American living in Norway explains the country's taco craze—and how theirs are different
It looks like we've got some catching up to do.
There are few dishes in this world so universally loved as tacos. And what’s not to like? There’s so much flavor packed into such a small hand held morsel. Hence why it’s close to impossible to eat less than seven in one sitting.
Americans, land of Taco Tuesdays, certainly holds a special place in its heart for Mexico’s most famous food staple. 76% of the country eats them every week, and over 4.5 billion tacos are eaten each year.
But as it turns out, Americans aren’t the only ones who are taco obsessed. Nor are they the only ones to make some alterations to the original recipe.In a now viral TikTok clip, Krysta Alexa, an American mom living in Norway, reveals the country’s passionate love affair with tacos, even dubbing them the nation’s "unofficial dish."
“You might think it would be the US, but after Mexico, Norway is the highest consumer of tacos in the entire world,” Krysta says in the video—a sentiment, while not confirmed, is shared by several online sources.
She continues “and they are often consumed on ‘Tacofredag,’ or ‘Taco Friday,’” which makes this comment left by a viewer so funny:
“I’m learning Norwegian on Duolingo and was wonder why it made Tacofredag seem so important 😂”
Krysta gives the caveat that if you were expecting authentic Mexican cuisine or even Tex Mex, “you’re in for a rude awakening.”
Here’s how the Norwegians do it: ground beef seasoned with generic taco spice mix, plus the essentials consisting of canned corn, sour cream, Norvegia cheese, salsa, guacamole and cucumbers, which are apparently quite the popular topping. Then wrap it all in a large tortilla and enjoy.
@krystaalexa Did you know, after Mexico, Norway 🇳🇴 is the second largest consumer of tacos IN THE WORLD?! 🤯 #norway #tacos #mexicanfood #livingabroad #tacofredag #lifeinnorway ♬ original sound - Krysta Alexa | Life in Norway
Is this sounding more like a burrito to you? You’re not alone. Several viewers chimed in to note how Norwegian tacos seem to give big burrito energy. Others couldn’t help but joke about how strikingly similar these tacos were to what they’ve eaten in the Midwest.
But several commenters who identified as Mexican or Mexican-American still approved of the recipe, even graciously giving bonus points for heating up the tortillas.
"As a Mexican, just enjoy and Cheers up," one person wrote.
Krysta also points out that in addition to the standard toppings and condiments list, she had also seen pineapples used (which isn't totally uncommon in traditional Mexican tacos) as well as ketchup, which she is “not a fan of.”
Still, though she at first viewed Norwegian tacos as “an abomination,” she concludes her video by admitting that now she finds herself craving them.
Tacos might be dinner time favorites around the globe now, and the culinary concept itself has probably been around for millennia, but the name “taco” isn’t as immemorial as one might think.
History professor, author and taco connoisseur Jeffrey M. Pilcher, writer “Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food,” explained that the word “taco” referred to charges made of small, round pieces of paper wrapped around gunpowder that miners would use to excavate silver in the 18th century.
Later in the 19th century, one of the first types of tacos ever described in any found archive were called tacos de minero, or “miner’s tacos,” suggesting that the food was named after these detonation tools. Similarly, taquitos resemble a stick of dynamite, further adding to this theory.
And while authentic Mexican tacos have their own characteristics, the general consensus seems to be to work with what ingredients are available, hence why Mexican-Americans began to incorporate yellow cheese, bell peppers and hamburger meat. And why Norwegians can celebrate Fridays with giant taco-burrito-hybrids. With tacos, the possibilities are endless. That’s what makes them a perfect food everywhere.