This year, we teamed up with taco journalist Mando Rayo to cover one of the most important celebrations of Mexican culture: Día de los Muertos. He traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico, to participate in the festivities and capture the details for this feature.
With iconic dishes like tacos al pastor, carne asada and barbacoa, there’s no doubt meat plays a central role in Mexican cuisine. But today, more and more chefs are exploring ways to reimagine these classics without the meat—especially around L.A.
While at first glance this shift might feel like just another part of the modern vegetarian and vegan movement, it actually has its roots in pre-colonial Mexican history and culture.
Before the Spanish arrived in Mexico in the 1500s, corn and other plants made up the majority of the native communities’ diets. For many Mexican chefs, converting traditional tacos into plant-based dishes is a way to offer meat-free alternatives to their local communities in addition to reconnecting with their heritage.
Like Gregory Owens of Hijo de Su Madre, who’s reimagined his mother’s traditional Yucatecan dishes with a vegan twist.
Or Denise Vallejo of Alchemia Organica, a first-generation Xicana chef who centers her dishes around ancestral, indigenous plants and traditions.
And Alex Vargas of El Cocinero, who opened the first authentic vegan Mexican restaurant in the San Fernando Valley to bring affordable, plant-based favorites to his community.
Join us as we dig into their stories and explore the vegan taco scene around L.A. To hear their stories and explore the up-and-coming vegan taco scene, check out the premiere episode of our new season of the VICE and MUNCHIES’ hit series, Todos Los Tacos.
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