24 | Oct | 16

Hugh Thomas

Year Of The Taco?

Back in January, it was proclaimed 2016 would be the year of the taco. Well? The jury’s still out.

Ask Luardos, The Little Taquero and Taco Dave and they’ll probably say this is the millennium of the taco. But Wahaca probably like the timing. At the end of the summer, the Mexican street food chain unleashed their own taco kits in Tesco branches, along with the assurance people could make the taste of Mexico in their own homes.

We love Wahaca. They are the baby of Thomasina Miers, who was a judge (along with Mark Hix) at the first ever British Street Food Awards. But that ‘heard it all before’ feeling you’re having? It’s not déjà vu. Four years ago, we talked about M&S’ ‘Good To Go’ range of packaged street food-inspired dishes in the Guardian. Were they tasty, clever, and accurate cultural representations of traditional Jamaican and Vietnamese fare? Or just a new range of ready meals? Ask any two people and they’d each give you a different answer.

The truth is, other supermarkets have tried similar. And yet, nothing’s come quite as close to the street food experience as the public would like it to. Surprised? Neither are we.

But who knows? Wahaca’s attempts may follow that trend. Or they might be exactly what we’re after – a recent Santa Maria survey suggests there could be as many as 50% of street food enthusiasts interested in take-home DIY kits. Either way, at least the idea fits in with a part of the street food mantra – making restaurant-grade food accessible to everyone.

So, if you and I can be convinced that Wahaca’s nailed the quality of the product, then they may well be onto something. Now, where’s my nearest Tesco Express…