Tortilla

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Tortilla
Tortilla2.JPG
Alternative namesTorta, tortita
Type Flatbread
Place of origin Mesoamerica
Main ingredients Masa harina , Hominy

A tortilla ( /tɔːrˈtə/ , Spanish:  [toɾˈtiʎa] ) is a type of thin flatbread, typically made from corn or wheat. In Spanish, tortilla and tortita mean "small torta ", or "small cake". It was first made by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica before European contact. The Aztecs and other Nahuatl speakers call tortillas tlaxcalli ( [t͡ɬaʃˈkalli] ). [1]

Contents

Varieties

A Mexican indigenous woman prepares maize while making tortillas. Tulum and Coba, Yucatan, Mexico. Mexican woman maize toritillas.jpg
A Mexican indigenous woman prepares maize while making tortillas. Tulum and Coba, Yucatan, Mexico.

Corn tortilla

Tortillas made with maize (corn) are the oldest variety of tortilla, and remain popular in Mexico and Central America.

Wheat tortilla

Wheat was not grown in the Americas prior to the arrival of Europeans, but is a common source of flour for tortillas today.

Flour tortillas usually contain fat, salt, often leavening agents such as baking powder, and other ingredients, but otherwise the preparation and cooking of flour tortillas on a comal is identical to that of corn tortillas. Flour tortillas are commonly used in burritos , tacos , fajitas , and other Tex-Mex foods.

See also

Related Research Articles

Mexican cuisine Culinary traditions of Mexico

Mexican cuisine began about 9,000 years ago, when agricultural communities such as the Maya formed, domesticating maize, creating the standard process of maize nixtamalization, and establishing their foodways. Successive waves of other Mesoamerican groups brought with them their own cooking methods. These included the Olmec, Teotihuacanos, Toltec, Huastec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Otomi, Purépecha, Totonac, Mazatec, and Mazahua.

Taco Mexican dish consisting of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling, salsa and guacamole

A taco is a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a small hand-sized corn or wheat tortilla topped with a filling. The tortilla is then folded around the filling and eaten by hand. A taco can be made with a variety of fillings, including beef, pork, chicken, seafood, vegetables, and cheese, allowing great versatility and variety. They are often garnished with various condiments, such as salsa, guacamole, or sour cream, and vegetables, such as lettuce, onion, tomatoes, and chiles. Tacos are a common form of antojitos, or Mexican street food, which have spread around the world.

Enchilada corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a chili pepper sauce

An enchilada is a corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a savory sauce. Enchiladas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including various meats, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables or combinations. A variety of sauces can also be used to cover the enchiladas, including chile-based sauces, such as salsa roja, various moles, or cheese-based sauces such as chile con queso. Originating in Mexico, enchiladas are a popular dish on menus of Mexican restaurants throughout the world, and their popularity has grown alongside that of Mexican cuisine.

Corn tortilla Unleavened flatbread made from ground corn (maize)

In North America, a corn tortilla or just tortilla is a type of thin, unleavened flatbread, made from hominy. In Guatemala and Mexico, there are three colors of maize dough for making tortillas: white maize, yellow maize and blue maize.

Tostada (tortilla) flat or bowl-shaped tortilla that is deep fried or toasted

Tostada is a Spanish word meaning "toasted". In Mexico and other parts of Latin America, it is the name of various local dishes which are toasted or use a toasted ingredient as the main base of their preparation.

Cornmeal meal (coarse flour) ground from dried maize (corn)

Cornmeal is a meal ground from dried maize (corn). It is a common staple food, and is ground to fine, medium, and coarse consistencies, but not as fine as wheat flour. In Mexico, very finely ground cornmeal is referred to as corn flour. When fine cornmeal is made from maize that has been soaked in an alkaline solution, e.g., limewater, it is called masa flour, which is used for making arepas, tamales and tortillas. Boiled cornmeal is called polenta in Italy and is also a traditional dish and bread substitute in Romania.

Cornbread Bread made by cornmeal

Cornbread is any quick bread containing cornmeal, and a Native American cuisine. They are usually leavened by baking powder.

Quesadilla Mexican dish consisting of a tortilla filled with cheese and then grilled

A quesadilla is a Mexican dish, different from a taco, consisting of a tortilla that is filled primarily with cheese, and sometimes meats, beans, and spices, and then cooked on a griddle. Traditionally, a corn tortilla is used, but it can also be made with a flour tortilla, particularly in northern Mexico and the United States.

Latin American cuisine broad culinary traditions

Latin American cuisine is the typical foods, beverages, and cooking styles common to many of the countries and cultures in Latin America. Latin America is a highly diverse area of land whose nations have varying cuisines. Some items typical of Latin American cuisine include maize-based dishes arepas, pupusas, tacos, tamales, tortillas and various salsas and other condiments. These spices are generally what give the Latin American cuisines a distinct flavor; yet, each country of Latin America tends to use a different spice and those that share spices tend to use them at different quantities. Thus, this leads for a variety across the land. Sofrito, a culinary term that originally referred to a specific combination of sautéed or braised aromatics, exists in Latin American cuisine. It refers to a sauce of tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, garlic, onions and herbs.

Nixtamalization process of preparing corn to eat

Nixtamalization is a process for the preparation of maize (corn), or other grain, in which the corn is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually limewater, washed, and then hulled. This process is known to remove up to 97–100% of aflatoxins from mycotoxin-contaminated corn. The term can also refer to the removal via an alkali process of the pericarp from other grains such as sorghum.

Gordita Mexican pastry of masa stuffed with cheese, meat, or other fillings

A gordita in Mexican cuisine is a pastry made with masa and stuffed with cheese, meat, or other fillings. It is similar to a pasty and to the Colombian and Venezuelan arepa. Gordita means "chubby" in Spanish. There are two main variations of this dish, one which is typically fried in a deep wok-shaped comal, consumed mostly in central and southern Mexico, and another one baked on a regular comal. The most common and representative variation of this dish is the "gordita de chicharrón", filled with chicharron which is widely consumed throughout Mexico. Gorditas are often eaten as a lunch meal and accompanied by several types of sauce.

New Mexican cuisine cuisine originating from New Mexico

New Mexican cuisine is the cuisine of the Southwestern US state of New Mexico, the region is primarily known for its fusion of Pueblo Native American with Hispano Spanish and Mexican cuisine originating in Nuevo México. This cuisine had adaptions and influences throughout its history, including early on from the nearby Apache, Navajo, and throughout New Spain and the Spanish Empire, also from French, Italian, Mediterranean, Portuguese cuisine, and European cafés, furthermore during the American territorial phase from cowboy chuckwagons and Western saloons, additionally after statehood from Route 66 American diners, fast food restaurants, and global cuisine. Even so, New Mexican cuisine developed in fairly isolated circumstances, which has allowed it to maintain its indigenous, Spanish, and Mexican identity, and is therefore not like any other Latin food originating in the contiguous United States.

Sincronizada

In traditional Mexican cuisine, the quesadilla sincronizada is a tortilla-based sandwich made by placing ham and sometimes refried beans and chorizo and a portion of Oaxaca cheese between two flour tortillas. They are then grilled or even lightly fried until the cheese melts and the tortillas become crispy, cut into halves or wedges and served, usually with salsa and pico de gallo, avocado or guacamole on top and/or other toppings or condiments.

Honduran cuisine culinary traditions of Honduras

Honduran cuisine is a fusion of indigenous (Lenca), Spanish, Caribbean and African cuisines. There are also dishes from the Garifuna people. Coconut and coconut milk are featured in both sweet and savory dishes. Regional specialties include fried fish, tamales, carne asada and baleadas. Other popular dishes include meat roasted with chismol and carne asada, chicken with rice and corn, and fried fish with pickled onions and jalapeños. In the coastal areas and the Bay Islands, seafood and some meats are prepared in many ways, including with coconut milk.

Gruma company

Gruma, S.A.B. de C.V., known as Gruma, is a Mexican multinational corn flour (masa) and tortilla manufacturing company headquartered in San Pedro, near Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. It is the largest corn flour and tortilla manufacturer in the world. Its brand names include Mission Foods, Maseca, and Guerrero.

Mexican street food Mexican street food called "antojitos" in Spanish

Mexican street food, called antojitos, is prepared by street vendors and at small traditional markets in Mexico. Street foods include tacos, tamales, gorditas, quesadillas, empalmes, tostadas, chalupa, elote, tlayudas, cemita, pambazo, empanada, nachos, chilaquiles, fajita and tortas, as well as fresh fruit, vegetables, beverages and soups such as menudo, pozole and pancita. Most are available in the morning and the evening, as mid-afternoon is the time for the main formal meal of the day.

Flour tortilla type of soft, thin flatbread made from finely ground wheat flour

A flour tortilla or wheat tortilla is a type of soft, thin flatbread made from finely ground wheat flour. It was originally derived from the corn tortilla, a flatbread of maize which predates the arrival of Europeans to the Americas. Made with a flour and water based dough, it is pressed and cooked similar to corn tortillas. The simplest recipes use only flour, water, fat, and salt, but commercially-made flour tortillas generally contain chemical leavening agents such as baking powder, and other ingredients.

In English and in Latin American Spanish, a tortilla is a soft, thin flatbread made out of maize or wheat flour.

Mexican breads

Mexican breads and other baked goods are the result of centuries of experimentation and the blending of influence from various European baking traditions. Wheat, and bread baked from it, was introduced by the Spanish at the time of the Conquest. The French influence in Mexican Bread is the strongest. From the bolillo evolving from a French baguette to the concha branching out from a French brioche even the terminology comes from France. A baño maría, meaning a water bath for a custard type budín or bread pudding comes from the French word bain marie. Mexican bread While the consumption of wheat has never surpassed that of corn in the country, wheat is still a staple food and an important part of everyday and special rituals. While Mexico has adopted various bread styles from Europe and the United States, most of the hundreds of varieties of breads made in the country were developed here. However, there is little to no baking done in Mexican homes; instead, Mexicans have bought their baked goods from bakeries since the colonial period.

References

  1. Nahuatl Dictionary. (1997). Wired Humanities Project. University of Oregon. Retrieved August 29, 2012, from link