Things That Matter

These 17 Underground Taco Recipes Will Get You Hooked (Because They’re Damn-licious)

Tacos have not just gone mainstream. They have also gone underground. While Mexico’s favorite light meal has taken the world by storm, chefs and foodies have gotten creative with new recipes and fusion flavors that many people still haven’t tried. Ready for a sample? Then check out our list of the 17 most interesting underground taco recipes out there!

Sushi Tacos

Source: Twitter@whtfrrri https://twitter.com/whtfrrri/status/1063700318834315265

It’s love at first bite when Japanese culinary artistry combines with fresh Mexican ingredients to create sushi tacos. From salmon and tuna to more adventurous fillings like tako (octopus), sushi tacos can rock all the traditional sushi styles and much much more, the only limit is your imagination.

Pork Belly Tacos

Source: Twitter@whatadewitt https://twitter.com/whatadewitt/status/1063958024556036097

One of the best creations to come out of the Korean-Mexican kitchen, pork belly tacos are deeply satisfying and full of flavor. Add some kimchi to the mix and you got a spicy hot take on the classic taco that even your abuela will rave about!

Fried Cheese Shell Tacos

Source: Twitter@_Baybdoll https://twitter.com/_Baybdoll/status/701565657914040321

Using fried cheese instead of a tortilla turns any kind of taco into a richer gooier mess of goodness that you will be instantly addicted to. Use harder cheeses like cheddar for best results: simply grate the cheese into a baking sheet and melt it into a tortilla shape in the oven before filling it up with all the fixings!

Duck Tacos with Red Mole

Source: Twitter@TweetsofTacos https://twitter.com/TweetsofTacos/status/719009250509524992

Just say this one out loud. Duck meat with savory red mole. Heaven on earth. Roast the duck just like you would do carnitas or lamb and then add a real Oaxacan style red mole to the mix for some out of the world bombness.

Cactus Tacos

Source: Twitter@MextradeUK https://twitter.com/MextradeUK/status/1061233138188345344

Ok, so nopalito tacos have been around for a while. But the trend towards vegetarian Mexican cuisine in the United States has taken this tender cactus flesh to new heights. Try adding non-traditional ingredients like feta cheese and olives to the mix for some blow your mind tacos that are entirely meat-free.

Skirt Steak Tacos

Source: Twitter@DansbarNewTrier https://twitter.com/DansBarNewTrier/status/1062739526051917824

Famous for its meatiness and flavor, even if it’s not the most tender cut on the beast, skirt steak makes an excellent taco filling that needs to be tried to be believed. Try grilling the steak up on a real charcoal bbq first and then adding it hot to the tortillas just before serving for the ultimate yum fest!

Lettuce Tacos

Source: Twitter@MyKitchenatics https://twitter.com/MyKitchenatics/status/1062767041936011264

Whether you are trying to cut down on carbs, up your fresh vegetable intake or just want a lighter, crisp touch to your tacos, lettuce shells could be for you. Because of its harder structure, iceberg lettuce works the best as a natural taco shell but you can also experiment with greener and more flavorful varieties.

 Tofu Tacos

Source: Twitter@spiderlily4 https://twitter.com/spiderlily4/status/1064679515081850881

Tofu tacos are here to stay. And the good news is that chefs are experimenting with this traditional Japanese meat alternative in many creative ways. Try frying the tofu to a crispy sheen to up the flavor profile on your veggie tacos!

Short Rib Tacos

Source: Twitter@foodofhistory https://twitter.com/foodofhistory/status/1063125301826330625

From Asian braised to Texas style, adding short ribs to the classic Mexican taco is a match made in heaven. Top off with fresh cilantro and some tomatillo salsa for a succulent take on everyone’s favorite finger food.

Fried Chicken Tacos

Source: Twitter@bigtrucktacos https://twitter.com/bigtrucktacos/status/1064922609270353920

It had to happen. And we are happy it did. Fried chicken tacos can be spiced up with everything from blue cheese to bbq sauce. Play around with this one at home and it will soon be a family favorite.

Salmon Tacos

Source: Twitter@eyalabc https://twitter.com/eyalabc/status/1064494631298191362

High in healthy omega 3 oils and smooth, tender and tasty, salmon is a natural addition to today’s tacos that quite simply takes them to the next level. Try cutting into small cubes and cooking on the grill and then adding avocado or guacamole for a creamy finish.

Rueben Tacos

Source: Twitter@taqueriaeljefe https://twitter.com/taqueriaeljefe/status/930508595501944832

We never thought we would be recommending putting 1000 island on a taco. What a sacrilege! But when you got corned beef, sauerkraut and melted cheese together it’s just natural. Try some Rueben tacos, we bet you will be hooked!

Soft Shell Crab Tacos

Source: Twitter@WWindup16 https://twitter.com/WWindup16/status/1063831848105771008

Nothing is quite as satisfying as the crunchy goodness of a fried soft shell crab and putting in a taco tortilla just doubles down on the fun factor. Now you can add all the fixings you want! We recommend sriracha mayo and tartar to get things started!

Falafel Tacos

Source: Twitter@the_hippea https://twitter.com/the_hippea/status/1062434335029047296

Veggie foodies rejoice, falafel tacos really are a thing! Combining the best of the Middle East with the fresh sabor of Mexico, falafel tacos will have you begging for seconds – so make sure to cook up a king-sized batch!

Breakfast Tacos

Source: Twitter@sufferingjuke https://twitter.com/sufferingjuke/status/1064911855611596800

While breakfast burritos have been a thing since the baby boomer generation, breakfast tacos are a trend we are just starting to see really take off on a massive level. And that’s a good thing. From huevos rancheros to just good old bacon and eggs, breakfast tacos can support all your favorite morning ingredients in a new, salsa drenched package!

Thanksgiving Tacos

Twitter@foodbeast https://twitter.com/foodbeast/status/1064997241901867009

Don’t think turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, veggies and gravy can all fit in a taco shell? Think again my friend, its been done and the results are out of this world. For those of us who like Thanksgiving every day, and all these ingredients are really indigenous foods of North America btw, the Thanksgiving taco crosses the border with a vengeance that you will feel in your tastebuds!

Avocado Keto Tacos

 Source: Twitter@kalynskitchen http://twitter.com/kalynskitchen/status/1041310743923240961

Simple, healthy and delicious, avocado keto tacos allow you to smother everybody’s favorite fruit/veggie with salsas, onions and other Mexican goodness in an easy to hold taco tortillas. Popular among the keto crowd for its low carb content, avocado tacos can be whipped with a quickness and will satisfy even the crankiest crowd! add shrimp, crab or any meat on the menu for a high protein low carbohydrate taco that can even help you lose weight!

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

Things That Matter

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

If you’ve ever wondered what someone with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would look like flossing — the dance, not the method of dental hygiene — apparently the answer to that question can be found on TikTok.

Unfortunately, it’s not as a part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video art installation. Instead, it’s part of a growing trend of drug cartels in Mexico using TikTok as a marketing tool. Nevermind the fact that Mexico broke grim records last year for the number of homicides and cartel violence, the cartels have found an audience on TikTok and that’s a serious cause for concern.

Mexican cartels are using TikTok to gain power and new recruits.

Just a couple of months ago, a TikTok video showing a legit high-speed chase between police and drug traffickers went viral. Although it looked like a scene from Netflix’s Narcos series, this was a very real chase in the drug cartel wars and it was viewed by more than a million people.

Typing #CartelTikTok in the social media search bar brings up thousands of videos, most of them from people promoting a “cartel culture” – videos with narcocorridos, and presumed members bragging about money, fancy cars and a luxury lifestyle.

Viewers no longer see bodies hanging from bridges, disembodied heads on display, or highly produced videos with messages to their enemies. At least not on TikTok. The platform is being used mainly to promote a lifestyle and to generate a picture of luxury and glamour, to show the ‘benefits’ of joining the criminal activities.

According to security officials, the promotion of these videos is to entice young men who might be interested in joining the cartel with images of endless cash, parties, military-grade weapons and exotic pets like tiger cubs.

Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies.

And using social media to promote themselves has long been an effective strategy. But with Mexico yet again shattering murder records, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

“It’s narco-marketing,” said Alejandra León Olvera, an anthropologist at Spain’s University of Murcia, in a statement to the New York Times. The cartels “use these kinds of platforms for publicity, but of course it’s hedonistic publicity.”

Mexico used to be ground zero for this kind of activity, where researchers created a new discipline out of studying these narco posts. Now, gangs in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and the United States are also involved.

A search of the #CartelTikTok community and its related accounts shows people are responding. Public comments from users such as “Y’all hiring?” “Yall let gringos join?” “I need an application,” or “can I be a mule? My kids need Christmas presents,” are on some of the videos.

One of the accounts related to this cartel community publicly answered: “Of course, hay trabajo para todos,” “I’ll send the application ASAP.” “How much is the pound in your city?” “Follow me on Instagram to talk.” The post, showing two men with $100 bills and alcohol, had more than a hundred comments.

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