The Origin Of French Tacos, One Of France's Fast Food Favorites

When people think of tacos, they usually envision Mexican food. What they generally don't do is associate tacos with French cuisine, but there actually is such a thing as French tacos, and they've already taken one country by storm. Despite their name, French tacos are not actually like the central American dish we all know and love. In fact, according to the New Yorker, they have more in common with paninis, kebabs, and burritos than traditional tacos.

Unlike its Mexican namesake, French tacos typically feature Halal meat and French fries, per MasterClass. This fast food is also topped with various types of cheese, including shredded cheese, melted cheese, a cheese sauce made from crème fraîchee, a cream with a high fat content and sour taste (via Healthy Food), and Gruyère cheese, a Swiss cheese with a rich flavor (via Le Gruyère AOP). With all of this indulgent deliciousness, it's easy to understand why this dish is growing in popularity. However, the origins of this beloved dish are challenging to pinpoint.

Origins of the French taco

The origins of the French taco are shrouded in mystery, as there are several different stories about its beginnings. However, most people agree that the taco originated in Rhône-Alpes, France, between the late 1990s and early 2000s, making it a relatively new dish, per MasterClass.

The New Yorker reports that the creators of the French taco were likely the owners of a snack, which are independent restaurants in France that specialize in takeout cuisine. This is where the dish's history gets a bit muddy, however, as any snack owner could have created the French taco; we simply don't know who did it. Even though we will likely never know the innovator of this delicious guilty pleasure, many assume that the creators of the French taco were of North African heritage. This is because the dish resembles a North African dish called mukhala'a, which is a pancake filled with tomato-based sauce.

How to Make a Good French Taco

There are several things you can do to ensure that your French taco tastes amazing. First and foremost, don't fear trying something different! As mentioned, the dish is typically made with Halal meat, but when making something as comforting and indulgent as this, don't be afraid to try a different protein. Some proteins you could consider include chicken, sausage, and even chicken nuggets (per the New Yorker). In fact, just as you can add any meat to a conventional taco, such as beef, chicken, and even lobster, you can use any meat in French tacos, so try incorporating your favorite protein into the dish.

MasterClass reports that an important step in making a great French taco is selecting the right tortilla. French tacos require large tortillas, as they are typically stuffed with a lot of food. In addition, authentic French tacos are made with flour tortillas. So, when making this dish, it's best to buy large flour tortillas to secure the fillings and emphasize the dish's characteristic texture.