Being on social media, you meet all types of people. One of the more interesting characters I have met is a gentleman named Rob Gokee. He is a funny chap, with the same warped sense of humor that I have. But Gokee (as most of us who know him call him) stands out because of his love of tacos. He loves tacos so much, he wrote a book called Tacocity. He even has a podcast called Tacocity. He’s also an award-winning composer for television and movies. He’s a man of many talents. But let’s get back to his first love, tacos.
He agreed to answer a few questions about his love of tacos (his wife, Allison, might say obsession, but according to Gokee, she shares his love of tacos). Brace yourselves: a couple of the answers are just…gross. 🙂
1. Why a book about tacos?
I’ve been known for years on Twitter as the “taco composer,” and people kept asking me for a book, and I kept saying no. Then I thought, wait – why not? So Tacocity the book was born, which has since turned into a weekly podcast that’s coming up on the end of it’s second year.
2. How did this taco obsession begin?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, so Mexican food has always been a staple of my diet. Because of social media, especially Instagram, sharing taco photos all the time gave birth to it becoming my “thing,” and then I just ran with it.
3. Name your ideal taco, what it has to have before you will even consider eating it, besides the obvious meat and tortilla.
It depends on what kind of taco we’re talking about – they’re a lot like snowflakes. My favorite fish taco comes from Ricky’s Fish Tacos here in LA, and my favorite carne asada (beef) taco is from Mexicali Taco Co. But I’ve also had some amazing tacos in New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia – they’re everywhere if you know how to look.
4. Does your wife share your love of tacos, or does she think you’re totally nuts? LOL
She actually does, and she helps produce the podcast! I told her that it’s okay if she doesn’t want to eat them as often, but she’s just as obsessed as I am haha
5. You mention Hatch chilies, and I know you’ve been to New Mexico to try them. What did you think? (Teresa disclaimer: I spent most of my life bouncing back and forth between Texas and New Mexico. Hatch chilies, hands down, are simply the best!)
I LOVE Hatch chiles. I lived in Albuquerque for a few years while I went to the University of New Mexico, and I love everything about New Mexico Mexican food, which is very different than LA’s. I grab Hatch chiles every fall when they’re harvested, and freeze them to last for the rest of the year.
6. What is the hottest chile you have ever tried?
Ghost chiles are pretty hot, but I’m more about flavor than heat. I’m not a fan of a sauce being hot just for the sake of bragging rights. (Teresa disclaimer: this is where my son would disagree. My late father started him young on salsa, hot sauce, verde, pico de gallo. My son now eats these things like they’re candy.)
7. Your book only covers the Los Angeles area. Are there plans to write one covering the U.S.? (I have a friend who would probably volunteer to go on the research trip for this one; he’s as obsessed with tacos as you are! LOL)
The Tacocity podcast covers the world – I’ve done interviews with London and Australian taquerias as well as places all over the U.S. The new version of the book I’m hoping to get done by the end of the year will cover everywhere.
8. What is the difference between carnitas and a regular taco?
Carnitas are shredded pork and go inside the taco, so it’s basically the same thing! You can also eat carnitas with a fork and without a tortilla, but they’re much better inside a taco:)
9. You mentioned breakfast tacos. Did you know that was even a thing before you tried one? (Some places in Texas call them taquitos. I used to make these for my son and his friends before school when they were in high school).
I’ve been familiar with breakfast tacos for years, and I’ve both eaten and interviewed Texas taquerias that serve them. I love them – it’s my favorite way to eat eggs:) In Los Angeles, we have a place called Homestate that serves them.
10. What is the most unusual taco you’ve ever tried?
Sesos – which are brains. I wasn’t a big fan, the consistency was like scrambled eggs, but with very little flavor. The one thing I draw the line at is ant larvae – it’s a taco delicacy in Mexico City, but there’s no way I’m putting baby ants in my mouth.
11. I guess your saying could be “I’ve never met a taco I didn’t like.” BUT, have you ever tried a taco and said “Never again!”
Does Taco Bell count? (yes, yes it does!)