The History of the Corn and Flour Tortillas

If you walk into your local grocery store, you can now find a whole section dedicated to tortillas. They can be made from corn or flour, large or small, and even gluten-free or whole wheat. There certainly is no shortage of the vast assortment of tastes, colors, and sizes available when it comes to tortillas. So, where did this delicious wrap first make its way to the dinner table? The Mayans considered Maiz, or corn, a sacred plant, and as such was a staple to their cuisine and used to make the first tortillas. The Mayans mixed the corn with lime water to make it easier to grind and to help release its essential vitamins. Through this process they were able to form the shape of the modern tortilla that we know and love today. The flour tortilla first made its way after the Spanish conquest of Mexico as corn was considered inadequate for human consumption and therefore was not used to make tortillas. Mostly found in Northern Mexico, the flour tortilla has paved the way for diverse, new dishes due to its pliability and capacity to hold more ingredients inside. 

What’s the Difference Between Corn and Flour Tortillas? 

Not all tortillas are created equally, so let’s take a look at some of the key dietary characteristics between corn and flour varieties. 

Corn tortillas are made from whole grains and have fewer calories, sodium and carbohydrates than flour. They also have more fiber and are gluten-free which can be helpful to those with gluten sensitivities. They also come in a range of options, such as yellow corn, which provides more beta carotene, and blue corn that boasts 20% more protein and less starch and can be considered the king of the tortilla. 

Flour tortillas, on the other hand, have nearly twice as many calories and fat as its corn counterparts. Where they lack nutrients like fiber, they make up with a healthy serving of calcium and iron. And if you have a gluten intolerance, these are not the tortillas for you since they do contain gluten. 

When To Order A Corn Versus Flour Tortilla 

We all know by now that you should be ordering red wine with beef and white wine with poultry and fish, but is there such a thing as proper tortilla etiquette? Yes, there is! Certainly everyone has their own taste preferences when it comes to corn or flour, but, if you’re curious as to which is the appropriate vessel for your Mexican fiesta, we’ve created the following list to help guide you in your tortilla decision making process: 

  • Tacos – These can be enjoyed with either a corn or flour tortilla. 
  • Burritos – It’s all about the flour tortilla.  
  • Tostadas – We’re saying, “yes” to the corn tortilla.
  • Enchilada – Another win for the corn tortilla. 
  • Nachos – It’s best to scoop with the corn.  
  • Sanchos – The flour tortilla is the way to go with this delicious meal. 

The Original Grande Is Serving Your Favorite Mexican Food! 

Whether it’s wrapped in corn or flour, come see why The Original Grande is the talk of the town! Fuel your inner fiesta and experience a delicious Mexican menu in the State of Kansas. We offer a variety of favorites including tacos, burritos, sanchos, enchiladas, and much more! Visit a location near you and see why people are saying “Viva Grande!”


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