You may think you know the taco. You’ve met it in Chicago or even Beijing. But you do not know the taco until you are standing on the corner of a sun-flooded street at 7 AM, elbow to elbow with hungry Mexicans on their way to work, watching the taquero carve meat off the spit, spoon it into warm corn tortillas, fold said tortillas into small moons, and repeat the process, fluently, rapidly.
You do not know the taco until you dress it with delicate thin guacamole, cilantro, and perhaps a dabbling of red chili sauce, and it fills your mouth with the flavors of corn, meat, and spice. Until you use your fingers to pick up the little biteful of filling that fell out onto the Styrofoam plate. Then you know the taco.