Pork Pastor – Qué?

Upon my travels in Mexico, I came across something called Pork Pastor. I had absolutely no idea what it was. All I saw was a tray of shredded meat and rice mixed together. I thought perhaps there was an interesting story behind the intriguing name, somehow in relation to a church pastor. Silly me. It actually just means “shepherd”.


I did a little digging and discovered that it was actually mistranslated. Perhaps this is more well known in the States because Mexican food is abundant down there, but as a Canadian (or perhaps just my sole ignorance), I had nothing but question marks popping up in my head. What was meant by Pork Pastor is actually something called Al Pastor, which is a type of meat stuffing for tacos aka “tacos al pastor” (amongst other dishes). It was inspired by spit-grilled rotisserie meats, like shawarma, gyros and doner kebabs, hence the thin slices of pork in the photo. This type of meat was influenced by Lebanese immigrants in Mexico. It’s normally prepared with spices, onions, tomatoes, various chile peppers and herbs, but the thing that makes Al Pastor unique to other types of taco fillings is the pineapple. The pineapple gives it a subtly sweet flavour and gives it very Caribbean-ish touch, if you ask me. Have you ever tried an al pastor taco? 🙂



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