The tostada, I am convinced, is the red-headed step-child of Mexican food in the U.S. I say this with an apology to the red-headed step-children of the world and an apology to the tostada itself for being so unloved.
The only reason I can see for the unpopularity of the tostada is the very slightly difficulty in eating one all the way through without breaking it. The ability to do this, a conclusion I’ve come to after some very scientific research, is a uniquely Mexican talent, the result of cultural and culinary training. As far as the scientific research, it is only necessary to once watch the horror of a perfectly structurally sound and well loaded tostada smashed into pieces with a fork and eaten as a giant mishmash to understand tostada eating can be a bit of a challenge.
Don’t worry, with a few helpful hints and a handy visual guide, you too can achieve tostada eating success.
- Choose a thick tostada or tortilla. Thinner may be better when it comes to corn chips, but tostadas need heft for structure.
- Choose tostadas that are as flat as possible. If frying your own, hold them down with a heat-proof spatula while cooking to keep them flat.
- If the topping is juicy (such as a fantastic ceviche), drain slightly to prevent an overly soggy tostada.
- Don’t attack a tostada straight in. Follow a side to side eating pattern.
- Crush the center of a tostada, and crush your chances of finishing it in one piece.
For your visual guidance: