Acquired Tastes: Tacopaj is the culinary love child of Sweden and Mexico

As I read the ingredients to my Norwegian mother-in-law, Inger, I sensed apprehension. I prefaced the call with a brief synopsis of the story I was working on, about tacopaj, a popular Scandinavian dish that’s like tacos crossbred with quiche. It’s all the rage in Sweden and Norway, I informed her. Ground beef, taco seasoning, pie crust, one egg, mayonnaise, crème fraiche. Shredded cheese. Jarred salsa. Tortilla chips. There was a pause.

“Please don’t send me the recipe,” Inger deadpanned. “I don’t need that in my life.”

But perhaps you do. In Magnus Nilsson’s comprehensive, meticulously researched, 768-page ode to Scandinavian cuisine, The Nordic Cookbook, the decorated Swedish chef describes tacopaj as “an institution” in Sweden, a national dish that marries Swedes’ love for minced meats with their love for pie. But how did Mexican spices make their way north and east, and settle into …

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