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A History of Mexican Tortillas

Jul 13, 2008
The word "tortillas" originates from the Spanish word "torta," meaning round cake. Tortillas are very popular in Mexico and also in the United States. Americans like to be imaginative when it comes to preparing their tortillas and combinations such as beans and meat, apple, cinnamon and sugar or peanut butter and jelly are favorites. Flour tortillas are also used to make sandwiches, casseroles and stews, hot dogs and there are plenty more uses too. You can even make homemade tortillas, since the recipe is quite straightforward.

Tortillas have been enjoyed for hundreds of years but not with these modern fillings.

More than 10,000 years before Christ, the Aztecs were already making tortillas. The Aztecs used a lot of corn, both eaten straight from the cob and in recipes. They would grind corn into cornmeal and from this they would make a corn dough called masa. Water is added to the cornmeal to make the dough but the temperature of the water is very important. If it is too hot or too cold, the dough will not be the right consistency to roll out. When the masa is ready, it is made into a ball and then rolled out into a thick pancake shape. It is then placed on a hot griddle for a minute or so to cook. It is important to keep an eye on the tortillas because they do not take long to cook.

The tortillas of today are still made with the same ingredients as in tortilla history. Because they are very popular, most tortillas today are made in factories with machinery. They come in a lot of different flavors and you can also make homemade tortillas quite easily. A lot of Mexican foods use tortillas as an ingredient. Tacos, for example, use flour tortillas as the shell. With an enchilada, the tortilla is filled, then rolled up, and cooked. Tortillas are used as turnovers to make quesadillas, which are filled before being fried.

Tortillas are not just for eating. "Tortilla art" is when tortillas are used as a canvas. They are baked and then covered in acrylic, before they are painted. The culture of Latino artists is represented by tortilla art so this is an important part of tortilla history.

Tortilla chips are also made from tortillas. The tortilla is fried after being cut into wedges. The ingredients in corn tortillas are corn, salt, water, and vegetable oil. These tortilla chips first gained popularity in the 1940s in Los Angeles, California. These chips were mass-produced there but are still known as Mexican food.

Americans like to use tortillas in various dishes. They are commonly used in burritos, which originated in northern Mexico many years ago. Many people from the north of Mexico and the Native Mexicans in the southwestern United States eat tortillas as a food staple. Many restaurants use flour tortillas in a variety of non-Mexican and Mexican recipes. Nearly every grocery store has tortillas and you can also make homemade tortillas and experiment with the ingredients and fillings.

There are plenty of tortilla recipes available if you fancy making your own tortillas and creating some wonderful fillings!
About the Author
Mexican recipes are easier than you might think find out just how easy it is to make your favorite Mexican food recipes at home in your own kitchen.
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