Tacos, a simple meal I make a lot back home. Sometimes we have them over chips like nachos, sometimes I use lettuce for shells, and sometimes I change up the spices a bit and make them Moroccan style. I like my tacos and so does Howard. Since we’ve been staying in and working a lot the last couple weeks I thought I’d make us tacos for dinner one day.
They like their meat here and the ground beef was fresh easy to find. Onions, tomatoes, garlic and other vegetables are sold at almost all the markets and I got enough to make spaghetti sauce too. I thought I bought a small package of cilantro, but it turned out to be some sort of parsley with similar shaped leaves. I had a harder time finding the other ingredients though.
I was not too surprised that no place sold taco shells and I didn’t bother to ask anyone. I assumed the conversation would have been even more confusing that the one I had about bleach. (Liquid bleach is not a thing here apparently.) Howard managed to find some corn chips at Maxi, the larger market in our neighborhood.
I knew finding a Mexican cheese blend was out, but some type of cheddar would work as a substitute. There is a lot of cheese here, but it’s mostly mild soft cheeses. I almost got a hard goad cheese but it was $7 and I wasn’t sure how it would be on tacos. I went with a shredded mozzarella instead. Any left over I can put on the spaghetti.
At home I have a large container of Old El Paso taco seasoning. I usually add other spices too, but it’s a good base spice mix for tacos. I did find a packet of fajita seasoning at one store, but no taco seasoning. That’s fine, I can make my own spice mix. When we were first here I picked up a large bag of paprika at the farmers market, so I had that. There is also a little spice shop downtown where I got a jar of cayenne pepper and a dry Harissa spice mix. The last time I had a Harissa mix it was so spicy it would make my eyes water whenever I opened the jar. This mix, not so much. I kept adding more and more spices to the ground beef and it just wasn’t getting hot. Even the cayenne I bought was rather weak.
The tacos came out interesting. They were rather mild and didn’t really have that taco flavor. So much for that.
I never thought I would say this but I miss Walmart.
Instead of going to 5 different stores and markets, I could have got all the ingredients for tacos there, plus some other things we need. Howard’s shoes fell apart in Portugal and he’s stuck with just his boots. He’d like to get a cheap pair of slip on shoes for quick trips out and for hot days. He doesn’t want a fancy pair of sneakers or Italian leather loafers, which is all we have been finding so far. Walmart would have exactly what he wants.
I also miss having a selection of products. Lisbon was the worst. I wanted to dye my hair and the store literally had 3 boxes of dye. One happened to be dark brown so that’s what I got. I have a friend who had a similar issue while living in Portugal. She refers to it as the “The Dish Soap Fiasco of 2018”.
Heraklion was a little better, we had a choice of 3 different types of shampoo there! Belgrade is definitely the best. Next to Maxi is a good size health and beauty store and across from that is a pharmacy. Even if you put these three stores together, it’s still no Walmart though.
Maybe it’s a good thing there are no Walmart type stores here though. We do have to carry anything we buy back home, sometimes up many flights of stairs. We also have to consider any non-consumable purchase we make. Will it fit in our luggage? I guess we’re saving money too, not making impulse purchases of stupid stuff.
As far as the tacos go, I probably won’t try to make them again for a while. For just a little more than the cost of the ingredients we could go to Nachos anyways. Yes, there is a Tex-Mex restaurant here in Belgrade, and it’s really good too!