It’s All About the Tortilla

Craftsmanship, heritage and creativity mark the trend

The inception of the tortilla dates back thousands of years to the Aztecs, who crafted the original version known as tlaxcalli. As a consequence of migration and exploration over the centuries, the flatbread, eventually renamed tortilla, gained much wider recognition while holding and deepening its status as a staple in Mexico and Central America. Both corn and flour varieties are tightly woven into the fabric of Mexican-inspired menus in American restaurants, moving from their position as a muted background player to star performer. Serious attention is being paid, especially to the corn tortilla, homing in on heirloom varietals, origin stories, artistic presentations and regional specialties that give the tortilla prominence.


The tortilla’s rise into modern menu opportunity leans on several factors. Walking hand in hand with its origin story and authenticity is its visual impact. Of course, TikTok has helped froth up excitement here, pointing to ingenuity and beauty with viral videos that feature marble tortillas, swirling different colored varietals for a multi-hued result. Bacalar in Austin, Texas, seizes on this advantage by featuring tortillas made by mixing together different masas. Executive chef/partner Gabe Erales combines two varieties of heirloom red and yellow corn for select tortillas used at this Yucatán-inspired restaurant. “We blend them to showcase the beauty of landrace varietals. The visual appeal is compelling, as is the strong textural and flavor story of each varietal,” he says.

Read the full story at »

Similar Posts