Meal Assessment

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Dinneris an important part of the day for most people. It is usually a timewhenfamilieslook forward to reunitingand have a meal together, often after a long and tiresome day at workor school. The meal served during dinner is equally important as itdetermines how well a person will sleep, how they wake up as well astheirgeneral health.It is essential to consider what to have for dinner regardingquantity and nutritional value.

Doctorsand nutritionists advise that dinner should be thelightestmeal of the day. That is because thehumanbody performs less activity at night.Therefore,less energy isrequired.Less starch, slightly more protein and a lot of vitamins should beconsumed.Normally, we would havehadlasagna, pudding, vegetable and fruit salad andother healthyfoods with fewercalories for dinner but being on a Sunday eveningitwas Taco night.A Taco contains roughly 568 calories which arequite highalthough somemay varydepending on the ingredients used to makeit. So we treat usonce a week to delicious tacos from a local tacotruckacross the street.

Tacosare not nativeAmerican dish. Theyarea traditional Mexican dish whichhasbecome very popular in the United States of America since thetwentiethcentury. Inthe1930s, the Americans discovered the taco,and since then, there’sbeenthis crazyabout taco trucks. Americans love tacos. In his book, “How MexicanFood ConqueredAmerica,”Gustavo Arellano says that a taco is their loveof all things folded into a tortilla.A taco is made up of wheator a corn tortilla that is folded and rolled around a filling. Themixturediffersin its components. It could bedonewithseafood, chicken, beef, and vegetables. It isthen garnished withsalsa, onions, cilantro, lettuce, chili, avocado or tomatoes. A greattaco presents anexcellentblend of all theseingredients withdifferent textures and flavorsthat mergewiththetortilla. The taco I ate hadthe following components:

  • Tortilla

Aflat, round breadmadeout of finely ground wheat flour from Mexico. It hasa wrapping of other componentsor fillings. I chose a wheat tortilla because it is healthier as itcontains lots of fiber as compared to the corn tortilla. Thewheattortilla wasinventedby exiled Spanish Jews who did not consider corn as food. Thesetortillas can be handmade,but in commercial production such as large restaurants, there areautomatic machinesthatmake them from dough.

  • Salsa

Itis a sauce typical of Mexican cuisine that may even beusedas a dip. It is mainly tomato-based,but it contains additional components like chilies, onions, beans,corn and several spices. I like mine hot, with onions, pepper andfresh cilantro and garlic. Our local vendor does his “SalsaRojaverynicely.

  • Cilantro

Cilantroor Chinese Parsleyisalso referredto as coriander,and it can beusedas a filling for the tortilla or to garnishthesalsa. It is natural and givesthetaco a pleasant taste in addition to havinghealthbenefits,since it is an excellent cleansing agent.Those two reasons make me choose to have it in my taco.

  • Spit-grilled pork

Mostlyreferred to as alPastor, asit is of Mexican origin. Porkis an excellent source of protein andahealthier choiceas compared to beef which is red meat. My taco also contained a pieceor two of carnitas(braisedpork).

  • .Vegetables

Iam not a vegetarian,but little veggies would be important to complete my taco and toprovide raw vitamins. Some of the veggies were black bean and roastedvegetables.

Agood thing about tacos is thattheydon’t need any utensils. If you have a napkin,then you are readyto go. A taco can be made out of various ingredients and still begreat. It depends on an individual’s preference or also thegeographicalarea. Some people believe that making a taco must bein a certain way,but thetruthis thatthemore creative you getwith it,the better it will taste. I like the salsa because of its richcomponents,but it is also possible to substitute it withcheese.If I had it with cheese instead, it would be less organic andunsuitable for me as I am health conscious.

Overthe years, taco vendors on trucks have enjoyed good business and inthe process promoted the Mexican culture in America and hadbecome acceptable in the country. Dante, our local provider,has been in theneighborhoodfor about eight years and everyone still likestacos. My first experience with tacos was a little biteof it made in El Pelon Taqueria, Boston and I thought it was the bestthing in the world. However, even thosecan`tbeat Dante’s tacos. It is safe to say that tacos have become astaple food for Americans and will remain my Sunday dinner for a longtime.

Definitionof terms

  • Cuisine– a characteristic style of preparing food, usually associated with a place.

  • Garnish– to decorate or dress food with another substance or ingredient.

  • Healthy– Safe and good for the body.

  • Indigenous– belonging or native to a land or region.

  • Local– From a given location or region.

  • Nutritious– Containing certain nutrients.

  • Nutritional value– Pertaining or providing a certain level of nutrition.


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