Revive Your Roots – The Tortilla
By: Nandita Bajaj
As a company of diverse individuals, Revive Superfoods brings you easy-to-make and healthy meals that originate from all over the world! We bring together people from various cultures and backgrounds through our favorite thing in the world: food! Let’s start with a classic – the tortilla.
What is a Tortilla?
Pronounced tor-tee-ya, this thin, round, and flat savory pancake, originally from Mexico, is commonly eaten hot with a variety of different toppings. People use it in dishes such as tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and of course – burritos! 🌯
In Pre-Columbian times, tortillas were made from maize flour, but due to commercialization, they are now often made from wheat flour. While maize tortillas are thicker and more brittle, wheat-based tortillas are softer, can be made wider and thinner, and don’t break as easily.
Similar flatbreads exist in so many different countries, such as “roti” from India, “laobing” from China, and “pita” from the Middle-East. So what makes tortillas different? Their versatility! They can be used in so many different meals and are the perfect vessel for layering in all the nutrients your body loves.
Where did tortillas come from?
The word tortilla comes from the Spanish word, torta, which means round cake. Tortillas were first made 10,000 B.C.E. in the highlands of Mexico by the people of the Sierra Madre Mountains. This is around the same time when corn was domesticated and became one of the popular staples enjoyed in this region. At this time, corn was the main source of nutrients such as starches and protein, and it is still widely used as a source of energy today.
But how did tortillas make their way to America?
In 1922, Monica Flin opened what is known as America’s longest-running family-owned Mexican restaurant called El Charro Café, where tortillas are a staple ingredient in their dishes. Inspired by her love for cooking and Mexican culture, Flin established the café in honor of her late husband. She had moved to Mexico when they got married and moved to America when he passed away. She had already experienced many hardships, but there were more to come.
In the early months of her restaurant’s opening in Arizona, money was tight. When a customer placed an order, Flin would rush to the nearest grocer to purchase ingredients, rush back to prepare and serve the meal. She would then pay off her credit to the grocer with the money she earned from the satisfied customer. Talk about multitasking! Though she struggled to make ends meet at first, with a lot of hard work and perseverance, Flin was soon able to make a profit.
El Charro Café now offers premade restaurant staples, catering, and even cooking classes! It is more than just a successful restaurant chain. It is a family-run business, a bridge between two cultures, cuisines, and lifestyles. El Charro Café is a reminder of the humble beginnings of a cuisine that is now so commonly enjoyed. It is important to remember to appreciate those who worked hard to make cultural foods so readily available for us to savor.
Modern Preparation of Tortillas
Tortillas were once thought of as only used in Mexican cuisine but are now a staple in almost every American household! People use them to create meals like wraps, casseroles, and soups – you can even bake one in the oven to make a bowl for your salad!
The uses for tortillas are LITERALLY endless! A recent trend that’s been super popular this year is the “tortilla hack”. All you have to do is make one slit on the tortilla cutting from the edge to the middle. You then pick your toppings (up to 4) and place them in quarters on your tortilla and make them as flat as you can. Fold, grill and enjoy!
Pro tip: heat it up on a pan so everything melts together 😛
Some other facts we thought you would find interesting:
- Tortilla sales are the second most sold packaged bread products – they are sold more than bagels and muffins!
- Hardshell tacos aren’t eaten in Mexico! They are a North American invention!
- In Guatemala and Mexico, maize tortillas are commonly found in either white, yellow, or blue!
- Tortillas were made by hand till the 1960s when small-scale tortilla-making machines were created (they could produce a tortilla every 2 seconds!!)
The wait is FINALLY over and we’re so excited to share our newest line of products – soups! All you have to do is add the stock of your choice to our chef-crafted soups and you’re ready to EAT 😛
Delicious, warm, and packed with veggies and nutrients, our new Guajillo Tortilla Soup is the perfect comfort food for a cold day indoors. Shop now and add them to your box.
P.S We have more soups on the way!! Stay tuned.