TGI Fry-Day: Chicharrón Taquito de Canasta from La Chaparrita
If you find yourself at La Chaparrita in Little Village, chances are you're on a mission to eat as many offal tacos as humanly possible (the crispy tripa is worth the drive alone). But if your appetite allows, you should save a little room for a Chicharrón Taquito de Canasta ($1.00 each or $10.00 for a dozen). Literally "little basket tacos," they are made by dipping warmed tortillas in a heated blended salsa, adding a spoonful of filling, folding them in half, and allowing them to steam in a covered container (traditionally a basket) for a few hours until they are soft and texturally homogeneous. Since they can be made in advance and transported easily, they are predominantly sold by street vendors as a mid-morning snack.
La Chaparrita offers a number of fillings for their taquitos de canasta, but my eyes went straight for the Chicharrón. The fried pork skin is simmered in some of the same salsa the tortillas are dipped in, which amounts to a filling that tastes like the richest, most flavorful barbacoa ever. The taco was so rich, we were able to happily split one three ways—though the fact that we had just devoured over a dozen tacos may have had a little something to do with that.
2500 S Whipple Street Chicago, IL 60623 (map)