Iconic Mexican Tacos: Calabacita Con Maíz

Iconic Mexican Tacos: Calabacita Con Maíz

Guisado de calabacita con maíz makes iconic Mexican tacos that are unbeatable for depth of flavor and texture.  No creams or cheesy additions are needed here. Paired with steaming, comal-roasted corn tortillas, this ancient combination makes beautiful tacos.

Map of Mesoamerica
Map of Mesoamerica, birthplace of heirloom tatuma squash and all squashes

Tatuma is the heirloom squash that’s been living on this planet for over 10,000 years.  Called calabacita, it’s a variety of the Cucurbita pepo species, native to Mexico and Mesoamerica. Absolutely delicious, it is full flavored, with some sweetness and no bitterness.  It has been generously nourishing us, as travel and communication took it from south to north.

Zucchini is a better known Cucurbita pepo variety, also descended from Mesoameria, but developed around the mid 1800s in Italy. It has a different flavor, with some bitterness. I don’t prefer it for this guisado, but it still makes a good dish, so it’s a good option if you can’t find the Mexican tatuma, calabacita.

This guisado, stew, combines tatuma with corn because it’s traditional and I can’t think of a combination that could be more natural.
Make tacos with this guisado, for sure.

Recipe for Iconic Mexican Tacos:  Calabacita Con Maíz

Zucchini (oblong) with its precursor, the heirloom Tatuma squash (round)

Ingredients (makes 16 tacos)
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil or canola or vegetable oil
1 cup sliced onion, yellow or white
2 tsp minced garlic
1 chile serrano, seeds and white membrane removed, and minced
2 lbs tatuma squash, calabacita (or zucchini if tatuma are not available), sliced 1/4″ thick and cut into quarter moons or half moons, depending on your size preference.
2 cups fresh corn kernels or 15 oz. canned corn
1 small tomato, thinly sliced
salt to taste
16 corn tortillas, heated

1. In a large skillet heat oil over low heat and sauté onions for about 15 minutes until they become translucent. Add the garlic and chile serrano and cook for another 2 minutes.
2. Add the squash, corn, tomato and salt.  Stir everything together, cover and cook on low heat for 15-20  minutes until the squash is cooked. It should hold its shape, be slightly soft, not mushy.  Correct the salt.

Serve hot, spooned onto folded steaming corn tortillas, topped with Green Serrano Salsa or Chile De Arbol Salsa.


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1 thought on “Iconic Mexican Tacos: Calabacita Con Maíz”

  • O My Gosh!! Finally a recipe I remember from my younger days. Grandma used to make it so good! I want to make this recipe, but with the real Tatuma squash. Here in Florida I cannot find them. Anyhow, would love to get a hold of seeds to see if I can grow some. Any ideas? Love you site and recipes.

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