We are not anywhere close to the border of Mexico. We are not California nor are we Texas, but New Englanders have an appreciation for the occasional night of tacos and margaritas nonetheless. We may not have the taquerias that California is famous for nor do we have the abuelas of Mexico stirring up pots of exquisite tastiness to fill our tortillas with. We don’t have our very own version of Mexican like Tex Mex either, but we do, if you know where to look, have some pretty good options when it comes to picking up ingredients for a Cinco de Mayo party at home.
Let’s start with the tortillas. I have started trying to make my own tortillas, but even better than my Northern girl homemade tortillas are the Mi Tierra tortillas. Mi Tierra tortillas are made in Springfield, MA but you can find them locally at Whole Foods, Formaggio Kitchen and Pemberton Farms. These are by far the best tortillas I have ever had. We like soft tortillas. If you want crispy you can get fancy and fry these up into crisp shells using tongs and some hot oil or just pick up a box of crisp shells from the grocery store.
Next comes the salsa. Nola’s Fresh Food’s salsa is a fresh salsa that you can find in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. They have two salsas. The Salsa Fresca has a bite to it which may be a bit sharp for some. What I like to do, as suggested by Debbie of A Little Bit About A Lot of Things, is to mix the Salsa Fresca with the sweeter Fire Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa. Nola’s Fresh Food is based out of Boston in Jamaica Plain. I was sent a sample of the salsa but have also purchased it for our regular taco night. As always, all opinions are my own.
When it comes to sour cream, I care mostly that there is just one ingredient in my sour cream. No additives. Hood sour cream is what you’ll usually find in our fridge, but there are a few others as well that will fit the bill. As with any food, it only takes a second and it is worth it: always read the ingredients.
I recently sampled and bought a guacamole that I really liked. I’m usually very picky about store bought guacamole because they have a sort of “processed” taste. The one from Chica de Gallo, based out of Jamaica Plain, is excellent.
For margaritas, I like to use fresh lime juice, a little simple syrup (or if you don’t have time for that just get some superfine sugar), and Hornitos tequila. You can get fancy with some local Infusion Diabolique. Their tequila is infused with Hawaiian pineapple, whole Persian limes, peppermint, and cardamom. You can drink it straight on the rocks or make a fab margarita with it instead.
If you reheat hard taco shells try this little technique so the shells down collapse into themselves as they heat up.