Tacos are a staple of Mexican cuisine and one of the most popular street food items in America. Everyone has an “ideal” taco. However, one key point of contention among taco connoisseurs all over the world comes down to texture.
Some prefer the satisfying crunch of the hardshell taco while others enjoy the texture of a warmed soft tortilla. Hardshell taco diehards may proclaim that their crunchy taco shells are the superior choice while softshell taco enjoyers prefer a lighter texture. And, the way their soft taco shells contour and hold their taco fillings in place.
You might think that the debate of hardshell vs. softshell tacos comes down to personal preference, but is there a superior taco? You may wonder about hardshell vs. softshell taco when it comes to calories or which ingredients make for the ideal taco shell choice.
What Does the Internet Think of the Hardshell vs. Softshell Taco Debate?
Over the past several years, the Ask Reddit subreddit has become a hub of public discourse, helping people all over the world settle debates both mundane and socially critical alike. A curious reddit user asked the , “Hard shell or soft shell?” While the debate did not reveal a clear winner, there were several interesting ideas for bridging the gap between hardshell vs. softshell tacos:
- User Yodan suggested combining the hardshell taco crunch with softshell reliability for ultimate taco-enjoying efficiency: “Soft shell over a hard shell” This way, the softshell helps keep all of the crunchy bits from the hardshell easily contained, minimizing the taco “fallout” that often litters the plate during an intense hardshell taco-enjoying session.
- User Vtfla took the marriage of hardshell and softshell taco to the next level with an interesting home cooking suggestion. For this idea, you can warm your softshell tortilla in a nonstick pan, with a little bit of shredded cheese. With the cheese all melty, wrap this soft tortilla around your hardshell taco and then fill it up as usual. The cheese acts like a glue to keep them together, and as this commenter notes, “more cheese is always good.” This sounds like an incredible method for avoiding the typical crunchy debris of the hardshell taco by leveraging the structural reliability of a softshell taco with the added bonus of more cheese.
- An anonymous user suggested an interesting method for eliminating hardshell taco debris in the most delicious way possible. With this idea, you can use a spare soft tortilla like a plate liner here to catch all of the toppings that fall out of your hardshell taco. Wrap it up and you’ve got a second, softshell taco! Using a softshell taco to clean up the crunchy remnants of a hardshell taco sounds like a perfect method of making sure you never miss a single bite.
What Does Your Preferred Taco Shell Say About You?
Beyond social media debates, some major news networks have also joined the hardshell vs. softshell taco debate in recent years. In 2019, Fox 5 organized a public opinion poll of 2,000 participants to not only determine whether the public prefers , but also which taco fillings were the most popular.
Here are the findings:
- For many people, the ideal taco is a simple combination of toppings that include chicken, lettuce, shredded cheese, and tomatoes — all in a soft corn shell.
- The most popular protein choice for tacos is chicken, followed by beef, fish, shrimp, pork, and the least popular option was plant-based protein or tofu.
- Hardshell taco fans seemed to enjoy spicy food more than softshell taco enjoyers while the softshell crowd reported being more health-conscious in their dietary choices.
- As for personality traits, hardshell taco eaters tend to be more extroverted and enthusiastic while most softshell taco eaters report feeling more introverted and calm.
The New York Post also joined the debate, revealing more interesting personality traits that align with hardshell taco eaters and softshell taco enthusiasts:
- Hardshell taco fans were more likely to prefer Batman, while softshell taco fans reported to be fans of Superman more often.
- The survey reported that hardshell taco eaters are more likely to be early risers than softshell taco eaters.
- Hardshell taco fans are more likely to be dog lovers while those who prefer softshell tacos tend to prefer cats as pets.
- Hardshell taco eaters reported that they enjoyed reading books and listening to audiobooks more frequently than softshell taco eaters, while the softshell camp reported enjoying movies and TV more frequently than the hardshell camp.
- Both hardshell and softshell taco fans alike reported that one of their favorite places to enjoy tacos is on the beach.
- Both hardshell and softshell taco fans tend to prefer drinking margaritas over beers with their tacos.
Beyond personal texture preferences, there are a few other criteria you should consider if you’re trying to decide which type of taco is best for you.
Are Hardshell vs. Softshell Taco Healthier?
Tacos provide a balanced and delicious meal that can be enjoyed almost anywhere, but today more people than ever are counting calories and trying to make more health-conscious dietary choices. If you want to enjoy your tacos as guilt-free as possible, are hardshell or softshell tacos healthier?
The key difference between hardshell and softshell taco tortillas beyond the obvious texture differences is their method of preparation. Hardshell tacos are fried corn tortillas shaped to holdtaco fillings, while softshell tacos are simply smaller tortillas similar to those used for burritos and enchiladas. You can make traditional softshell taco tortillas with corn flour or wheat flour.
When it comes to counting hardshell vs softshell taco calories, frying always contributes to calorie count, so the hardshell taco fan camp needs to know that their preferred crunchy taco comes with an extra dose of calories. If you’re trying to limit your calorie intake or want to make a healthier taco, softshell is the option.
Backyard Taco Specializes in Mexican Street-Style Soft Tacos
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to love tacos, and you should eat the tacos that taste the best to you. The team at Backyard Taco may seem a little biased when it comes to the hardshell vs. softshell taco debate because we only serve softshell tacos. And, we craft the best street-style tacos in Arizona, and street-style tacos are always served in soft tortillas.
Our customers can enjoy some of the best tacos they will ever eat in corn or flour tortillas. If you’re a diehard hardshell taco fan, then the team at Backyard Taco challenges you to visit one of our four Arizona locations to try our famous street-style softshell tacos. Sample the most highly praised street-style tacos in Arizona and decide for yourself!
Dr. Tyler loves tacos! He is one of the owners of Backyard Taco, and can sometimes be found moonlighting there at night or on the weekends.
Dr. Tyler Robison is an alum of Mesa’s Mountain View High School. He graduted from Brigham Young University before being accepted to the “Top Ten-nationally ranked” University of Louisville in Kentucky, where he earned his Doctorate in Dental Medicine and a Master’s Degree in Oral Biology. He graduated with honors in the top ten percent of his class. Dr. Robison continued at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco, where he received a second master’s degree in dental science and his orthodontic certification.
Dr. Tyler enjoys serving in his community. He is a provider for the Smile Back Foundation, which offers scholarships for free dental treatment to underprivileged East Valley students. He is also a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve and served during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008.
Dr. Tyler Robison’s favorite pastimes include spending time with his family on the lake, at the beach, or on the slopes. He is an avid and crazy snowboarder! He has three incredible sons and one sweet daughter: Caden, Jace, Crew, and Bliss.