Twenty years ago, Martin Delgadillo found himself in his hometown, Mexico City, looking to learn English. He moved to Los Angeles – where he found himself "surrounded by Mexicans."
Delgadillo wanted to go someplace where almost no one spoke Spanish. So, New Hampshire it was. Once he was here, he met his wife, and together with his brother they opened a traditional Mexican taqueria. They called it Consuelo’s.
"Consuelo is my mother, so we name this restaurant after my mom. I’m one of 12 kids. So in order to cook for all this army of my brothers and sisters, we all have to learn to cook."
For this week’s Food Stuffs, we meet one of the owners of Consuelo’s Taqueria in Manchester - a meat-slinging, vegetarian chef with a painting of his mother on the wall.
"One brother was in charge of going to the supermarket and get the groceries. Another guy was in charge of cleaning the beans. Rice, beans and soup – that was the basic in our meal."
Real Mexican tacos aren’t drowning in cheese and beans. It’s mostly just meat – well-seasoned, cooked perfectly – on a small tortilla.
While he’s prepping some grilled beef, Delgadillo gets philosophical about tacos. He says you need to the good meat and the fresh tortilla. But that’s not what makes the meal.
"I think the entire idea of the taco, like what makes the difference, is the people that do that salsas. So wherever you go in Mexico you grow different things, and they can add it to your salsas. Geographically Mexico has the mountains, and they have the desert. They have the dry, they have the humidity.
"But," he adds, "you go to Mexico City – all the goodies from the entire country gets in there."
So for his tacos, Martin Delgadillo makes his version of Mexico City salsa – a combination of flavors from all over Mexico, just like his mother made.
But if wants one of the tacos he serves in his restaurant, he does it in his memory.
"I become a vegetarian like seven years ago. And it was one month, and then it was two months, and then it was three months. And then it was a year. And now it’s been seven years since I don’t eat meat."
Delgadillo says being a vegetarian doesn’t affect the tacos he cooks. He remembers how everything tasted back home.