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Butterflied Suckling Pig and Golden Mustard Salsa: Head to Cudahy to Try Some Of L.A.’s Rarest Tacos From Nayarit

1:35 PM PST on March 9, 2021

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]s you make your way through the food stands serving regional specialties from Jalisco to Sonora on the abandoned dusty railroad tracks in Cudahy, you’ll arrive at Los Sabrosos al Horno, where you will be greeted by a pair of young suckling pigs echados (lying down). They will both be peering out at you from under the veil of a checkered kitchen towel, and they will be butterflied from head to toe, resting on a steam table. The crunchy pork skin has been broken up and gathered around the heads, while behind the ears, a spread of tortillas rest steaming on a bed of freshly chopped pork bliss as if they were taking a dip in a hot desert mineral spring.  

“Cuantos?” asks the taquero as he puts the chopping knife down and picks up a pair of tortillas, and starts assembling the first taco on a plate. He grabs a handful of meat, tops it with minced cabbage, drowns it in two mustard-based salsas, and adds a bronzed, jaggedly crispy piece of pork skin before handing it over. This is the one-of-a-kind taco from the town of Acaponeta Nayarit that’s being served by the railroad track on Patata Street off Atlantic Boulevard in the city of Cudahy.

According to Eater, which first reported on the tacos in January: “The suckling pig tacos, featuring whole roasted young pigs, are a rare delight even in Mexico, only found as a common dish in states like Aguascalientes, the tri-state Yucatán, and in the town of Acaponeta, Nayarit, a municipality just south of the Sinaloa border.” Lechón is common to other parts of the world also colonized by Spain, like the Philippines, from where lechón is claimed to have originated.

David Delfín roasts the pig for four hours while only lightly salting it. After resting it on the steam table waiting to be served, the result is soft and juicy pork meat. It’s lean and clean compared to fat and greasy carnitas. The meat breaks apart with each bite as quickly as the tortilla, allowing that golden mustard salsa to permeate your taste buds with a flavor that can only be described as unexpected but welcomed. The crispy pork skin is the only thing on the plate providing a much-needed crunch for your bite. 

The mustard in the sauce is not the primary ingredient in either of the two salsas Delfín makes. The spicy version is diluted with Roma tomatoes and chile serranos with slices of julienned onion slices. The milder version uses tomatillos. The mustard overpowers the salsa in color and the first impressions when you first taste it, then it disappears into the balanced flavors of chile and garlic. 

After all, a taco is only as good as its salsa. 

Los Sabrosos al Horno pops-up on weekends from 1 pm until sell out at 4901 Patata St. Cudahy, CA

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