Chefs often focus on using perfectly honed techniques and fresh ingredients to capture the potential of a classic dish. Other times, they strive to bring something unique to the table by letting their imaginations run wild. Through merging culinary traditions, cooking professionals may discover the next sensation to take the world of food by storm, whether that means an innovation in Asian fusion or a novel approach to breakfast treats.
As any Austin culinary arts student likely recalls, the cronut was a mashup of a croissant and doughnut that debuted in 2013 at Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City. This breakfast phenomenon won huge acclaim, inspiring countless imitators and spurring many pastry chefs to to craft their own hybrid concepts, such as the cragel and crogel (each a combination of a bagel and croissant). Now, a delicious new combination of beloved comfort foods looks poised for explosive popularity: the tacro.
The next hybrid sensation?
“A tacro is a combination of a taco and a croissant.”
As the name implies, a tacro is a combination of a taco and a croissant. The flaky pastry shell comes packed with pickled onions, microgreens, cabbage, radishes and mango salsa. Other options include pulled pork and pineapple, chicken and avocado and a vegetarian barbecue tacro featuring jackfruit as a meat substitute.
The unlikely mixture of a staple of Mexican cuisine and the quintessential European pastry was born at San Francisco’s Vive Le Tarte. Owned by Arnaud Goethals and Julie Vandermeersch, the bakery began as a pop-up before gradually expanding to a brick-and-mortar location that became popular for croissants stuffed with seasonal fruits like blood orange or lemon meringue, as well as smashed avocado toast and sandwiches. When the bakery added another location at the Ferry Building in January 2018, the staff took the opportunity to show off their most hype-worthy creation yet.
As Tasting Table reported, creative director Jimmy Houghton spearheaded the tacro’s development through months of experimentation. Traditional croissant dough proved overly sweet, so the baking staff had to find a recipe that would let the taco-inspired toppings shine through. Once they figured out the basics, there was room to create versions featuring a wide array of tastes, with even more seasonal variations on their way.
Try making your own tacro
At this point, you may be wondering how you can try your hand at preparing a tacro. Unfortunately, the chefs at Vive Le Tarte aren’t revealing their secrets. Real Simple suggested that the genuine article probably requires custom molds and other specialized techniques, but they nonetheless took a stab at crafting a stripped-down version of this eye-catching breakfast item.
This recipe relies on puff pastry, which you’ll roll out into a 14-inch square and cut into four rounds. Place the rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and use a fork to poke small holes in them. Set another layer of parchment paper on top of the pastry, and then weigh it down with an additional baking sheet.
Move the sheets to an oven that’s heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, checking for the pastry to become lightly golden. Fold the rounds in half with tongs to form them into taco shell-like shapes and bake another five minutes.
When the shells are golden brown, allow to cool. Then, start adding your preferred taco-style toppings. Pulled pork, chicken or beans will make a great start, especially when paired with guacamole, sour cream, queso fresco, cilantro, salsa or hot sauce.
The tacro is one tasty and visually appealing dish that’s ready for its moment in the spotlight. Whether you want to recreate this item or have an idea for another hybrid that’s sure to be a hit, culinary academy training will make it possible.