Who made the first tortillas? What’s the one taco meal you might consider taking a pass on? Keep reading for the answers to those and other must-know tortilla trivia.
By Vicki Martinez
Our fourth and final blog in the Mission Foods blog series “wraps” things up nicely. We change direction from our discussions of the ketogenic diet to talk tortilla.
Enjoy this tasty tortilla trivia as we answer all the “Whens” you’ve ever wondered about.
Many accounts date the origination of the tortilla back thousands of years. Anthropological discoveries suggest the indigenous people of the Mexican Sierra Madre Mountains used maize to prepare thin, round flatbreads as far back as 3,000 B.C.
The answer—as it is with almost every culinary creation developed by the Aztecs, Mayans and other peoples of Mesoamerica—blame it on the Conquistadors. The first written documentation of the “round, flat cakes” appears in a 1520 letter written to the king of Spain by Spaniard Hernando Cortéz. (“Flat cake” in Spanish is torta, which eventually morphed into the name tortilla.)
Credit goes to immigrants from Central Mexico for sharing their favorite fare in the early 1900s. The first taco recipes translated into English and featured in a cookbook appear in California Mexican-Spanish Cook Book published in 1914.
Tortillas are just so “hand-”y. They are one of the most popular food delivery devices available. In 2015, Americans spent nearly $14 billion on tortilla products.
Plus their versatility is almost limitless: breakfast wraps, burritos, tostadas, quesadillas, chips, flautas, enchiladas, chilaquiles, pinwheels, added to soups and casseroles, used as a bowl, used as an eating utensil, and yes, even dessert.
When is one of the rare times many of us would pass on a burrito?
Tacos de Cabeza anyone? Ingredients: lips, tongue, eyes and the brain from a cow.
And the most important question: When is National Taco Day?
Although we believe every Tuesday is taco day, these tasty stuffed-tortilla treats are celebrated nationwide every October 4.