You know what I hadn’t had in a long time? A freakin’ hard taco. When eating out or even at home, I usually go for the healthier and less-fried soft taco. Don’t get me wrong. I like soft tacos. Like a lot. But there’s something about the crunch of the hard shell with the meat and the tomatoes and the melty cheese that is just, sigh, the makings of a Taco Bell commercial. (Don’t even get me started on how the marketing geniuses over there have convinced all the young people that they need another fast-food meal added to their day.)
How do I know this? Because in preparation for Cinco de Mayo I got my hard-taco on. While that may sound dirty enough that you just spit your green tea out all over your computer monitor in shock, I’m here to tell you that hard tacos aren’t funny at all. They’re delicious. And we should all eat them more often. (Oh, hush, with the dirtiness.)
Because, dudettes, Ortega makes a whole-grain taco shell. How did I miss this?! Have I been living under a healthy taco rock, quietly nibbling on my soft tortillas? Apparently so. Ortega also has a 40-percent less-sodium taco seasoning mix and a Garden Vegetable Salsa that has an ingredient list that doesn’t make me want to write a letter to the FDA.
So, in typical FBG-review fashion, I tried all of the above. And the taste-test result? Cinco de Mayo worthy. My absolute favorite were the whole-grain taco shells, which have just 110 calories, six grams of fiber and just 160 milligrams of sodium for two of them—and have a really good flavor that is more hearty than your usual hard shell. The salsa I tried was also delicious. The medium flavor wasn’t spicy enough for my palate (I like beat-you-over-the-head-spice best, so I expect a “medium” heat to at least tickle the tongue), but with plenty of real veggie and tomato flavor, all was forgiven. And while I still preferred my own homemade mix of spices (cayenne, chili, cumin and red pepper flakes) to the less-sodium seasoning mix, with just 260 milligrams per serving, this really is a seasoning packet that can fit in a lower-sodium diet. (Um, which we should all have, by the way.)
So what are you waiting for? Eat that hard taco with gusto! (We just had to…) —Jenn