Hard Taco Shells: Yea or Nay?


Raise your hand if you grew up with fond memories of taco night.

At my house, we'd have it about once every other month. My mom would lay out a half dozen dishes of toppings, then I'd spoon the pasty, salty, seasoned beef mush into a u-shaped crisp tortilla shell and pile on the onions, tomato, beans, lettuce, grated cheese, sour cream, and taco sauce (for me it had to be in that order). I'd pick up the oversized stuffed shell, consider for a moment whether it's better to rotate the taco or rotate my whole head so that I could both bite into it and simultaneously prevent any of the filling from spilling out of the top, finally decide that I'd do both and let my head meet the taco halfway, and snap down.

That's when the shell would crack in half and the carefully layered contents would fall onto the plate, or more likely, my lap.

A few years back, like watching a favorite childhood movie and noticing how terrible it really is, I finally realized that hard taco shells are a sham.

I just don't get them. You have three options: Destroy your sanity by taking tiny careful nibbles to preserve the integrity of the shell; Destroy the tacos by giving up, dropping them on the plate, and using your fingertips to scoop up bits of beef, bean, and shell in haphazard amorphous blobs; or destroy your wardrobe by carefully balancing the tacos sideways hoping that you can contain the fillings as you eat until crimson-red beef grease inevitably drips out the side and onto your brand new Kangaroos

They lack the tidiness, the foldability of soft tortillas. You say you like the crunch? No problem: anything that can be made in hard taco form can be made better in nacho form.

It's the facade, the lie, the indication that what you're about to consume is a neat, tidy, package of food when in reality it's a ticking time bomb of seasoned beef waiting to explode into your hands.

So I ask you, Serious Eaters: Who's with me? Hard taco shells: Yea or nay?