Taco Chronicles (2019–…): Season 1, Episode 4 - full transcript

No one can deny it.

My aroma is far-reaching
and it clings to your skin.

It's a basic smell.


A smell like fire.

An asada taco
must have the best flour tortilla,

thick, with big chunks of meat.

The taquero must have big hands
to serve a big handful of meat.

Guacamole, onion, cilantro.

That's all you need.

You eat three to get your metabolism
going, two are not enough.

An asada taco tastes like heaven.

It tastes like home, like family,

like friends, like partying...

An asada taco is...

It is everything, man.

Thank you, man.

For me, an asada taco is the king.

Being honest,

the taco that knows
its way with fire, is me:

the "asada", grilled meat taco.


Every taco has its origin,

and the origin of Sonora's taco
is one hundred per cent in the country,

in the hands of the farmers
and the ranchers.

I like very much working on a ranch.

I started doing this with my grandpa

when I was very young,

since I was five years old

until I was fifteen, more or less,
I'd go to the ranch with my grandpa.

The ranch's main objective
is breeding cattle.

We are producing healthy calves,

in good shape,

strong, fat.

They will reach an optimum weight
of 440 to 550 pounds, so that's

the selling weight.

I think that Sonora

is famous for its good beef,

which is the result of the cattle
feeding on the local vegetation:

they eat mesquite, palo blanco,

and other vegetation species

very different to those
found in other states.

It's a magical place,

because the cattle are free
in the middle of the mountains

eating from nature.

I think what we look for today
are cows that have eaten well,

that have lived well.

Let's make this very clear, man.

I did not come with the first livestock
that arrived in the country.

A man named Gregorio Villalobos
brought fifty head of cattle

from La Habana to Veracruz to milk
and to work on the fields in 1521.

There was no trace of me.

I waited for three long centuries
for grain-fed cows to arrive,

Hereford, Angus,

to the states in the north.

Now we're talking, man:
marbled, juicy meat.

That's when I found my calling.

T- bone, loin, sirloin,

prime rib, rib eye,

flank steak, short rib, New York,

chuck, just to mention a few.

And all variety doesn't discriminate,

it will be meeting you wherever you are:

in the country or on the street,

in a restaurant or in your backyard,

an asada taco
has always been for everyone.


I really like working with meat.

I was born in this business,
my father was a butcher all his life.

And I started doing this
when I was 13 years old.

Nere works with love, with passion,
with respect for the animal,

and she carries this tradition,

because she started doing this
with her dad when she was 13.

Seeing this is beautiful,

even if it means sacrificing an animal,

after seeing Nere, I value more
each asada taco I eat.

I was the only one of my siblings

who liked this job.

I do it because I like it.

I didn't even go to school, because
I devoted myself to butchery.

She only slaughters

old cows.

These cows, as she learned
from her ancestors,

from her dad, and as her dad was taught,

these cows have worked
for the community,

and once their cycle is fulfilled,
Nereida slaughters them.

I like killing old cows,

as long as they are fattened up.

They take an old cow
and decide it will be sold.

For that reason, they start
feeding it apart from the others,

grains and all of that, so that
cow develops very good meat.


Meat's here!

She yells at women, and I say,
"Don't yell!"

"Leave me, this is my business,
I know how to do it."


6.6 pounds of tip steak.

Not too fatty.

- How much?
- A hundred pesos.

In the case of the community of Mátape,

the price of all meat is the same,
because all of the meat is meat.

There are no cuts.

An animal was slaughtered
and it will feed a whole village.

- Thank you so much!
- Thank you.

- Bye.
- Bye.

We usually

try to export our meat
because we get more money from it

in the United States.

They love the flavor.

When they try them,
they taste the charcoal,

and that is different in their minds.

Asada tacos are
the most basic tacos in the USA.

If an American who knows
nothing about tacos

comes to a...

For many of us, Chicanos,

tortillas are essential.

Hand-made by hands that you know

that have made thousands
of tortillas during their lifetime.

It's about 50 to 55 pounds a day.

You get about 700, 800 tortillas,
large and small.

They travel to get the flour,
and every day

they strive to offer fresh-made tortillas

and that is really valuable.

We won Los Angeles Tortilla Award.

This golden tortilla is corn,

but L.A.'s best tortilla
is made with wheat.

For five pounds we use

two teaspoons like this one.

and a small measure of salt.

Water needs to be hot.

We use 14.50 ounces of lard.

They are melted and added

to the flour, and then
everything is mixed together.

We knead it for about 10 to 15 minutes

and it gets soft like this.

We try to explain, man,
but they don't understand.

On the other side of the border,
rather than tacos, there are efforts.

They're not bad, but in all honesty,

asada tacos,

the real thing,

are south of the border.

He's Ángel, the one who makes
the asada tacos.

Asada tacos, from the very beginning,
are seasoned with garlic salt, cinnamon,

orange, salt,

meat tenderizer powder to soften the meat.

The meat is charcoal grilled,

then we add beans,

onion, cilantro, salsa and avocado.

Just look at this beauty.

This is Tijuana's
traditional asada taco. So good.

The taste of the meat...
it's done to perfection.

It's worth it.

And they're healthy, nutritious!

Right, they really are.

A good asada taco
begins with the tortillas.

Here, tortillas are hand-made.

Ms. Amanda is in charge
of making the tortillas.

Freshly made.

These are corn tortillas,
traditional in Tijuana.

- Do you have some salsa?
- I'll bring it to you.

- Yes?
- Yes, don't worry. Okay?

- I'd like two more...
- Asada? With everything?

- Nothing spicy.
- Okay.

I love waiting tables.

Being nice to people, helpful.

Especially interacting with people.

We want them to leave happy.

- They're guaranteed.
- Guaranteed?

If you don't like them,
you don't pay for them. That's our motto.

Okay. No, I did like them.

I get along with customers
very, very well.

"How are you?" "Fine."
"How's your family?" "They're fine."

"Great. Your wife?" "She's fine."

He always has two adobada tacos
with no avocado,

lots of salsa, a cup of beans,
that's what he is having.

Let me ask him.

- The usual? Two adobada?
- Two adobada.

- No avocado.
- No avocado.

- Three for him?
- Right.

- No tortilla.
- No tortilla.


Good tacos and good staff,

they won't let you down.

We see all kinds of things here.

But what happens in El Franc,
stays in El Franc.

Let's be honest, man.

Asada tacos begin on the streets, and
the best place are carretas (taco trucks).

For me, carretas as a customer,
as a glutton,

are the people's food.

Carretas are your number one option.

Carretas have

a grill,

a place to chop the meat,

and a chimney for the smoke.

You don't need to take your car

to go and find good tacos.

You just stop by a carreta

and there you'll get a nice cut of meat
with guacamole

and salsa.

We're here at Taco N Todo.

I've been working with Sonora-style
tacos for 20 years in different places,

but I've been here for almost 4 years.

The asada taco

that people prefer

is the rib taco.

We grill the ribs and everything.

We debone it,

we put the meat in a tortilla,

and we put the bone on the side.

We can accompany them
with peanut salsa.

It's spicy hot and very tasty.

My favorite place to eat asada tacos

is Hermosillo, Sonora.

We Mexicans go out and we say,
"Let's eat something." "Tacos!"

Every time.

Not a hamburger, not a pizza,
not a sandwich,

our choice is always tacos.

Yes, I'm here since 5 PM.

The tacos must be ready by 6:30 or 7 PM.

For my taste, the best carreta
in Hermosillo.

I don't know what this guy does,
but they are really special.

I'm just going to add a little cabbage.

And something... spicy.

A taco like this.

Tacos are not necessarily
always from the street.

You can make them as formal
or as informal as you want to.

So, at the end of the day, a taco is

an opportunity for everyone to stand out.

The best tacos are those
from Tacos Armando.

For me, that's the best taquería,

because Armando
has been grilling his whole life,

and that knowledge
is reflected in his tacos.

Armando started with a
carreta on the street.

I know what it's like to be
a street vendor, it's really hard.

Loading a car,

getting there, unloading everything,

the cold, the rain,

a municipality's new rules.

I managed to get ourselves in here,
it was a vacant lot.

And that's it.

This is our meat.

This is a rib eye...


We also have flank steak...

and top sirloin.

Every day we try to find

the best quality meat.

A lot of our meat is imported.

Sonora's best cattle

is exported.

It is very likely
that this is our own meat.

But cattle has been worked on over there.

Armando has strived
to improve his taquería,

to offer a better experience,
better products.

He is a point of reference

in constant quality.

I take the risk

of getting the best meat possible.

This rib eye,

this steak,

you would get it at the best restaurants.

Here, you will have it in a taco.

This tortilla is typical of this region.

"Fat tortillas," they're called.
They're made with lard.

This is an Armando's taco.

Our thing is charcoal

and beef.

No one had any experience.

We all have acquired it.

We're learning.

Oh, salsas!

100% delicious.

Endless options.

Hot and sour partners.

That's my kind!

I don't know if you've seen it,
at least on the north,

you see women cooking chicken or meat

and people gather around them.

People smell charcoal
and they go check it out.

I'm getting the charcoal ready

to start the fire to grill the meat.

This is charcoal from mesquite firewood.

It's made with dry mesquite.

It's more consistent, it lasts longer

and it's better to grill meat,

it makes grilled meat taste better.

The firewood, the charcoal,
when the fire is cracking

you know something good is coming.

Of course, Sundays are meant
for barbecues with your family,

friends, beers.

A barbecue is not only an excuse
to be reunited, it's school.

It is an opportunity
to spend time together...

I believe it creates bonds

between parents and their sons,

daughters, uncles,

anyone who is passionate about...

Who doesn't like to eat, and eat well?

We usually have these barbecues...

- On weekends.
- ...on weekends.

A barbecue is where you
share good news,

a barbecue is meant to cheer friends up,

a barbecue is the way you welcome
someone who is coming back,

in Sonora, a barbecue is everything.

It is a part of our culture,
it runs through our veins,

we were breastfed with it.

Where there's meat,
there will be a barbecue.

Where there's a barbecue, there's family.

And where there's a barbecue,
there will be asada tacos.

To barbecue or not to barbecue?
That is the question, man.

Will we gather around a grill?

There's room for everyone. Come closer.

There are enough chairs
and tacos for everyone.

Because a barbecue is

where family begins.

This is where you learned
how to make a fire out of charcoal,

how long to cook your meat.

This is where
your blood family gathers,

and also your chosen family.

Those who teach you
and walk by your side.

So, do we have a barbecue or not?

We know the answer.

Wherever there's a fire,

our country's hearts beat.

I'll be here waiting for you.