The Mexican tortilla is a thin, round flatbread that is a staple of Mexican cuisine. It can be made from corn or wheat flour, and it has a long and rich history that dates back to ancient times. Here are some facts about the Mexican tortilla that you may not know. The history of the Mexican tortilla is a fascinating story that spans thou- sands of years and cultures. Here are some highlights of how the tortilla came to be and how it evolved.
The origin of the tortilla can be traced back to the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Maya, the Aztec, and the Olmec. They cultivated maize, or corn, as their main crop and developed a process called nixtamalization, which involved soaking and cooking the corn kernels in an alkaline solution, usually lime water. This improved the taste, texture, and nutritional value of the corn, and made it easier to grind into a dough called masa.
The masa was then shaped into thin, round disks and cooked on a hot griddle called a comal. These flatbreads were called tlaxcalli by the Nahuatl-speaking people, such as the Aztecs. They were eaten as a staple food, often with beans, chili peppers, tomatoes, and other ingredients.
The Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century brought many changes to the culture and cuisine of the region. The Spanish introduced wheat, which was more suited to the climate and soil of northern Mexico. They also brought livestock, such as cows, pigs, and chickens, which provided meat, cheese, and eggs. The Spanish adapted the native tlaxcalli to their tastes and preferences and gave it a new name: tortilla, which means cake in Spanish.
The wheat tortilla was different from the corn tortilla in several ways. It was made with wheat flour, fat, salt, and water, and it was softer and more pliable than the corn tortilla. It could be rolled or folded to make burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and other dishes that were influenced by both Spanish and Mexican cuisines.
The tortilla spread to other parts of the world through trade and migration. It became popular in the United States, especially in the Southwest and California, where it was adopted by various ethnic groups and incorporated into their culinary traditions. It also reached other countries in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, where it was modified according to local ingredients and preferences.
Today, the tortilla is a global food that can be found in many forms and flavors. It is still a staple of Mexican cuisine, but it is also enjoyed by people from different backgrounds and cultures. It is a versatile and delicious food that reflects the history and diversity of Mexico and the world.
The word tortilla comes from the Spanish word torta, which means cake. The Spanish colonizers gave this name to the flat- bread they encountered in Mexico, which was originally called tlaxcalli by the indigenous people.
The corn tortilla is the oldest and most authentic type of tortilla. It is made from nixtamalized corn, which is corn that has been soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually lime water. This process makes the corn easier to grind, as well as it makes it easier for the stomach to digest, and also enhances its nutritional value.
The flour tortilla is a more recent invention that originated in northern Mexico, where wheat was more available than corn. Flour tortillas are made with wheat flour, fat, salt, and water. They are softer and more pliable than corn tortillas and can be used to make burritos, quesadillas, and enchiladas.
Other varieties of tortillas are flavored or colored with different ingredients. For example, blue corn tortillas are made with blue maize, which is a type of corn that has a high content of anthocyanins, a natural pigment that gives it a blue hue. Chipotle tortillas are made with chipotle peppers, which are smoked jalapeños that add a spicy and smoky flavor.
Tortillas can be eaten plain or with various fillings and toppings. They can also be fried, baked, or toasted to make different dishes, such as tacos, tostadas, chilaquiles, flautas, and nachos. Tortillas are a versatile and delicious fo