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A taco is a traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling. A taco can be made with a variety of fillings, including beef, chicken, seafood, vegetables and cheese, allowing for great versatility and variety.

Left: Assorted tacos.

A taco is generally eaten without utensils and is often accompanied by garnishes such as salsa, cilantro, tomatoes, onions and lettuce. As an accompaniment to tacos, many taco stands will also serve whole or sliced red radishes, lime slices, salt, pickled or grilled chillies (hot peppers), and occasionally cucumber slices.

The Online Etymological Dictionary defines taco as a "tortilla filled with spiced meat" and describes its etymology as derived from Mexican Spanish, "light lunch," literally, "plug, wadding."

The taco predates the arrival of Europeans in Mexico. There is anthropological evidence that the indigenous people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate tacos filled with small fish.


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