The high rates of inflation that have occurred in Mexico for more than a year have been “eating” little by little the taco shops in the capital, where some are debating this Taco Day between increasing prices or facing the abyss of closing.
In the taco shops that abound in the streets surrounding the SCOP roundabout, one of the best-known in Mexico City, located in the Narvarte neighborhood, taco makers consulted by EFE on the occasion of Taco Day, which is celebrated this Friday, assured that the Inflation has affected the entire taco chain.
The increase in the prices of raw materials affects the stalls and the countless diners who every day, at any time, they take the most representative dish of Mexican gastronomy to their mouths.
“Yes, (inflation) has affected us a lot, starting with (the price) that the breeders of the animals give us, the price of meat has gone up a lot,” explained Vicente Gutiérrez, manager of a stall in the flea market on Tajín street.
Gutiérrez works the barbecue taco (steamed meat) and assured that now he pays 60% more for the raw material. “The mutton is the most expensive thing there is,” he said.
Like him, it has happened to other taqueros in the area who have been forced to raise their prices to 10 pesos (0.55 dollars), lose customers and, in some cases, register economic losses that risk their continuity.
“We no longer have the same clientele and obviously we reflect this in sales, which have dropped a lot,” lamented Federico Garnica, who runs the Los Primos taco shop and used to work a couple of places away, in El Joven, specializing in tacos. of basket.
In the first half of March, inflation in Mexico closed at 7.12%, but the problem comes from behind: last August, the country recorded its highest inflation rate of the century, at 8.7%.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), the annual variation rate of the price of corn tortillas stands at 14.3%, beans at 12.73% and meats such as beef or chicken at 4% and 4.9%, respectively.
The interviewees also resented the increase in the cost of vegetables, lemon or cheese, equally important for the taco.
“I have seen businesses fail”
This delicate situation, which affects a large part of the world economies, leaves the neighborhood taquerias and street stalls of Mexico hanging by a threadwho depend on their daily sales to survive.
“I have seen businesses fall, according to increases in both food products and income. The increase (in prices) is so great that the business can no longer be subsidized”, explained Garnica.
While Gutiérrez, without going to the extreme of closing, is one of those who has experienced it firsthand.
“(Inflation) causes losses and unemployment, we have put three people out of work. Currently we are five (employees) and we are family, ”he commented.
Tradition before inflation
Despite everything, at 2:00 p.m., an appointment in which millions of Mexicans take the opportunity to go out to eat and then return to work, Gutiérrez’s taco stand and all the surrounding ones are overflowing with customers.
The custom of having this traditional dish for lunch, for those interviewed, has more weight than the increase in prices.
“Yes, it has affected (inflation) a bit, because (prices) have risen a bit, but it is not so much that you stop consuming. Here it is consumed practically daily, ”said Víctor Hugo Martínez, while he brought some tacos to eat at his workplace.
Mónica Flores, sitting on the terrace of the Hayito Arab taco shop, denied that inflation has changed her consumption habits.
“After all, I’m Mexican and I like tacos.“, said.
The local barbecue, Alberto Morales, agreed: “In Mexico, people are very taco. If you are going to eat tacos, if you like them, then you pay for them”.
For others, tacos are as gastronomic as they are a social event.
“Most of us work and bring your food and be in the office eating sadly, alone, like you don’t know it. You need to have the vibe of the people, the noise. You meet a lot of people, sometimes you even find a partner in one of these tianguis”, Jaime Reyes said with a smile.
EFE International news agency based in Madrid and present in more than 110 countries.