Taco cook-off spices up the competition
Jaime Franco prepares carne asada for this year's Taco Cook-off on Saturday at Stark Field in El Centro. (STEVEN ESPERANZA PHOTO / September 23, 2012)
“Our culture, the Mexican culture has different types of tacos and I think everyone has their own way and style they prefer,” Recreation Supervisor for the City of El Centro, Patricia Ureña said.
Originally started at Bucklin Park, the city of El Centro has been giving local agencies the chance to bring their best taco to the public in one location for the ultimate taco competition to discover who holds the title of best taco in El Centro, Ureña said. Reigning champion, Antojito Como En Casa took home first place for the third consecutive year, for its carne asada tacos.
Although competition was heated this year, Antojito owner Roberto Perez and wife Rina Perez say they haven’t changed much to their signature tacos.
“We always make them with love. We work hard and we really care about the competition and the tacos because we know that we’re competing with really good tacos,” Roberto Perez said.
“It’s judged on three different things: presentation, taste and texture,” said Sam Rice, a taco judge and Marketing Consultant for the Imperial Valley Press.
With participants stepping up the competition this year, judges had a difficult decision on their hands.
“There were a lot of different styles of tacos and each one was a bit different so it came down to some that were really flavorful and some that lacked flavor, so it was quite a decision,” Rice said.
However, regardless of the competition, Ureña says it’s all about keeping the Latino heritage alive.
“People want to remember their culture and their heritage and this is just a good way to see it, with good food and happy people that love to eat,” Ureña said.
Staff Writer Celeste Alvarez can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at firstname.lastname@example.org