Tequila is more than the Mexican Jägermeister, and Monday night's media tasting event of Tequila Familia Camarena proved that. Six writers and/or bloggers from various local media outlets were invited to partake of the mixing and tasting of four tequila-based cocktails at Hotel ZaZa. The ebullient account manager quickly took us through the history of the Camarena family.
They co-founded the town of Arandas in the highland region of Jalisco 250 years ago and were among the first to plant blue agave plants in the region. They've been producing tequila since 1938. The family tends to more than 3 million blue agave plants, some grown as high at 7,700 feet above sea level, under the supervision of master distiller Miguel Cedeño Cruz. All the farming and harvesting is done by manually and involves no pesticides. In March 2010, the family launched its new line of 100 percent blue agave Silver and Reposado tequila in Nevada and California, the latter with a taco truck. In September, the smooth spirit made for mixing arrived in Texas. Great. The usual spiel out of the way, it was time for the main event. But wait? What? A taco truck?
Yep, the tequila's introduction in Los Angeles included a taco truck. It was there, in a city famed for its taco trucks, that the company commissioned the Camarena Taco Truck with Recess Eatery's chef Sevan Azarian in the mobile kitchen. The chef created tequila-infused tacos, like the Camarena Carne Asada tacos, which were given away during the truck's 120 stops.
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Sure, the drinks, like the Copa de Arandas (reposado, blanc and sweet vermouth, fresh lemon juice, Italian amaro, ginger ale and a mint garnish), we comically mixed under the direction of our host were deceptively light and drinkable. Each drink proved that the repeated imbibing of such cocktails could easily lead to dancing and celebratory ay ay ays. However, the success of the tequila producer's taco truck and the current improbability of such an endeavor here left me wanting, distraught. Hopefully, the success of Sunday's Arts District Block Party with the presence of several trucks, among them the Chi'Lantro's Korean-Mexican tacos, and the outcry for permanent gourmet food trucks and trailers will help the cause of mobile-food-vending fans.