Written by Kon-Tiki Taco
Jewish food traditions call for kosher-prepared ingredients and meals. But the popularity of kosher foods and tacos means this combo is popular with non-Jews as well.
It shouldn’t be surprising that kosher taco catering is all the rage. It’s a confluence of several factors that all add up to joyous, tasty events, perhaps even irrespective of your faith traditions.
But exactly why are some taco cart caterers featuring chicken tacos with vegan cheeses, or tilapia tacos that make for a memorable bar or bat mitzvah?
In Southern California, it probably can find its roots in Mexican Judaism, established with the 16th century diaspora that established Sephardic Jewish communities in Mexico that grew considerably with the arrival of Ashkenazim in the latter 19th century. There are many Jewish households in California, originating from all points to the globe, who keep kosher, for religious and cultural reasons, while making traditional Central American recipes for meat, chicken and fish in corn or flour tortillas.
But the market is broadening globally for kosher foods for several reasons. Non-Jews appreciate the quality of kosher or Pareve (neutral) denoted foods, particularly vegetarians who do not want meat or dairy as part of their diets. Muslims too are adding to demand for kosher foods – from an abundant supply of kosher meat suppliers in the American Midwest – because they are unable to find halal foods (which, it bears noting, meet similar processing and handling standards).
This then creates sufficient ingredient supplies and preparation expertise for mobile taco cart caterers and others to provide kosher taco events as needed. For the Jewish community, consider the possibilities:
Hanukkah – There is no replacement for Latkes, of course, and tradition calls for serving it with brisket. But why not pair it with Jamaican chicken tacos?
Passover – With a little irreverence, you might replace meatloaf a la Berkata with a slowly-simmered carnitas taco. It’s about the beef.
Purim – Who doesn’t enjoy the wine or rum of this holiday? A vegetarian taco, served with white wine, can rival broccoli dishes while a similar permutation on the carnitas taco might substitute for brisket of beef in wine.
A creative host can identify similar substitutions for Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat and Savuot. But the mother of all celebrations, the Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, are where mobile taco caterers find their kosher home. This is a party, a fiesta on steroids, and young and old alike don’t want a sit-down meal to slow them down. So strategically placed taco stations – the carts can be parked just about anywhere – enables all the games and dancing the party planner wishes. And if the event is kept kosher, the right caterer can do it.