This is not your abuela’s taco. In fact, your abuela is going to see this and pray for the culinary souls who have no idea what a taco actually is. Behold, the French Taco.
Though the, um, taco, is not new (after searching on Twitter, I found pictures and people discussing these as far back as 2013– the video above is from 2017), and has been debated in 2017 and 2019, the New Yorker has decided to highlight these flat wraps, claiming they “became essential dining in the home of haute cuisine.”
We’ve all been stuck at home for over a year and I can’t imagine many of us were thinking, yes, a French taco is exactly what this pandemic called for, when there’s perfectly amazing, authentic tacos all over. I am all for people finding joy during this chaotic time, even french tacos- but this needs another name entirely.
First off, the very history of the word “taco” comes from the Nahuatl word ‘tlahco’ which means “half or in the middle,” you know, like the shape of a tortilla? The french taco is closed, therefore immediately negating the taco definition. Also, the fact that the French taco uses a flour tortilla, whereas an actual taco uses tortillas made of nixtamalized corn, which was used as far back as 1500 BC to make tortillas.
Next, a taco isn’t meant to carry a million ingredients–just the tortilla, the meat, some salsa, and maybe a dash of onions and cilantro. The french taco filling options typically include diced meats, chicken nuggets, sausage, and cordon bleu.
While the french taco has many fans, and it’s probably delicious, it is not and should never be called a taco. Let’s call it by what it actually is: a wrap.