Where I grew up, taco trucks were the place to get satisfy your taco craving. They were parked all over town and I had a few favourites I used to frequent.
None of that Taco Bell nonsense for me!
One of the most famous tacos on the menu was tacos al pastor. The crispy pork meat filling was cooking on a huge vertical spit. As it cooked, the chef would shave off the crispy bits and scoop them generously into my tacos.
I was surprised when I moved to Europe and saw the same cooking technique being done at the takeaways here.
The thing is, and this isn’t known by many, the famous tacos al pastor is actually has Lebanese influences.
The history of Tacos al pastor…
The first introduction to this style of cooking was in the 1930s when Lebanese immigrants. If you’ve ever tried a shawarma, that’s what they were making.
The Mexicans loved shawarmas and adapted the recipe.
The Lebanese used lamb for their shawarma as pork was a big no no. The Mexican used pork and for some reason unknown also added pineapple.
The pork version – tacos al pastor – was also marinated in a more Mexican style marinade like you will see in the recipe below.
To be honest, I never knew that pineapple was such a popular ingredient in tacos al pastor as they didn’t use it at the taco trucks I went to.
In Mexico, however, many street food stalls top the meat with grilled pineapple pieces. I don’t do this as I’m not a big fan of the fruit but if it sounds good to you, do it.
If you like this tacos al pastor recipe, you might like to try some of these too…