If you ever wonder what type of tortilla to use when cooking Mexican food, you are not alone. There are a few options in the market. In Canada, traditionally, flour products are more common, so flour tortillas are easier to find than corn tortillas. However, authentic Mexican food that incorporates tortillas is mainly prepared using corn.
Let’s go straight to the point with the debate. What’s better, corn or flour tortillas?
For us, the answer is simple. It’s corn tortillas. How do we know that? When we say that we follow traditional methods to make our tortillas, we are not making that up. We actually follow the basics to make Casa Bonita Corn Tortillas.
Now, let’s go deeper into why corn is better. Below we dig a little into the origins of the tortillas and their importance in Mexican cuisine.
What are the origins of the corn tortilla?
Corn has been a fundamental ingredient in Mexican cuisine since ancestral times. There are references to corn in texts from Mesoamerican civilizations like the Mayans and other major civilizations like the Aztecs, who depended on corn cultivation. Corn was the basis for the diet of many Prehispanic societies.
There are many theories about where in Mexico the tortilla would be originated. The are records that indicate the tortilla itself could have been started to be produced around 500 B.C. in the Oaxaca region. Today corn tortillas are considered an essential item in the food basket of Mexican families. The price of the tortilla is a relevant key metric for the country’s economy.
How is the tortilla made?
Traditionally, corn tortillas are made by hand; back in the day, the form was more irregular. Today the regular tortilla is well rounded. It starts by getting the ground corn wet to obtain “Nixtamal,” which is the base for creating tortillas.
Even though the traditional method is still easy to follow, the process has changed and been modernized over time. In the early 20th Century, semi-automated processes were introduced to manufacture tortillas. It was not until the 1940s that it got to a level where the production it’s industrialized.
Flour tortillas are also not new, as there are records that wheat was introduced to Mexico by the Spaniards and used to create tortillas. Not as popular as corn, but eventually, they started to be produced in Mexico with modern methods around the 1970s.
Are there different types of corn tortillas?
The difference between corn tortillas mainly comes down to the type of corn used. Mexico has a wide variety of corn. There are more than 60 types of corn in the country. Arguably you could have the same number of types of tortillas, but that’s not necessarily the case.
However, if we get more technical, tortillas cannot only be classified by their type of corn. With that said, tortillas could also be classified based on their colour, taste, consistency, ingredients (if other elements are added), and other factors. Depending on the area of Mexico, it is possible to find different examples of tortillas.
If we need to choose a method to classify tortillas, perhaps the colour of the corn will be the easiest option. Even though there are different colours, like red or black corn, the most common types of corn used in tortillas are yellow, white, and blue corn.
In Canada, Casa Bonita Foods produces tortillas made from these types of corn:
If you are looking for more information on how to incorporate tortillas on your diet, you can follow some of the delicious recipes we have available on our website.
Wondering how to heat up tortillas? It’s very easy, just follow the steps on our guide on how to properly heat up tortillas.