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Tortilla

A staple of México and Guatemala, tortilla is a kind of unleavened bread, made from corn or wheat flour.

The corn tortilla is made by curing maize in lime water, grinding and pre-cooking it, kneading it into a dough[?] called 'masa nixtamalera', pressing it flat into thin patties, and cooking it on a very hot griddle. In Mexico, most corn tortillas are nowadays made by machine and are very thin and uniform, but in Guatemala they are still made by hand and are thicker. Corn tortillas are customarily served and eaten warm; when cool, they acquire a rubbery texture.

The wheat flour tortilla is made with an unleavened, water-based dough, and pressed and cooked just like corn tortillas. These tortillas are very similar to the unleavened bread popular in Arab, eastern mediterranean and southern Asian countries, though thinner and with a smaller diameter.

Tortillas vary in size from about 6 to over 30 cm depending on the region of the country and the dish for which it is intended.

In Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, filled tortillas (gorditas or pupusas) can also be found. These are smaller, thicker corn tortillas to which beans, chicharones, or other ingredients have been added. They are customarily cooked on a greased pan.

See also taco, quesadilla, tostada, enchilada and chilaquiles for examples of traditional Mexican dishes based on tortillas.


In Spanish cuisine, a "tortilla" is a kind of thick potato omelet, usually eaten at room temperature. It is usually referred to as tortilla española.



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