Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer?

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zataar
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/04 15:48:14 (permalink)
Of course flour tortillas are as Mexican as corn tortillas. Who could dispute that? In my area we can get decent flour tortillas at hispanic markets. But a big selling point now with many of the producers is to state on the package that the tortillas contain no lard, only vegetable shortening. Give me a freshly made flour tortilla made with decent lard, made by someone who knows what they're doing, any day over a cholesterol free, low carb (another unfortunate selling point) tortilla. But most of the hispanic cooks I've worked with for decades would almost always go for a fresh corn tortilla over a mediocre flour one. I'm still going to enjoy eating flour tortillas with foods other than Mexican, just as I'll eat lahvosh or pita with food that isn't necessarily middle eastern. I just like to eat food that tastes good and I like to cook food that tastes good.
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ExtraMSG
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/04 15:56:41 (permalink)
It's a real shame that more people don't make their own corn tortillas at home. Flour tortillas take skill and practice. Corn tortillas are much more idiot-proof. There's no gluten to worry about and it's basically just water and masa.

Interestingly, there's a taco found mostly in Puebla, I believe, called the taco arabe (Arab taco), that's essentially a taco using a pita for the tortilla. High Lebanese population created the fusion.

#62
zataar
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/04 16:26:02 (permalink)
I would love to try a taco arabe. The cross cultural aspect of any cuisine is fascinating to me.
#63
ExtraMSG
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/04 16:29:23 (permalink)
There's a place in Chicago, Taqueria Puebla, that serves them. See here:
extramsg.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=36

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Maynerd
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/04 17:24:58 (permalink)
I usually prefer flour, but some things just have to made with corn. Crispy tacos, Chalupas are the way to go with corn along with some enchaladas. I like both plain, warm, with a little butter and salt.
#65
mr chips
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/06 03:20:38 (permalink)
I prefer flour but soft tacos must be corn. And fresh coen tortillas which are now available in numeous hole in the walls in POrland arethe gold standard.
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Richard Brooks Alba
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/06 16:07:30 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Salustra

quote:
Originally posted by ocdreamr

I agree, it depends on what I'm having. Miga's require corn tortillas but I like flour for fajita's & burritos.


Someone enlighten me, please? I've lived my whole life within 50 miles of the Mexican border (San Diego), but I have never heard of 'migas'. Is this something I may know by another name, or have I been missing out?


They're kinda like eggy chilaquiles - and I faintly recall having some good chilaquiles in SD [or maybe it was San Ysidro?].
Buen provecho,
Richard
Berkeley/SF, CA
#67
tmiles
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/06 16:22:39 (permalink)
Soft flour. The low carb ones are ok. I don't see how they could even make a low carb corn tortilla. Restaurants are starting to carry the low carb soft tacos, but at a few the taste has been so good that I wonder if it really was low carb. Like my Jewish friends who don't ask too many questions at a Chinese restaurant, I accept the good soft taco as low carb without question. It would be asking too much of my self will to send it back after that first bite. BTW the best fast Mexican I have ever had is at a little place off an alley in Amherst Mass. I can find it, but never remember the name.
#68
Richard Brooks Alba
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/06 17:05:46 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by zataar

Of course flour tortillas are as Mexican as corn tortillas. Who could dispute that? In my area we can get decent flour tortillas at hispanic markets. But a big selling point now with many of the producers is to state on the package that the tortillas contain no lard, only vegetable shortening. Give me a freshly made flour tortilla made with decent lard, made by someone who knows what they're doing, any day over a cholesterol free, low carb (another unfortunate selling point) tortilla. But most of the hispanic cooks I've worked with for decades would almost always go for a fresh corn tortilla over a mediocre flour one. I'm still going to enjoy eating flour tortillas with foods other than Mexican, just as I'll eat lahvosh or pita with food that isn't necessarily middle eastern. I just like to eat food that tastes good and I like to cook food that tastes good.


I could - and I disagree with this characterization because I'm thinking of the Mexican nation [as opposed to the Mexican country]. To describe flour tortillas as Mexican nearly suggests a ubiquity in Mexico that doesn't exist. Corn tortillas have been a Mexican staple for an awfully long time [for far longer than they've been a country or have spoken Spanish, for example], and are nearly ubiquitous - I don't ever recall being anywhere in Mexico that corn tortillas weren't served. And it's not like wheat products weren't available - the wheat was just turned into bread and pastries. Flour tortillas are a regional item - yes, they can be found in Mexico, so they are technically Mexican - that have a fairly recent history that parallels wheat production in the northern part of the country. I have no problem saying that flour tortillas aren't as Mexican as flour tortillas!

(A north-of-the-border analogy might be something like 'cheesesteaks' - which can be found in places around the country, but are common [& uncommonly good!] right around Philly. It may be technically correct to call them "American," but this isn't very precise. I don't know how old PBJs are, but I would describe them as a sandwich that is more American than a cheesesteak.

[And, of course, there is no single national Italian cuisine, despite what restaurants say they serve, because the Italian nation is a fairly recent construct - and while the cuisines of Italy, like Genovese, Sicilian, Neopolitan, Romagnolo, etc. may collectively be called Italian cuisines, their individual features can't be said to characterize Italian cuisine.])

I still eat 'em - but I don't call them Mexican. Just my two centavos....
Buen provecho,
Richard
Berkeley/SF, CA

P.S. My family's southern branch comes from the states of Zacatecas and Durango [via Mexico City].
#69
Maynerd
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/06 17:25:40 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Salustra

quote:
Originally posted by ocdreamr

I agree, it depends on what I'm having. Miga's require corn tortillas but I like flour for fajita's & burritos.


Someone enlighten me, please? I've lived my whole life within 50 miles of the Mexican border (San Diego), but I have never heard of 'migas'. Is this something I may know by another name, or have I been missing out?


Here's some photos of migas:

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=508

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=494
#70
ExtraMSG
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/06 18:03:12 (permalink)
Richard, it may be more precise to always refer to the regionality of a dish, but it's not a) practical, or b) what people do. We often give up some precision for ease of communication. And in context, the use of "Mexican" to describe any type of tortilla is probably best. If you're in Mexico, it makes little sense to talk about "Mexican" food. Only on occasion. It makes more sense to talk about "la cocina de..." (name the state or region or city). Just like here in the states. If you're in Oregon, like I am, I wouldn't say, "Where can I get some American food?" very often and never if what I meant was, "Where can I get some jambalaya?" or "Where can I get some soul food?" But, if I was in Japan, I wouldn't correct a Japanese person for calling a soul food restaurant "American". They'd be correct. They just wouldn't be precise enough for many Americans to know exactly what they meant. In fact, I'm not sure what I would expect on an "American" menu. But I would at least know what to expect *not* to be there (Sushi, Sashimi, Udon, etc).

I don't know if it would be very effective communication to constantly have to refer to flour tortillas as norteno, or Sonoran, or whatever. Is it really just the fact that they're so much more prevalent in the US that bothers you?

btw, a great article on Mexican authenticity used to be available at the LA Times by Rachel Laudan. Now it costs you $3 to view it in the archives.
#71
zataar
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/15 17:45:16 (permalink)
Has anyone tried Del Norte Raw Flour Tortillas? They sound good, but I haven't seen them in my area.
http://delnortetortillas.com
#72
SouthHillbilly
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/01/16 13:04:46 (permalink)
Mmmm fresh corn tortillas! Whenever I'm in a big city, I find the Mexican quarter and get a couple big stacks of fresh warm corn tortillas. I usually eat a 1/2 dozen or so on the spot. There are so many wonderful things to be created from corn tortillas that I'm sure I'll never run out of new things.
But ya know, when I want something warm and tasty to wrap around a big scoop of leftover eggplant parmasan, nothing beats a flour tortilla. . . an old Mexican girlfriend I used to love would say "You can't do that!"
#73
scarletfire
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/02/15 22:20:20 (permalink)
i was taught from my gamma who learned from a long line... yes, old school used lard but my gamma has and still does use, corn oil instead of lard. it's how i make them now, and it does take LOTS of practice! i've been trying for almost 15 years and am just now beginning (in my opinion) to come close to hers! flour (wheat or white), baking powder, salt, corn oil... a little rest, form into balls (tricky part #1 as it is a 'method'), a little more rest, roll and cook on cast iron (or a well used griddle will work too but.....)... thickness when rolling is the tricky #2 as the gluten usually makes it shrink and it takes FOREVER if you roll and go.. we roll, fold over bowl while cooking one that is overlapped upon flipping to create nice charred spots... it's an art i tell you! i only hope to be as good as my loved grandma someday and my daughter is already learning too. Corn tortillas are another specialty but not quite as challenging - both are worth learning however i OFTEN use store bought for both... i just choose wisely as we have many Mex markets in the twin cities... anyhow - if anyone wants my recipes, i would be glad to share... next - i'm learning authentic TAMALES!

now i'm hungry~
#74
SouthHillbilly
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/02/16 00:04:49 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by scarletfire

i was taught from my gamma who learned from a long line... yes, old school used lard but my gamma has and still does use, corn oil instead of lard. it's how i make them now, and it does take LOTS of practice! i've been trying for almost 15 years and am just now beginning (in my opinion) to come close to hers! flour (wheat or white), baking powder, salt, corn oil... a little rest, form into balls (tricky part #1 as it is a 'method'), a little more rest, roll and cook on cast iron (or a well used griddle will work too but.....)... thickness when rolling is the tricky #2 as the gluten usually makes it shrink and it takes FOREVER if you roll and go.. we roll, fold over bowl while cooking one that is overlapped upon flipping to create nice charred spots... it's an art i tell you! i only hope to be as good as my loved grandma someday and my daughter is already learning too. Corn tortillas are another specialty but not quite as challenging - both are worth learning however i OFTEN use store bought for both... i just choose wisely as we have many Mex markets in the twin cities... anyhow - if anyone wants my recipes, i would be glad to share... next - i'm learning authentic TAMALES!

now i'm hungry~


Scarlet, I bought a tortilla press this weekend, so I'd love your recipes for tortillas.
After many tries, I've found that moisture content of the masa mixture is the key. Better a little too moist than too dry. Dry tamales just don't cut it.
#75
1bbqboy
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/04/30 09:15:58 (permalink)
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6757
they were getting into a discussion of rolled tacos in this thread,
and it got me wondering about names again, this time what a taquito, flauta and taco mean.
We have a place here that makes flautas fresh, almost like little wheat flour tamales. It's a half hamburger half mexican drive in called Big Al's.
He's from Michocan. My favorite, the sope, the flautas, tacos, all
really light and airy instead of gut bombs. Taquitos here are just rolled corn shells with only meat and maybe cheese inside. tacos have cheese, lettuce, beans, etc. in either a corn or flour tortilla. what do you think?
#76
plantdetective
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/05/26 16:44:25 (permalink)
as i understand it corn is a subsidized crop in mexico, so the corn tortillas are inexpensive and thus more common, I like both, but a think a cheap flour is more palatable than a cheap corn.

Paul
#77
ExtraMSG
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/05/26 16:59:23 (permalink)
plantdetective, I think your comment shows a lack of understanding of Mexico's culinary heritage.

Corn is more prevalent because it's the traditional base of Mexican food. Wheat was introduced by the Spanish and even pushed very hard by the Spanish because they believed it (wrongly) to be a superior crop nutritionally. It never fully took hold and doesn't even dominate in the north where it grows well.

Subsidies aren't even an issue for a large number of Mexicans who grow corn as a subsistence crop.

Lastly, corn is a highly subsidized crop in the US and it hasn't mattered much for the American preference of wheat over corn tortillas.
#78
robicheaux
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/06/05 17:41:17 (permalink)
No question Corn with butter an a litl salt
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Scott -- DFW
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/06/06 15:36:46 (permalink)
I love fresh, handmade corn tortillas, such as this one (at Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo, in Dallas):


I also love fresh, handmade flour tortillas, such as these (in a sincronizada de camaron at El Rincon Tapatio, in Dallas):


Bagged tortillas, common though they may be (particularly at gringo-oriented restaurants), are hard for me to stomach. If I have to eat them, though, I find corn much more palatable than flour. And, when at home, roll your own.

Scott
#80
ExtraMSG
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/06/06 15:52:14 (permalink)
btw, if you're a lover of Mexican food (or BBQ) and haven't seen Scott's website:

http://www.dallasfood.org

you're missing out.

#81
txtwister
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/06/07 15:53:27 (permalink)
Oh.my.goodness.

I think I'm blushing. That corn tortilla image <b>transcends</b> food porn.
#82
julesleong
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/07/08 22:48:06 (permalink)
I'm not as lucky as most of you guys are...I tried the enchilladas at Salsas (dine-in located at W 135th & Nieman, Overland Park) and I thot they were very good. I also tried their soft tacos (yummy) which they used flour tortilla. Both had different tastes and somehow I can't imagine eating my tacos with corn tortillas. I'm a regular there and the owner is quite a versatile senora...always coming out with weekly specials and daily surprises. Anyone tried deep-fried enchillada strips? Crackly yummmyyyy!
#83
ExtraMSG
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/07/08 23:55:49 (permalink)
Some more tortilla food porn:

The best tacos al pastor I've had anywhere, even in Mexico, with handmade tortillas (Poncho's al Pastor -- extramsg.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=396 -- in Vancouver, WA):



Or how about the best flour tortillas I've ever had at Watsonville's Tepa-Sahuayo: extramsg.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=8

#84
olphart
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/07/09 21:12:58 (permalink)
Olphart's Laws of the Tortilla

The best flour tortillas are the ones made with lard as they have the best flavor and texture. Lard is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind! Don't listen to those "health freaks" who try to tell you otherwise.

Flour tortillas do not make good enchiladas, in my opinion. Only corn will do.

Flour tortillas are best for soft tacos, quesadillas and fajitas.

Neither corn nor flour tortillas should ever be allowed to come in contact with refried beans. That is just too disgusting for words, and it should be a hanging offence!
#85
ExtraMSG
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/07/09 21:31:16 (permalink)
Ah, but some of the best Mexican antojitos have beans:

Huaraches, especially the humongous, oversized almost-tortilla thin "sandals" of Mexico City, are slathered with beans before being topped with your choice of goodies.

Sopes, the masa saucers, are almost always topped with refried beans, along with choice of meat, lettuce, cheese, crema, etc.

Memelas, tlacoyos, and some other thick corn tortilla style antojitos often have refried beans mixed into the masa before cooking.
#86
olphart
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/07/09 21:51:44 (permalink)
Somebody get a rope!
#87
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/07/12 14:02:17 (permalink)
Tortillas are awesome no matter what kind...flour are better for some things while corn are better for others! Either way, the tortilla rocks! Homemade tortillas are the best! Which reminds me, I need to make more tortillas!

Hasta luego!
#88
Sandy Eggo
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/09/12 19:13:58 (permalink)
Corn tortillas for tacos, taquitos, enchiladas, and chips… flour for burritos, quesadillas, fajitas and chimichangas… Both flour and corn for carne asada and carnitas…

For great chips (for guacamole or salsa dipping) get corn tortillas, cut in quarters or strips, put in a deep fryer until brown, remove and put in a large bowl filled with paper towels, add kosher salt and shake up the chips…

For a taco salad with the shell, take a large flour tortilla, wet it, place it on the bottom side of a (clean and empty) coffee can and dip into the deep fryer… until it browns.. they are much fresher than the store bought pre-shaped ones.

Taco Bell (and others) break these standards... the Enchirito uses flour tortilla and their soft tacos use flour as well. But Taco Bell is not "Mexican" food because they use ground beef.

#89
ExtraMSG
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RE: Corn vs. Flour tortillas: which do you prefer? 2005/09/12 19:25:53 (permalink)
Mexicans use ground beef, just not as often as Mexican-Americans. Taco Bell is largely Mexican, but it's not the use of ground beef or the straying from "standards" that moves them out of the cuisine, imo. It's the sauces. Ranch is not a Mexican salsa. Many of their others are just mayo mixed with MSG, methinks. (btw, quesadillas are a traditional Mexican antojito using corn tortillas. The best, imo, are made empenada-style, where an uncooked tortilla is folded over cheese and/or other ingredients, then sealed up and cooked and possibly lightly fried.)
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