French tacos and me, a dripping duel

For a long time, I observed it without really understanding it, this strange French tacos. He made eyes at me when I crossed his path, dripping with his whole being in the hands of another, on the counter of an anonymous snack bar. Its Mexican sound and its excessive size intrigued me; the promise of a decadent feast beckoned me. Many times I almost dived; strangely, I had never yielded to him before. Not out of disgust or snobbery: more out of lack of opportunity. The world is such an ocean of sandwiches to survey, I said to myself, why turn to the fattest of all, the most indigestible, the saltiest?

Because there is no fast-food specialty with more calories than “French tacos” – which insiders call “French tacos”. Count about 600 grams and 1,000 calories per sandwich, or half of the recommended daily intake.

Take two Turkish wheat pancakes, arrange a circle of your favorite sauce (mayonnaise, harissa, ketchup, curry… at your discretion) and add your choice of cooked meats – up to five different ones, including: ground beef, nuggets or marinated chicken fillets, merguez sausage, cordon bleu. Then, you have to add a good portion of fries, some raw vegetables (if you feel like it), without forgetting the essential “cheese sauce” (a creamy mixture made from grated Emmental cheese and fresh cream). Everything must be assembled so as to form a homogeneous and compact block, before being cooked for a few minutes between two hotplates.

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On leaving the grill, you get this hybrid snack, halfway between the cooking method of the panini, the folding of the burrito and the ultra-comforting effect of the kebab. In all likelihood, the use of the term “tacos” is a false flag operation, as the recipe bears no resemblance to that of the tacos Mexican.

Thousands of points of sale

Unless you have lived the last fifteen years of your life locked up in a junk food shelter, far from the turpitudes of the world and the sirens of fast food, you must have heard of French tacos.

In the space of a decade, it has invaded the culinary landscape with the same velocity as hamburgers or kebabs in their time. Take the test, launch a search by keywords on Google Maps: from the suburbs of large metropolises to small regional towns, the map darkens to reveal thousands of points of sale. The number of occurrences is such that it rivals that of traditional fast-food brands. At the end of 2021, O’Tacos, the most famous franchise provider of this sandwich, claimed the paternity of at least 300 restaurants in France and Benelux.

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