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Jose Ole Taquitos

Price: 4.95 for 20
Rating: *** / *****

I was skeptical of buying Jose Ole taquitos. Not just because a guy named Jose Ole tried to sell me weed in high school, but because frozen Mexican food has burned me pretty bad in the past. Literally and figuratively. Frozen Mexican food has been ingrained in my mind as those 20 cent burritos that are either rock solid or so-hot-its-on-the-verge-of-exploding coming out of the microwave. Much of my childhood was spent figuring out how to spruce them up. Unfortunately, there's only so much you can do with a product so cheap. I also found it odd that I never found any beef in the beef varieties or chicken in the chicken ones. "How do the Mexicans live off of brown paste?" I used to think to myself as I walked off to school.


Sure, I had a hankering for some meat rolled in tortillas, but I could go to any local taco shop or Taco Bell and get that. Sometimes, though, you just don't feel like driving down to the taqueria and being the lone Asian guy being stared at as you butcher the Spanish language. Sometimes you don't even want to risk a bowel infection at Taco Bell. A box of taquitos in the freezer can be a humiliation-free and convenient thing.

Taquitos are also important to me for nostalgic reasons. When I was in high school, we would have this thing called "international week". This was a thinly veiled attempt for various clubs to raise money by serving up some unfathomably unauthentic ethnic food and sell it to the students at inflated prices. There was the Asian club and the Asian sports team(Key Club and Badminton respectively) serving chow mein and barbecued beef and everyone else selling tacos, virgin margaritas, and other Mexican treats. I don't drink margaritas for the flavor, so I generally skipped those.

And you know the saddest thing? Everyone looked forward to it.

"HOLY SHIT!!! They're selling egg rolls! And chow mein! And meat on sticks! This is fucking insaaaaaaaaaaane!!!"
"Please sit down kids, class hasn't even started yet!"

Even tepid taquitos served with Pace salsa and imitation guacamole was a gigantic step up from the crap(the soggy fried chicken was by far the best school lunch) we normally had to endure. So when it came, I embraced it. I still remember the price: 3 taquitos and a soda for $1.49. It was salvation for me. I went through high school stealing pigs-in-a-blankets in the morning and eating nachos drenched with cheese sauce for lunch. Don't judge me, you would've done the same thing if you were in my position. I'm the one who has to look at myself in the mirror.

I'm pretty sure these Jose Ole taquitos are the same ones that were sold during international week. They have the same coarse and mealy corn tortilla shell and thinly shredded beef center. There are directions to fry them, but having a twice-fried taquito just seems like overkill. I put them in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes and they came out crunchy on the outside and hot on the inside. I also like the fact that I can actually recognize meat tissue in the beef and not just a brown mystery paste. It's not spectacular fare, but it's pretty good in a pinch. I like to serve mine with guacamole(homemade when I'm not lazy...which is not often), salsa, and sour cream.

It's comforting in a weird way, but also a sad, sad reminder of those days stealing sausage from the high school cafeteria.

OH, THE BURNS!!! THE BURNS!!! HOT POCKETS, WHY MUST YOU HAUNT ME WITH YOUR BURNS!!!

Sorry, I was having flashbacks. :-(

The burning of the hot pockets is to distract you from the quality of the ingredients. That way, you don't notice that the philly cheese steak's meat resembles a kitchen sponge more than the meat of a cow.

"HOLY SHIT!!! They're selling egg rolls! And chow mein! And meat on sticks! This is fucking insaaaaaaaaaaane!!!"

GIGGLE.

Heehee. Excellent review.

And I think you no less of a man for pilfering pigs-and-a-blanket! High school is like surviving in the wilderness, you're surrounded by beasts just the same, it's just instead of hunting you're embezzling pork-product-wrapped-in-flour...

um, yeah. =)

My school had something like international week too. But we had stuff catered from restaurants so it was a littel different.

Does that box say "$25000 Coolest Mom"? That's...odd.

thatspookytallchick - there's no way anyone could survive on a single one of those tiny things. It really is Darwinism.

JustJoe - Catered from restaurants? I should travel back in time and slap my principle in the face for the crap we endured.

MoreJello - I didn't notice that, but I think it does! The promotion's probably over though, so I don't think I'll be winning that money. Also because I'm not a mom, but I guess that's secondary.

i eat them when i feel like i need something quick to eat...;)

I have a long, sad love affair with taquitos. I guess that is the Mexican side of me coming through.

Bonjorno, heretoeat.blogspot.com!
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