Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tacos



Tacos is a big deal in Sweden. It's something many families enjoy on the weekend, as a special treat. It's a far cry from actually Mexican food though, but it's still good. Remember, we don't have any Mexicans in Sweden (well, hardly) so it's just not that genuine. And we, sadly, don't have any Mexican fast food. (Taco Bell, are you listening??) I remember ten years ago, when my US friend Rebecca visited me. We were at a festival, and there was a taco stand.. and the guys working there were typically tall, blond, blue-eyed Swedes. In sombreros. Rebecca just couldn't stop laughing about that one.

We eat tacos, or something along those lines (usually quesadillas) quite often. I recently got to be part of a focus group about tacos, and it was a lot of fun. We got two "taco dinner kits" sent home, and then we were supposed to cook them, the way we normally would, eat, and then fill in a form. And we got a tiny disposable camera to document the whole thing. I used my own camera too, so that you'd get a look of what it's normally like here - lots of little bowls with stuff, and then it's "build-your-own". Not in the picture, but a necessity: Taco Bell Mild Sauce. Yes, I take oodles of the stuff with me when I'm in the US.

37 comments:

LeperColony said...

Believe me, you don't want Taco Bell. They make what McDonald's serves look like food.

Kalyn said...

I don't think Taco Bell is the best example of fast food tacos, but I have to agree with you that their mild sauce is great. Another type of salsa that might be available internationally is Pace Picante sauce. It comes in mild, medium, and hot, and also in varieties like "lime and chile" and "cilantro". They're all very good. Even though I have tons of tomatoes in my garden, I don't really make salsa because I like the Pace brand just fine.

One thing that's common in the Western U.S. is taco "stands" similar to hot dog stands, where a street vendor sells tacos. We have a number of them in Salt Lake and they have fabulous tacos. That's something to try if you ever get out west.

Monica said...

No tacos even in Stockholm? Alright, that's it - I am opening a Tex/Mex restaurant when I get there! ;-)

Anne said...

Lepercolony and Kalyn - I'm sure you're right. Still, it tastes pretty good to me - probably because it was pretty much my first experience with at least *somewhat* genuine tex-mex. For example, I had never ever encountered cilantro before my year as an exchange student in California, back in '93. I stayed with a family that did very little home cooking, and both Taco Bell and Del Taco were regular haunts back then. Today, not so much - but I make a point of getting at least one Taco Bell visit every time I'm in the US. :)

Thanks for the tip about Pace Picante Kalyn! I haven't seen it in regular stores, but perhaps in our American import store. I'll have a look!

And I'll make sure to stop by a taco stand if I happen to find one! It's a great idea. :)

Anne said...

Monica - that would be a great idea, yeah :)

fenix said...

Leper,
Oh yes we do!
I loved the fact that you could stop anywhere on the road and get fast food that was *not* McD when we were in the US. Tastes OK to me, and the only taco-fast-food-similar kind of thing you can get here is Taco Bar. They suck.

Celia said...

Hi from Finland! Even though I'm not a big fan for transnational fast food companies, I have to admit that I miss Taco Bell gorditas! We don't have tex/mex fast food here either. I don't even know any good tex/mex restaurant here! Once you taste real thing you don't want eat fake guacamole or fajitas. (I didn't mean Taco Bell as a real thing.) :)

And if somebody finds Pace in Sweden I'll take a ferry and travel to get some. I can also recommend that stuff. Medium is just perfect for me.

Xtian said...

I'm right up there along with Anne, a Taco Bell-lover. And also very aware of Taco Bell as the "McDonalds" of Mexican of food...

Our investigative reporter checked out the possibilities for a Taco Bell on Swedish soil, but it seems like TB is not planning on any introduction in the forseeable future.

Pace!? I'm sure I have seen it somewhere, just can't remember where. I'll have to get back to you on that. I'm almost certain it's not at Gray's American Foodstore though. But I'll check and promise to return with an answer.

Our only outlet, Taco Bar (that sucks, as Fenix correctly stated)is sold to NSP, the owner of approx. 21 Burger Kings in Sweden. We'll probably see an expansion of Taco Bar all over Sweden soon. At least thats my guess. Good? Well maybe for the availability of TexMex-food, but they still suck.. so...

/Xtian, Editor in Chief, FastFoodLovers

(Going to the US in september. Can't wait to visit Taco Bell...and other better restaurants too.)

Anne said...

Fenix & Xtian - I even forgot about Taco Bar, they're that bad.. and they're way too expensive for that level of quality. *burr* - I shiver just thinking about it. :)

Celia - I promise to report if I find Pace!

Myy said...

A lot has happened here while I was on vaccation.
Lovely cat pictures! And that potato stuff I must try. :)

Pam said...

I LOVE mexican food of any description and especially tacos!!

Half the fun of eating them is all the mess, I always end up with salsa running up my arm!!

We don't have any Mexican fast food chains here in Switzerland either as far as I know. We only got our first BK in Basel at the end of last year!

Brazilian Linda said...

I love tacos! The only hing is that it¨s quite hard to find tortillas or tacos here so I make my own tortillas. Which is quite tiresome so we dont eat tacos very often.. or mexican food.. there is a mexican place here in my town but unfortunatly I haven¨t beeen there yet, But i¨m working on it! My hubby has promised me he¨ll take me.. :)

A nice taco place in sweden is definitly a good idea!

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Where I grew up in the eastern US, we typically ate our tacos the same way you do - build-your-own and not exactly authentic. The seasoning and shells were available in the supermarket. We topped ours with American cheese, iceberg Lettuce, chopped onion, chopped tomato and taco sauce.
We didn't have Taco Bell when I was growing up but I remember at least one Mexican restaurant in Scranton.

There are definitely a lot more Mexican options nowadays, especially where I live now. Mexican and Tex-Mex are pretty easy to reproduce at home here.

IndyFoodie said...

I know of someone who worked for Taco Bell Corporate. He would not eat it because they use Grade D meat. We use the letter system to rate quality of meat. Usually A is what you find at the market. D is pretty bad and goodness knows what they allow in it. ( but it still tastes good! )

Anonymous said...

Hah hah! That reminds me of a t-shirt I saw once in Los Angeles, it had the Taco Bell chihuahua dog in the front saying "yo quiero Taco Bell" ("I want Taco Bell" - used as an advertising slogan in the U.S. for a while). The back of the shirt, though, said: "because it tastes like dog food." All of this in Spanish, of course. I have to agree with the chihuahua.

Xtian said...

Just a short update for you pace-lovin' Taco-eaters out there: Gray's American Foodstore (Old Town Sthlm) didn't have it and she said that she had never seen it anywhere.(they carry salsas from the brand "Tostitos", which seems to be more "snack salsas" to me..)

Pace is owned by The Campbell Soup Company. The swedish Campbell Soup-retailer never heard of Pace... and couldn't help me..

Waiting for an answer from Pace in the US. I'll let you know asap.

Anne said...

Xtian - THANK you for taking the time!! :) You're such a thorough researcher!!

R. SUE DODEA said...

Hi Anne, congratulations on your marriage, and wishes for a lifetime of happiness complete with Pace salsa. Here in Metro Detroit we have lunch from Taco Bell every Saturday. My husband and I like tacos well enough, but our three pet birds (two cockatiels and a parakeet) adore them. They each have to have their own taco; one loves the cheese, one snacks away at the shell, the 'keet tosses the shredded lettuce in the air, nibbling and playing, a fiesta, a real event. We can't say the word "taco" aloud if they can hear us unless we plan to produce their favorite treat. Ole! R. Sue Dodea, St. Clair Shores, MI

Anne said...

Sue, that is just such a great story :) I can see your family having tacos, the birds happily joining in! My cats aren't half as excited about it. :)

Brichi said...

Hi, I am mexican and I am going to Sweden in November 2006. I was planning on visiting the Mexican Embassy and ask them for a good mexican place, but it looks like I will have to move there and open my own restaurant using my granmothers' recipes (Tacos too). Does Sweden even have tortillas?? (So I can make my own tacos). Hehehe, how sad.

Good Day. Brichi

Anne said...

Hi Brichi! Oh, *do* move here :) But until you do - oh yeah, there are tortillas in every single store. In fact, the buy-home taco market is huge, there's tons of stuff. Just no good mexican restaurants. :)

Brichi said...

Hi again. I live in the US but today (friday) I traveled to Mexico and tonight I will have tacos, hehehe. Now I wonder one thing. I will be having "real tortillas", so my question (might be ovbious by now)are there "real tortillas" or just fake ones (like the ones most stores in the US sell)?

Brichi

P.S.(And tomorrow I will see my grandma so I will eat mexican food!!!)

Anne said...

Brichi, I'm pretty sure that it's "fake tortillas" here :) Not very genuine - still fairly tasty though :)

Brichi said...

Hi again, I ate tacos twice yesterday and this morning I am having tacos for breakfast hehehe. I guess "fake tortillas" will do the job. Any place that you would recommend me to buy at or a special branch??

Thanks. Brichi

Anne said...

Brichi, tacos for breakfast is a bit hardcore even for me :) Most tortillas here seem to be the same - we are not particularly brand-loyal in that sense, and just buy whatever appeals to us most at the moment :)

Brichi said...

I see. Thanks. I know this is not the place to ask but, any good place you would recommend me that I can stay at? (I have checked out two Hostels already and they seem nice but i am still looking.)Well I am back in the US, so no more real Mexican Tacos until December, hehehe. ;P

Brichi

Anne said...

Brichi, sorry - I'm totally out of the hostels scene. I wouldn't even know where to begin :)

Brichi said...

Hey again, hehehe no problem, I will keep searching on the internet since I am just 30 days or 4 weeks from going there. But perhaps you can help me with something. How should i prepare to Stockholm?? I mean what type of clothes, or like that.

Anne said...

Brichi - in four weeks, it will be cold. Probably snow. Bring your warmest jacket, a hat, gloves and sturdy shoes! :)

Brichi said...

Thanks for the information. I will need it for sure. It is my first time in Sweden, and in a Nordic country, even to Europe. Will it be really cold? :P

Anne said...

Brichi, no, not "really cold", but it will probably be on the edge of freezing. Good luck!

Brichi said...

Thanks for the info. I will prepare myself. I heard about a place that has like stands of food or something like that. let me see if I can find the name. "kungshallarna" have you heard of it??

Anne said...

Brichi - right, Kungshallen! It's right at Hötorget, which is one of the large outdoors markets. Kungshallen is a pretty regular food court though - there aren't many food courts here in Sweden, but it won't seem very exotic to you. My favorite place there is Texas Burger Co - great burgers.

Brichi said...

I see. My friend might take me there to see what I think of the place and the food because I am a real "mexican" hahaha. I just hope the food does not taste to chemicals and I see a lot of fake tortillas, hehe. I am just 12 days away from going there.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys! I am a student at the University of West Florida and I am doing a project in my International Business class. I have to chose a company and decide whether it is a good idea for that company to enter a particular market. I am doing mine on the possibility of Taco Bell entering Sweden. I have many Swedish friends and they all miss it alot! I wish I wasnt doing this at the last minute because it would be great to talk to you guys about it more. It actually confuses me because it seems like the market is perfect for Taco Bell, but they are not there yet. Pizza Hut is in Sweden, and they are both owned by Yum Foods, Inc. I think Sweden is perfect for Taco Bell, so if I ever come into alot of money I will work on opening a franchise in Sweden!

PS- I REALLY MISS KEBAB PIZZA!

Mike
mhm5@students.uwf.edu

Brichi said...

Hola!! I am back home!! I am sad I because my girlfriend lives in Stockholm :( ...well I went to that place I had talked about before. I taste from Latino&Cajun and the other "Mexican" Place, the food is not bad but of course is not real mexican, but at least they have a general idea. I am serious about opening a restauran there, and even bring my grandmas to make mexican food with me. Do you think is viable to open a mexican restaurant?? Smile :)

colin said...

heeeey hola,

well I'm mexican living in paris for the moment, I'm going to sweden on september, if you want I can tell you how to prepare or eat real tacos and well some salsas...

kiss, bye bye