The Secret to Great Taco Seasoning

September 21st 2020 Comments
Taco Seasoning

There are probably few dishes on earth that can be so simple or so subtle as the humble taco. Made by the millions in trucks, restaurants, and home kitchens, these little packets of happiness wrapped in a tortilla can span the spectrum from a fast, simple meal for a hungry family to haute cuisine with ingredients that take hours or days to prepare. Whether your goal is artisanal and inventive or bringing a comfortable familiarity to the table, the taco can fit the bill. 

No matter what you add to dress a taco, the main ingredient waiting at the bottom is what everyone is eager to taste. Your protein, be it a slow-cooked barbacoa or a delicious vegetarian mixture, is where the magic really happens. Getting the flavor right means nailing the perfect seasoning mix to bring people back for more. 

Many taco seasoning mixes are based around the same short list of ingredients. Consumers, especially in the United States, have an expectation of what Mexican food in general “should” taste like based on this pretty simple formula. This expectation means you need to have a quality mixture of these staple ingredients in your seasoning. It also means you can bring distinctiveness to your dishes, products, and mixes by adding new ingredients to the mix that will give you that extra flavor that keeps bringing people back for more. 

Throwing a packet of taco seasoning mix to a pound of meat can be a quick answer to the age old question of what's for dinner. A final mix takes only a couple minutes to turn ground beef into a big batch of tasty taco meat, but perfecting the mix in the seasoning packets waiting in the kitchen cabinet can take a lot of work and experimentation.

Many consumers will never think twice about what is in the taco seasoning they buy—what matters is the flavor they have come to know and love. Silva can offer you the wide range of ingredients needed to craft a unique and memorable flavor your customers will reach for again and again. Building your distinctive heat or crafting memorable flavors that make your mix stand out is going to take work and inventiveness, and Silva is here to help. 

Basic Ingredients in Homemade Taco Seasoning

The basic flavor of taco seasoning comes from a deceptively simple list of vegetables and spices. Below is the base set of ingredients that brings out the flavor most people have come to expect in taco seasoning:

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Dried oregano
  • Ground cumin
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper

These essential ingredients form the backbone of a good taco seasoning recipe, but that is hardly the end of the story. The ingredients listed above will likely be found in many homemade taco seasoning recipes, which is all the more reason to venture out and add some fun and flavor to make your product attractive and compete against a quick DIY taco seasoning cobbled together from what is already in the kitchen cabinets. 

What Makes Taco Seasoning Spicy?

Chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, and black pepper are the most common sources of spicy heat in taco seasoning mix. From there, adding chipotle peppers and red jalapeños or green jalapeños can take your spice level as high as many American diners will comfortably go. Adding jalapeños or chipotle peppers don’t just add heat—they bring their own unique flavors many people know and love from Mexican cuisine.

Getting the amount of heat right, and backing it with a good mixture of flavor is going to be key to producing a range of taco seasoning mixes. Whether it is mild, medium, hot, or beyond, Silva gives you the options to pack your mix with the punch needed to match your labeling. Nothing can make or break the loyalty of a customer like surprising them with unexpected spiciness or offering a bland mix that doesn’t meet expectations. Silva’s range and quality of spices and peppers can help ensure you can consistently provide the spice level your packaging promises.

Beating out a homemade recipe is always a mixture of convenience, quality, and unbeatable flavor. It is easy enough for a handy home chef to mix some spices and toss them in a Mason jar, but to ensure they are reaching for your taco seasoning packets to transform an unassuming pound of ground beef into some Taco Tuesday dinner table magic, it is going to take a little work to craft a unique, high-quality recipe that delivers every time. 

How Long Does Taco Seasoning Last?

If properly prepared, many seasoning mixes can last for quite a while. Homemade taco seasoning can be preserved for several months in a well-sealed container and stored in a cool dry place. For commercial production, foil seasoning packets can keep your mix fresh and ready to use for up to two or three years. 

There is no substitute for freshness in any food, but if you are producing products made of quality dried ingredients, you can hope for a long and happy shelf life before your seasoning finally hits the table. 

What Vegetables are Good in Vegetarian Tacos?

When it comes to vegetarian taco recipes, the sauces, spices, and vegetables added need to be carefully chosen. Without the ability to rely on the fat and flavor of properly prepared pork or fish, the flavors you choose need to be more nuanced and balanced.

Black beans, lentils, and avocados often do the bulk of the work in grounding a good veggie taco, but there is an entire cast of characters that help build a delectable vegetarian taco. This can include cauliflower, zucchini, butternut squash, and more. Mushrooms are also a go-to item in many meat-free taco recipes, and for good reason. Carrots, beets, and cabbage (of which there are many varieties: white, red, and savoy) are also great ingredients to bring nutrition, flavor, and color to the final presentation. 

What Vegetables are in Taco Seasoning Mix

Customer sentiment can be captured by trendy ingredient names like smoked paprika or sea salt. These elements are popular for a reason, but making a distinct and desirable product that can capture the culinary imagination of your customers will go beyond a couple eye-catching ingredient names. 

A solid spice mix is the start of good pre-mixed taco seasoning, but going the extra mile to create truly mouth-watering mixtures means branching out into the world of dried vegetables. At Silva, we have a wide assortment of the highest quality ingredients available in a range of sizes that can meet any need you may have in constructing your next recipe. Whether your products are destined for commercial or consumer kitchens, our lineup of dried vegetables can provide the next-level flavor you need to stand out. 

Take peppers for example. From field run to chipotle to red jalapeño and more, Silva has you covered. In the ingredient list mentioned above, onion powder was included as a must-have, and for good reason. Onions provide an essential base flavor that helps bring many Mexican dishes together. You don't need to rely on onion powder alone, though, as Silva provides chopped and minced sizes as well depending on the final look and flavor you are building into your dishes. 

Quality ingredients take more than just picking the right producer. Every step of the way from the field to the finished product needs to be carefully considered. This is why Silva has built a global supply chain and a US-based production process that ensures quality, consistency, and safety in all our products. This unique promise means you can trust our ZerOx chemical free biosecurity and steam sterilization measures to prevent any unwanted pests from sneaking through. It also means we have the flexibility to meet your needs by offering custom sizes in our products.

Meeting the needs of careful consumers also means being able to proudly advertise your products as being GMO free and organic. Silva offers organic versions of several products to ensure you never have to compromise or cut corners in meeting the needs of label-aware customers. 

Some consumers may only think of the powder waiting in seasoning packets when you say taco seasoning, but Silva gives you the chance to dig deeper and bring freshness and variety to the mix, literally. Chopped tomatoes, white onions, green onions, and chipotle peppers can all be included in larger sizes to add visual appeal as well as texture to your seasonings. You can also include crowd-pleasing accents such as cilantro to help hone in on the complex, well-rounded flavor people crave. 

Whether your customers are making traditional Mexican barbacoa in maguey leaves or just slow-cooking some pork in a crockpot on the kitchen counter, the life of a dish comes from the mix of spices and vegetables that accompany it. 

Silva is dedicated to providing you the best possible ingredients to meet your customers’ needs. Whether that means custom cut sizes, organic options, herb and vegetable blends, we have what you need to create successful recipes, be it time-honored classics or trendy inventions to stand out from the competition. Talk to a member of our customer relationship team today to get started creating your next classic recipe.