Tuesday, February 27, 2007

1 Bad taco design

OK. This will be a series of examples of bad designs. Today, I am going to start with... tacos. Not the real mexican tacos (which are really good!) no, no... I am talking about the Tex-Mex or american version of tacos, in form of those terrible hard shells.

taco shellThis weekend we celebrated Sandra's birthday, and organized a picnic with some friends. Sandra bought a box of those shells to make "tostadas de pollo", we even bought real refried beans from Mexico and salsa Herdez. The taste of those shells alone was awful, they tasted like recycled cardboard! We had to cut them in half to make half tostadas... because it is impossible to use them as they are... those shells are really a very bad tex-mex invention.

I am totally disgusted with a TV commercial for "old el paso" (I knew, it had to be again by "my friends" from Saatchi & Saatchi). The voice off says something like: "for centuries, Mexicans have been trying to solve the problem of keeping tortillas standing" while on video, there's a guy hammering some nails to a table, and building devices to keep those horrible taco shells standing... Then a kid says: "Why don't you use a flat bottom" and the voice off says: "introducing Old el Paso stand 'n stuff tacos, with a flat bottom" or something like that.

Well, first of all... so called "taco shells" are not a mexican invention... they don't even exist in Mexico! Hard (toasted) tortillas are actually called "tostadas" not tacos, and they are flat! It's not the mexicans' fault that some Texan came out with the idea of making them like hard shells, so don't blame the mexicans for those horrible things. Like the Germans would say: Selberschuld! (That is your own fault!) So, it is false or misleading advertising for a product that is not even mexican at all. Shame on you Betty Crocker! By the way... in Mexico we use real meat, some may joke that it might be dog's meat, but... putting mince or salad, never, ever !!! Then again, when they say "Mexican Style" it is a false statment, and they shouldn't be using that as a slogan.

Anyway, of course those taco shells are terrible from a usability point of view. They are a bad design idea. On the other hand, the real tortillas or tostadas used in Mexico, have been around for centuries, and no one complains or is so stupid not to be able to put the filling on it. Many years ago there was a TV commercial in Mexico that said "There are millions of ways and styles to eat a taco, as there are millions of mexicans with their own "technique", but they all agree on Maseca" The images were refering to techiques like: "the pinky clamp", inclining your head to eat the taco sideways, and many other techniques. The most amazing I've seen, is to put 5 or 6 tortillas in spiral, to form like soup plate. It is said that this was the aztecs's technique.

We always remember a Mexican restaurant in Helsinki... they asked us if we wanted flour or corn tortillas for our "carne asada"! That was amazing! By the way, some friends told us that one of the owners of that restaurant is a member of Leningrad Cowboys, who are happy being misserable. Congrats for being culturally sensitive.

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home