These Small-Batch Tortillas Rival the Ones I Grew Up Eating from Mexico
Papery, chewy, thick and doughy, thin and fatty, the northern Mexican staple — the flour tortilla — is both delicacy and daily bread, with varieties that speak distinctly to their regional origins.
Calling the border of Tijuana and San Diego, CA home, I enjoyed a tortilla that was soft, pillowy, doughy, and thanks to its air pockets — even flaky. For a long time, my family and I made ritualistic weekend trips across the border, always keen on bringing home stacks of fresh-made aromatic flour (and maíz) tortillas from Tijuanense markets that would warm my lap en route between two countries. Any time our fridge looked back at us vacant and void of our precious flatbreads, a spurt to the nearby grocers would always leave us regretful of having stomachs bigger than our eyes, buying emergency packs that tasted uncannily soapy.
Years of living stateside taught me to diligently seek out tortillas that would compare, and eventually my family and I would find Mexican-American grocers with bakeries that produced fresh-made tortillas and needed no comparison.
While living in Los Angeles, my partner Marcel and I did our usual settling-in ritual — hunting for sources to find our beloved tortillas. On a recommendation, we stopped by Sara’s Market in East LA, thrilled to be picking up our first pack of Mejorado tortillas that many had raved about.
What’s So Great About Mejorado Tortillas?
At first bite, we were enamored. Hot off the comal, these tortillas tasted like the ones I’d have as a child. They’re thick but lightweight, doughy and savory, boasting a flavor reminiscent of bolillo. Soft and malleable, these tortillas are easy to roll and hold a good amount of resistance.
Folding it into a quesadilla, where Marcel and I would add vegan cheeses like Miyoko’s mozzarella, the tortilla showed off its range — staying soft and chewy near the fold and crispy in its edges. Muting its own flavors gently, while humbly exalting the taste of its filling for a balanced bite.
We’d buy our ten-inch packs at Sara’s Market in East LA, and sometimes Smorgasburg’s Burritos la Palma stand in downtown LA. But if you’re not local to central LA, they’re also stocked at the glorious panadería, Gusto Bread in Long Beach and in Big Bear at Bear Cupboards Market. SoCal and Bay Area residents can order them online at Good Eggs and Shop Locale (6-inch and 10-inch tortillas), respectively — and they’re even available nationwide through Goldbelly as an add-on when you order frozen burritos from the team’s restaurant, Burritos La Palma.
What’s the Best Way to Use Mejorado Tortillas?
But — and, yes, this is a PSA, I see you on the internet(!) — no matter what tortilla you have in your fridge, do it justice and please, warm it up before serving, folding, or rolling. Thank you.
Buy: Mejorado Vegan Tortillas, $7 for 10 (9- to 10-inch) tortillas (available in Southern California)
Do you have a favorite tortilla brand? Sound off in the comments below.