Easter reminds me of tacos. A bit random, but stick with me. I know we still have another week and a half before the holiday, and I certainly am not in a hurry for time to pass (in fact I could use a few more hours in each day), but I was reminded today about Easter tacos in Paris and I’ve been craving them ever since.
(tiny Parisian kitchens…)
Let’s back up just a bit. While in Paris, I made a group of spectacular friends. They were, without exception, the sorts of people you feel blessed to have in your life – smart, adventurous, sarcastic and crazy about food. They were also American expats, mostly west coast transplants. Not only could we spend time together bemoaning French peculiarities from a similar perspective, but we could also commiserate about roadside artichoke stands or the hole in our lives that used to be filled by quality, cheap Mexican food.
(lighting the grill)
That last point was the impetus for our Easter taco celebration. One particular girlfriend hosted an Easter taco party, without fail each spring. I am not sure if the idea had roots in her own family’s tradition, or if it was that Easter usually fell at a time where the stranglehold of the dark grey Paris winter was finally waning, and we all were starting to feel restless for the spring and summer to come. For whatever reason, that night represented the kickoff to spring. Despite inhabiting a relatively small flat (as we all did), hers opened up onto a patio of the same size, virtually doubling her living space once the weather was cooperative.
(veggie filling of pinto beans, corn, mushrooms and cheese)
Easter taco night meant lighting the grill for the first time in the new season and enjoying a long, lingering night of copious food, drink and friends – the first of many to come.
What brought on this burst of nostalgia, you ask? Turns out that we weren’t the only ones willing to go lengths to enjoy our tacos. Today my internets were abuzz with news of the grand opening of the first tortilleria in Paris, Mil Amores Tortilleria. Although tasty, affordable and authentic Mexican food has been a trend on the upswing in Paris for the past couple of years (completely delicious, by the way, if you could wrangle a seat in one of the tiny dining rooms available), this opening marks the shift of south-of-our-border cuisine from passing fad to established market, offering hot-off-the-griddle tortillas to Parisian restaurateurs and home chefs alike.
Seeing the enthusiastic chatter moving back and forth between my friends about this new development made me wistful. While I have yet to miss the city of Paris, I constantly think of those people who were so special to me that remain there. One status update caught my eye, from that same friend who started the Easter tradition amongst the group, posted with a link to the tortilleria announcement, “Easter tacos are right around the corner!”. It stopped me in my tracks. I miss my people and our taco tradition. I wish I could be there with them this year, welcoming spring, taste testing the new tortillas and standing around the grill. Looks like I have about ten days to figure out how to start my own Easter taco tradition here.