Also known as Tacos de Trompo or Tacos de Adobada. This amazing and delicacy comes from Mexico, right? Yes, but that’s not the whole story. The method of cooking “al pastor” actually comes from Lebanon. It’s inspired by shawarma! Lebanese immigrants moved to Mexico in the early 1900s and they brought their famous technique of spit-roasted meat, primarily lamb, with them.
The English translation of al pastor is “in the style of the shepherd.” Mexican shepherds adapted the Lebanese style of spit-roasting lamb, using pork instead, and al pastor tacos became a beloved Mexican food.
Tacos al pastor are made from thin strips of pork that have been marinated in spices and chiles and then stacked onto a long spit called a trompo. In many — but not all — cases, a pineapple and onion are placed on top of the spit. As the meat cooks, the outside layer gets crispy from exposure to the heat. The taco-maker shaves off the outer layers straight into tortillas, and might top the pork with sliced pineapple, onion, cilantro and salsa. The vertical skewer is a key part of the equation, facilitating fat and juices to drip down onto the stack, “basting it as it crisps,”