Pile of al pastor tacos
What Does 'Al Pastor' Actually Mean?

Al pastor is a Mexican taco pork that, unlike the other classic proteins, is cooked on a vertical rotisserie topped with pineapple. Its origins start in the Ottoman Empire.

Al pastor is translated from Spanish as "shepherd's style," and it originated from Lebanese migrants who settled in Mexico after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

Whether it was gyro, doner kebab, or shawarma, many eastern Mediterranean cultures stacked lamb on a vertical spit. The Lebanese migrants brought this tradition to Mexico.

Eventually, the Lebanese migrants opened restaurants that paired the methods of preparing shawarma with the local pork and spices, and created the now-classic al pastor.