Nikki Tries Two Dozen Tacos and Lives to Talk About It: Judging the Arizona Taco Festival

Taco --frybread.jpg
Anything goes at the taco festival
What ho! One of the first entrants chose to make Navajo tacos, putting spicy chicken on fry bread and getting all crazy with blue cheese, orange sections and an edible orange flower. It was out there, no question, but it was risky and fun and I really liked the oddball flavors together. My other favorite entry in the chicken category was completely traditional -- crispy shell, sprinkle of cotija cheese, shredded lettuce and a slice of avocado. Crunchy, simple, delicious. Yum!

One judge (a newbie) started making comments like, "I don't like this one" and "I love that one," and the veteran judges quickly shushed her because the idea here was not to come to consensus but rather to draw our own conclusions without anyone else's influence.

We learned very quickly to limit ourselves to one, two, maybe three bites tops per taco. After each category, we got up and roamed around the festival. Okay, that's not quite true. Most of us headed straight for the tequila tent, where there was shade, plus a mind-boggling selection of premium tequilas to be sampled in tiny thimble-size cups. It was hot, though, and I knew I couldn't really keep a taco-centric head if I sipped more than a few at a time, which was definitely not the case for most of the 20- and 30-somethings who were in that tent with me. I also question just how much they were evaluating what they tasted, but hey, I was saving my judgment for the tacos.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

WOW! I'm so HUNGRY right now! Will def have to check out Milagro and Palacio.

Now Trending

From the Vault