Professor J's Place

01 July, 2012

A Meditation on Tacos

In the late 1980's, I was living in Omaha, Nebraska.

There are many things to make Omaha a lovely place to live, not the least of which is its proximity to many beautiful state parks in Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri.

In the summer of 1989, not long before I left Nebraska, I went camping with about a dozen other women. We all brought food, and some of us were in charge of a specific meal. I had Saturday breakfast.

I decided to give my friends a treat--chorizo and egg tacos. Take it from me, it was not easy to find chorizo in Omaha in the 80's. It took me two days of calling around to different meat markets and grocery stores before I found a little bodega on the south side.

But that wasn't the end of the learning experience. My friends were baffled by my menu.

Breakfast tacos? What's a breakfast taco? Who has tacos for breakfast?

When I presented the first of the tacos there was some relief.

Oh, it's a burrito!

No, I explained, the tortilla is much smaller, and it isn't rolled up, and it doesn't have beans in it. This, chicas,  is a breakfast taco.

A taco? In a flour tortilla? Huh?

But the taste won them over, I assure you.

I don't think we have those regional differences any more. Oh yes, we do things a bit differently region to region. For instance, my midwestern friends put cheese and sour cream on a chorizo and egg taco (?).  But I can buy sour dough bread at any bakery--I don't have to wait until I travel to San Francisco. And it is much easier to find chorizo--not to mention a good tex-mex restaurant--in Omaha these days.

I love the fact that I can find most anything I want wherever I am. But I must say, I miss the thrill of introducing people to something new-- and of being introduced to something new.

Yes, my friends, a taco. for. breakfast.

So, this morning, when I was cooking chorizo for breakfast, I remembered to give thanks for the joy of new things. Of introducing and being introduced.

Pass the salsa, please.