Earlier this spring, our family hosted two lovely exchange students from France. Each night of the two-week visit, I prepared a special meal in hopes of convincing them Americans don't just eat fast food. One afternoon, I prepared an entire Thanksgiving meal, complete with marshmallow-covered sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Toward the end of their stay, the teenage girls wanted to prepare a special French meal for me. With a little help from the translating app on my phone, I managed to get the ingredient list and I was shopping for groceries. Halfway through the supermarket, I realized the recipe was far too complicated to prepare that late in the day. So, I abandoned the veal stew for that night and went to my go-to dinner — tacos. I always have ingredients on hand for a hearty taco-making meal. If not, I can find everything on one shelf at the store. While I usually fry my own corn tortillas, I am glad to have the option of purchasing store-bought shells in a pinch. This week, our panelists tried six brands of hard taco shells from local grocery stores. After initially tasting the shells right from the box, we heated them in the oven and got much better results.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent