The Slight, But Significant, Difference Between A Tostada And Tostaguac

Not everything in cooking needs to be complicated. In fact, subtle nuances are often all that are needed to transform a dish into something else entirely. Take, for example, the tostada. It's basically a flattened taco, but this simple change in its exterior makes it into its own thing. Tostada simply means "toast" in English, which is how the deep fried or toasted corn shell derives its name. Tostadas are served open faced and loaded with toppings. The primary difference between a tostada and a taco is that, while tacos can be served in a hard corn shell, they are often served in a soft corn or flour tortilla that is folded up.

According to Merriam Webster, a tostada is "a tortilla fried in deep fat." While this is true, it is the culmination of toppings — usually meat, refried beans, cheese, sour cream, and vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes — that makes this such a popular menu item. But the addition of another topping — guacamole — gives the tostada a new flavor profile and a new name.

The difference between a tostada and a tostaguac

Once guacamole is added, the tostada transforms into a tostaguac. It may seem odd that this one topping is important enough to warrant its own name, but the guacamole is the whole point of the tostaguac. This healthy topping adds a delicate flavor to the standard tostada. The bright green color of fresh avocados is the easiest way to differentiate between the two.

Although it's true that a tostaguac may just be a tostada topped with guacamole, it has become much more than that. In fact, many Mexican restaurants serve these as a separate menu item altogether. Like the tostada, this is a portable, yet sometimes messy, item that can be prepared with the traditional toppings, melted cheese, or a fried egg. Not only are tostaguacs healthy, but they're also a personal dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They're simple to make at home and require minimal ingredients. You can also substitute the tostada shell with toasted wheat or multigrain bread for a quick and easy breakfast.