06/15/2015 10:16 am ET Updated Jun 15, 2016

10 Unusual Tacos Redefining the Genre (PHOTOS)

Wesley Hitt

Chef Paul Qui doesn’t think a taco needs to be bounded by a tortilla. While brainstorming for the Austin Food & Wine Festival in April, Qui and his team discovered that Japanese buckwheat soba can taste “even more like Mexico” than corn. The result? A soba fritter “taco” topped with aged beef tongue, crema, onions, avocado and coriander blossoms.

Qui is on to something: Foods from halfway around the world sometimes taste pretty similar. Mimi Sheraton recently proclaimed that West African food is going to be the next Big Thing, precisely because it reminds us of familiar dishes from New Orleans.

So let’s talk about tacos. I like to think that every culture has one. Here are 10 tacos that transcend fusion to be their own delicious category.

-- By Megan Giller

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