We assume that “alligator fruit” is available in all tacos sold. Most taco caterers are open to alternative ideas – just remember that diners love avocados.
No law anywhere says a taco should have some avocadoes in the ingredients. But as most taco caterers will tell you, it’s a crime if you don’t offer avocado slices (or guacamole) as an option at a taco-themed event.
The facts are that tacos and avocadoes go together quite neatly and naturally, and have for a very long time. And that’s for some very good reasons.
One reason those green slices (or green sauces) have long been associated with each other is geographical: Both tacos and avocadoes originated in Mexico. The avocado tree and its fruit (avocadoes are technically a fruit, related to the fig) were first found in south central Mexico, although since the days of the explorers the tree has been cultivated throughout the world where Mediterranean climates prevail. Tacos too originated in Mexico – and have found popularity the world over.
Look no further that the U.S., where per capita consumption of avocadoes has risen almost four-fold in just the last 15 years, from 2 pounds to 7 pounds between 2001 and 2006 (source: “USDA: Avocado Consumption Has Skyrocketed in the 21st Century,” Mother Jones November 2016). This was helped somewhat in trade agreements between the U.S. and Mexico. Also, California grows a large portion of what Americans eat. Taco catering throughout the country, beyond just California, has played a role in this growth as well, given the ease with which fiesta-themed events are executed with mobile taco cart catering (i.e., many more venues possible as taco carts and trucks are self-contained kitchens).
But flavor and texture play an equal role in making avocadoes popular. They are buttery, but without the worry about saturated fat. While other fibrous ingredients fill the taco wrap, the avocado smooths it out.
Anyone paying attention to nutrition recognizes how avocadoes are one of the “good fats,” higher in monounsaturated fat, B vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium. This melds well with the leaner meats, chopped vegetables and beans often used in tacos.
For the chef, the versatility of avocadoes make it an excellent ingredient. A simple Internet search of “taco avocado” turns up a great volume and variety of recipes, including some where avocado boats are stuffed with meats, vegetables and cheeses. It all goes well with the margarita bar, we hear.
So while it may seem as if all tacos should have avocado in them, the fact is Korean and several other variations on the popular food do not and probably should not. But never say never – tacos are a food for which great chefs like to experiment.