is harissa.

So what else is in this vaugely Mexican, Maghrebified French excuse for a taco? Melted cheese — think Kraft-style singles — shredded lettuce, tomatoes, meat, and the best part: fries. Yes, fries. In a “taco.” In essence, it was a kebab, served in a tortilla, and grilled with what normally is used to fire up paninis. In other words, totally like a real taco.