Believe it or not Al Pastor is a fusion food developed in central mexico. It was brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants in the 1920's. It's related to Shawarma, Turkis doner Kebab, and Greek gyro but al pastor is made from marinated pork not lamb based like shawarma, doner and gyros. Al pastor pork is marinated in a combination of dried chilies, spices and pinapple, it's not authentic unless it has pineapple. Al pastor "Trompo's" (vertical spits) are built with alternating cuts of marinated pork, the marinade is a complex conconction of chilies orange juice, pineapple, cumin, cloves, garlic and onion. Al pastor is one of those types of things that you go out for because cooking it is not for the faint of heart as the marinated porky goodness is frequently grilled over an open flame for up to 12 hours. Most taco shops start the trompo in the morning so it will be ready to serve for the evening dinner service. Serious Eats and Kenji Lopez-Alt has decoded al pastor for home cooks click through to their site here and you can see just what is involved with proper cooking of al pastor. Just like the quest for the ultimate baja fish taco continues, so will the search for Al Pastor. If I see al pastor on the menu I've go to try it.
Put your suggestions here as well I've got a jones for some hot al pastor tacos!
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