Our latest in the ALMA Dinners series, 006 TACO NIGHT, was a success!
The beautiful Chocolatería La Rifa hosted ALMA and Umani Fermentos again. Hundreds of tacos paraded out of the kitchen straight into the hands of the lucky guests that joined us. The idea behind the menú was simple: reinterpreting our favorite taquería classics and executing them with top-quality ingredients and excellent technique.
Our most luxurious taco was also the simplest: a fresh blue corn tortilla topped with the exact portion of slightly sauteéd escamoles and the tiniest hint of white onion. Escamoles are precious eggs laid by güijera ants (Liometopum apiculatum) at the very beginning of the warm season in the provinces around Mexico City. We personally sourced ours from Villa del Carbón where it was the last week of escamole season. Often called “mexican caviar”, these delicious little morsels are packed with flavor and we intentionally kept unnecessary garnish out of sight.
One of our favorite reinterpretations was the brisket taco. We cooked the meat slowly on a very low oven, basting it in its juices and letting the beef roast to a tender melt-in-your-mouth consistency. Each taco had a fresh yellow corn tortilla schmeared in dijon mustard topped with a slice of brisket, fermented green tomatoes and beautiful little garlic flowers that brought in the punch.
Our desserts were also a take on traditional elements found in a taquería. The velvety chocolate ice cream we created with La Rifa’s Trinitario Cacao from Ostuacán was topped with shredded coconut, homemade kombucha syrup and a totopo (toasted slice of tortilla). The plating echoed that of frijoles refritos but with a completely different flavor and texture profile.
For the second dessert we winked at the traditional toppings of Tacos al Pastor: cilantro and pineaple. In trying to create a refreshing way to end the meal we made these flavors into a dessert taco. A thin disk of pineapple served as the tortilla with a quennelle of kefir and cilantro sorbet, nixtamalized pineapple and verdolagas as the toppings. The fresh green flavors were sweetened only by the fruit’s natural sugars making for a light and fresh dessert.
Taco Night is a fun way for us to connect with our friends and collaborators. We strongly believe in food’s power to bring people together and are always happy to share a table (and even a plate) with close friends and new faces. We hope you join us at our next food event! Stay tuned for the recipes of some of the tacos we made!