Bold Flavor Recipes Home Self Care Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

Tao of Tacos, Love and Ancient Mystery

Tacos have been made in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and configurations depending on the place or time in history.  However, one thing is clear about tacos, they are a street food through and through.  Like many great ancient treasures, the genuine origins of filling nixtamalized corn tortillas into what we know as the taco are unknown. The term may have been born from the Nahuatl word tlahco” which means middle, center, or half.  Which is probably not correct since it seems to make sense.  Spanish monks wrote accounts of Aztecs commoners using tortillas in all sorts of fashions that could have easily resulted in a taco. Though the origin of this delicious treat is a mystery that may never be fully solved, the tacos we enjoy today have some surprising backgrounds that are able to be traced down. 

Tacos al pastor, an SH&W favorite, was created in recent history in the 1930s in Puebla, Mexico, but by Lebanese immigrants who were attempting to introduce the Lebanese classic shawarma to Mexico. Their creation was originally known as “tacos árabes.”  The origins of tacos al pastor mirrors much of the origin story of another SH&W favorite the Berlin doner kebab created by Turkish immigrants who re-settled in Germany. In both instances, Middle Eastern immigrants while adapting their cultures’ staple to the tastes and ingredients available in their new home, birthed in synergy of cultures, a majestically new creature, worthy of its own legacy is born. 

It wasn’t until the 1500s when Spanish colonizers first arrived in North America and started raising herds of cattle in Northern Mexico that carne asada was first conceived. The ranching tradition in Sonora is centuries old, and carne asada has over time become a quintessential Mexican staple. Today, almost ever taco shop will have a delicious carne asada topped with fresh salsa, cilantro, and onions on offer.

Despite its ancient roots, recipes for the taco did not appear for centuries. The California Mexican-Spanish Cookbook by Bertha Haffner Ginger from 1914, is possible the first published recipe for a “taco,” but being that it is deep fried and covered in chili sauce may not strike you as an actual taco but more of an enchilada. 

The hard-shell American taco was born by two American entrepreneurs.  A German immigrant William Gebhardt who moved to Texas and invented dried chili powder, and Glenn Bell, the inventor of the pre-made hard taco shell, and founder of Taco Bell.

Don’t sweat the small stuff when making tacos.  If the history of the taco tells us anything, it’s that if it’s a tortilla stuffed with goodness, it’s a taco.  Feel free to be inspired and to get creative.  Playing with the textures and flavors available to you will lend to fantastic discoveries.  At SH&W we have found surprising ingredients like shredded carrots, pineapple, or chopped cucumbers to be fantastic taco toppers, despite being unorthodox.

Bold Flavor Recipes Home Self Care Instant Pot Recipes Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

Why Brining Pork Is Better – Tender Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Submerging meats in a salty brine was often the way we preserved meat for later use through history.  Fresh meat was often a luxury reserved just for the most elite or rare occasion and most of the population would be eating meat in some state of salted preservation.  Variations of this simple preservation method birthed many of the meat delicacies we enjoy today and has played a large part in shaping the pork-based staples of our modern diets in many ways.  Beyond the delicious flavors created in the traditional method of preparing favorites like salami, prosciutto, ham, provide lays a hidden health benefit.  According to the Weston A. Price article linked below, salt brining or marinating pork using traditional methods may prevent blood coagulation within the body after consuming.  Unmarinated cooked pastured pork produced blood coagulation and clotting in blood examined using alive blood analysis.

“Consuming unmarinated cooked pastured pork produces blood coagulation and clotting in blood examined at five hours after eating; however, consuming marinated cooked pork does not produce any blood coagulation or clotting.”

Weston A. Price

Follow our SH&W’s Tender Baby Back Ribs recipe to get a delicious fall of the bone rib that seems it would have taken hours to create. Our simple preparation for baby back pork ribs uses the traditional method of brining to add not only flavor but also works to increase the bioavailability and digestibility of the nutrients contained in the protein and aromatics. 

Tender Baby Back Ribs Recipe:


2-3 lb. Rack Baby Back Ribs

1 Medium Onion (Quartered Skin On)

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 Cup Sea Salt

2 Tbsp. Onion Powder

2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1 Star Anise (Whole)

1/4 Cup East African Dry Rub (or your favorite dry rub)

1 Cup BBQ Sauce

Combine ribs, vinegar, salt, onion, onion powder, cinnamon, and star anise in a Instant Pot, pressure cooker, or large soup pot, and cover with water to create a brine.

If using a pressure cooker, cook ribs in brine on high pressure for 20 minutes, or if using a soup pot simmer covered for 1 hour, or when the tips of the rib bones start to poke out, and begin to expose themselves from the meat

Remove from the brine and set aside on a dry plate.

While the ribs are hot, liberally apply some Dry Rub being careful to cover all the meat and let sit for at least 20 minutes.  The heat and fat from the hot ribs will naturally bloom the spices in the rub and transfer their flavors into the meat.

 Move ribs onto a hot grill or on the top rack of your oven on broil setting. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until the outside layers of the ribs have a nice grill.

Starting with the inner (concave side) of the ribs, lather with BBQ Sauce and cook for 1-2 minute to let sauce thicken and glaze on the ribs. Watch the ribs closely after applying the sauce. The sauce should be thickened into a glaze by the heat but avoid burning or charring because it will become bitter if overcooked.

Flip the ribs and lather the top (convex side) of the ribs with BBQ Sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes to let sauce thicken and glaze on the top side of ribs.

Serve hot with Summer Potato Salad or Quinoa Tabouli.  Great for a summer cook out or a warming winter feast.

Check out the original article by clicking the link below:
Bold Flavor Recipes Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

Love and Rub Your BBQ – Eastern Dry Rub Blend Recipe

Are you looking to elevate your barbecue?  Ask around and you will find out that a really developed spice blend is all one needs to turn something from bland into a sumptuous dish fit for even the most finicky royalty.  A good dry rub is to many considered the secret to elevated barbecue.  There are many delicious pre-made dry rub blends on the market but beware of unhealthy additives and flavorings when purchasing already made products.  We encourage you to try to make it your own, by choosing combinations of aromatics that you and your guests particularly enjoy, or per the theme of the dish. Our East African Dry Rub Blend Recipe below lends from traditional blends the intense flavors of curry and berbere as a base, bringing a tried and true depth of exotic flavors developed over ancient times. 

Eastern Dry Rub Blend Recipe:

2 Parts Curry Powder

2 Parts Berbere Blend

1 Part Onion Powder

1 Part Smoked Paprika

1 Part Ground Coriander

1 Part Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 Part Dried Crushed Red Peppers

1 Part Coconut Sugar