My House NOLA has partnered with NolaVie to bring you the inside scoop on the burgeoning mobile food industry in New Orleans. Each week we will bring you an article featuring different industry faces — from food truck entrepreneurs to pop-up chefs; then, at the end of each week, we will share a recipe from the same entrepreneur.
This week, My House NOLA sat down with the Communist Swine Taco Social to learn a little bit about what they do in New Orleans. The Social explains itself as an innovative take on the street taco stand. Inspired by their California upbringing and the rich flavors of New Orleans, the Commy Swine create classic hand-made tacos, with a distinctly southern twists.
First of all, what’s up with their name? Although the Social recognizes their business mode has little relation to political communism, explained co-founder Willee, the allusion in the company’s name refers to their unique payment system in which customers pay as much as they would like so that, essentially, when one person pays more, someone else can pay less and everyone can eat. The “swine” is the pork meat in the “taco” and the “social” is the way that all the pieces interact including the farmers, the butchers, the chefs, and the consumers.
The Commy Swine began making tacos during the holidays of 2013 and made the decision to give them away in exchange for an “appropriate donation” — in the form of cash, trinket, or time — the open source group allows both cashless customers and curious souls to contribute by cooking, serving, or providing food. Although their business model is atypical, it has proven to be a lucrative one. In their first night serving in New Orleans, Swine’s tacos cost them $75 to produce, which they generated in sales within the first 25 minutes.
And the food? Co-founder Willee took a bicycle trip from Cancun, Mexico to Panama City, Panama to sharpen his taco repertoire; you can expect to see these Central American influences in Commy Swine’s tacos. Each homemade tortilla is rolled out in a laborious process, producing a deliciously fluffy bed for the fillings, which include pickled peppers made from co-founder David’ grandfather’s recipe, house cured meats, and locally sourced veggies. And despite what their pork-oriented name suggests, Communist Swine will always offer a vegetarian option in addition to their meat option.
The Commy Swine is a fearless alternative to traditional street tacos, so keep your eyes out for the big red letters, on a salvaged door, reading TACOS.
Don’t miss the Communist Swine Taco Social this Valentine’s Day for a three-course meal to be held at the Good Eggs Warehouse (1746 A Tchoupitoulas). You can purchase tickets here.
Check back on Thursday to learn how to make Communist Swine’s out-of-this-world tortillas.