How This Messy TikTok Taco Trend Is Helping Businesses In Australia

With the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the presidential election, and everything else that contributed towards making 2020 so 2020, you would be forgiven for not realizing that the birria taco became a sensation on TikTok. As of writing, videos with #birriatacos have been seen 472.5 million times on the platform. The videos largely consist of people preparing the stew they later use to flavor the tortilla and then dunk the taco. As one video posted by Lisa Nguyen shows, the process usually results in stew dripping everywhere. 

However, in recent months, Australia has seen the food manifest itself in physical restaurants. "We were seeing heaps of social media posts about birria from people in the U.S., and when we couldn't find the tacos in Sydney, we decided to make them ourselves," Julia Nguyen, the owner of Chololo, told Good Food in August 2021. The piece explains the food's popularity by citing the heaps of cheese and mess made from eating the taco, both of which tend to find favor on the internet.

So, what are birria tacos?

Birria tacos serve as a more portable version of birria, with the stewed meat contained in the taco. Of course, most know what a taco is and want to discover what the birria bit is about. MasterClass writes that birria is a traditional goat or lamb stew from the Mexican state of Jalisco. In 2018, Eater wrote that the food spread into Los Angeles, where it took on the massively popular form that many are familiar with. This includes the introduction of the dipping and the more commonly used beef. 

"The dipping in the consomme — that's a pocho and gringo thing," Javier Plascencia, chef of Tijaunanan Erizo Baja Fish House and Market, told Eater. However, patrons have begun to ask for a pot of the consomme to serve as a dipping sauce, just as they have seen on Instagram and TikTok.

Still, the identity of birria has yet to settle. In response to a video posted by JacqueGotMeat, one heartfelt commenter cried, "Birria with crushed tomatoes and beef stock? No! You've never had good authentic birria and it shows. Us Mexicans don't approve, sorry." With universal approval or no, the birria taco has spread from a localized phenomenon in Los Angeles to Australia. The internet version seems set to become the established one.