Why You Should Add Fruit To Your Vampiros Tacos

For those not totally versed in Mexican street food, tacos vampiros — literally "vampire tacos" — might sound intimidating; however, these somewhat niche snacks, which Taste notes come from Mexico's northwestern state of Sinaloa, have much more in common with a quesadilla or a tostada than they do with a blood-sucking monster. As San Diego Magazine explains, vampiros are made with lightly fried corn tortillas and are griddled fresh to order with a thick layer of cheese before adding the other ingredients. While some recipes, like this one from Gran Luchito Mexican, recommend serving the dish like a sort of open-face quesadilla, others, including MasterClass, recommend creating an actual cheese quesadilla with two tortillas and wrapping that around your protein and fillings.

No matter which method you use, the result is bound to be delicious and somewhat perplexingly named. There are multiple theories about the origin of the vampire name, with San Diego Magazine speculating that it was due to the heavy inclusion of garlic in the original seasoning recipe and Taste reporting rumors that it was named because of the folded tortillas on the grill resembling bat wings or because the dish would "suck away your hunger." Oddly, perhaps the thing the food and the monster have most in common is that the name, like the vampires of our favorite books and movies, is shrouded in considerable mystery.

Elevating with fruit

Just as there are multiple methods for structuring your vampiros, there are also nearly limitless possibilities of how to fill them. MasterClass suggests using al pastor, barbacoa, carne asada, carnitas, chorizo, chicken, vegetables, or beans as your protein, while San Diego Magazine recommends shrimp as an alternative.

Once you have your protein selected for your taco, it needs to be well seasoned, and most recipes recommend serving the dish with pico de gallo or fresh salsa along with onion and some fresh lime juice, though MasterClass recommends taking this hint of fruitiness to the next level. In its recipe, the site notes, "acidic fruit additions, like orange juice, lime juice, or pomegranate arils, add a bright flavor to contrast the richness of the meat and cheese" and suggests using a fruit juice marinade on meat or adding actual fruit as a garnish to the finished dish. Similarly, Cookstr's recipe for the dish recommends incorporating pomegranate and mango into the dish by creating fruity guacamole to be served as a topping to complement the heat of the seasonings.