Old California State Fair Tacos
By Andreas Ramos. Updated December, 2023
We went to the State Fair the last three hours of the
last day. All of the livestock looked ready to go home two days ago. The
carnies looked a lot tidier than I remember them. The technology exhibit
in the Expo Center was so bare as to be embarrassing. T he county exhibits
were way cool. Didn't see L.A. County but Riverside County was quite
elaborate. It was funny, some of the smaller counties, the "cow" counties
had fancier exhibits than did, say Marin County. Marin's was really
lame-o. Santa Cruz county looked as if they should have held a bake sale
to get a few more dollars for the display. But little counties such as
Placer and Glenn had really nice exhibits with moving parts and
There was tons of Fair food. Can't have a fair without it.
We had eaten but I had room for something. Then, I spotted it. State Fair
Tacos - the Original Since 1947. Yes!!! I thought they had gone with the
old State Fair. No, still alive and well.
And, the tacos were a
bargain - only $1.75 each. A coke cost that much at most stands. The taco
was quite good. It really hit the nostalgia spot.
And, all of you are
so lucky because I have the recipe!!! The Sacramento Bee published the
recipe a while back. The ladies selling the tacos knew the Bee had done
this. Someone came up to them when they were working the fair in Santa
Rosa and said they ha d clipped the recipe, too.
1 potato (about 4 inches long)
- 1/4 head lettuce
- 3 cloves garlic
- 6 green onions
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 small can green chilies
- Salt and pepper
- 12 - 14 white corn tortillas
- Vegetable oil
- Boil or microwave the potato until it’s
soft. Cool, remove the skin, mash so pieces are no bigger than 1/8 inch
each. Set aside.
- Very thinly slice, as thinly as possible, the
lettuce. Cut these thin strips into pieces about one inch long. Set aside.
- Crush the garlic, set aside.
- Slice green onions very thin. Use all
of the white part and about 3/4 inch of the green part. Break the rings
apart, place in a bowl. Brown the ground beef in a skillet. Break up the
beef so it cooks into teeny tiny pieces. When completely cooked, drain any
fat. Return to pan. Add the water, onion, chilies, garlic, salt and
pepper. Stir completely to mix and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add the lettuce and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the potato, stir and
cook until the lettuce is very soft - about another 15 minutes. Add more
water if necessary. The final consistency should be thick. Either steam
the tortillas or fry them lightly. To fry lightly, heat 1/4 inch of oil to
medium hot. Once hot, place tortilla in oil for 2 seconds. Flip using
tongs and cook 2 seconds on other side. Blot dry with paper towels and
keep warm until you've done all of the tortillas. Put tortilla on a plate.
- Spoon meat mixture onto tortilla and roll up. If you want, add some
taco sauce before rolling. Eat and en joy!
- Makes about 12 - 14
- The recipe said that the lettuce was the thing. I noticed
the lettuce and the potato. Instead of folding the taco, you're rolling
it. It's a different taco. It sure isn't Mexican but it's mighty tasty.
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