Tortilla Facts: A Mexican Dish Rich In Carbohydrates | Kidadl


Tortilla Facts: A Mexican Dish Rich In Carbohydrates

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In Spanish, 'torta' means 'cake' which seems to have been the origin of the word tortilla.

Tortilla chips are one of the biggest snack products of the tortilla industry and are believed to have been a part of the Mexican food culture. But in the '40s, Los Angeles it seemed to have started its journey as a mass product.

The triangle shape of the tortilla chips has its own history. Rebecca Webb Carranza found a way to sell the disfigured tortillas, which happened due to the malfunctioning of the automated tortilla machine. She and her husband used to cut these discarded tortillas into triangle pieces, deep fry them and sell them a dime per bag at the El Zarapa Tortilla Factory.

In 2003, Texas's tortilla chips and salsa were in such demand that it was identified as the official state snack.

Commonly known as Rio Grande Blue or Hopi Maize, Blue Corn Tortilla has a unique blue color due to the usage of blue corn, which is believed to have been introduced by several Southeastern tribes of the New Mexico region.

Origin Of Tortilla

Believed to be called tortilla by the Aztecs and Nahuatl speakers, the origin of this product can be traced back to the indigenous population of the Mesoamerican civilization.

Maize tortillas or corn tortillas meal are known to have been created out of maize dough or masa de maiz and are regarded to be one of the oldest recipes in Mexican cuisine. Evidence of people making Mexican tortillas dates back to 1500-500 BCE and is found in the Mexican region of Oaxaca.

Types Of Tortilla

Tortillas have become very famous nowadays and have different variations, but they can be divided mainly into three kinds.

Most popular among these is the cornflour tortillas, which is believed to be the oldest on the list. The key ingredient is 'masa harina,' a Spanish word for dough flour, which is quite uniquely prepared with dried corn kernels boiled in lime water and then turned into a fine paste. After that, it is dried for some time, and then water is added. Corn tortillas not only serve as the main ingredient in tostadas and enchiladas but can also go well with soups, stews, and grilled meats. Originating in northern Mexico, wheat flour tortillas or simply flour tortillas are made using all-purpose flour, water, salt, baking powder, and fat. They are similar to the corn tortilla and believed to have been obtained from it only. With the introduction of the cultivation of wheat in the American continent by the Europeans, these became a part of the Mexican food culture and are used in burritos, fajitas, and tacos. Spanish tortillas are a bit different as they are neither made from corn nor from wheat flour. They are rather prepared with eggs and potatoes and are famously known as Spanish Omelet. The only similarity they share is the round shape with the traditional tortillas.

Nutritional Value Of Tortillas

The flour tortilla is the most popular around the world.

3.5 oz (100 g) flour tortilla has total calories of 304, proteins of 0.3 oz (8.93 g), total fat of 0.28 oz (8.04 g), carbohydrate of 1.7 oz (48.21 g), the fiber of 0.06 oz (1.8 g), and very little calcium and sodium.

Learn about flour tortillas and how they became a part of Mexican cuisine.

Tortilla Vs. Chapati

Though by looking at tortillas or chapati, you might get confused and ask if there's any difference? Well, there are quite a few:

Origin- Tortillas is believed to have been originated in Mexico, whereas chapati is from the Indian subcontinent.

Ingredients- Tortillas are mostly made with cornflour, salt, and shortening. Shortening or vegetable oil adds texture to the tortilla, while salt increases the overall flavor. On the other hand, chapati is made by using wheat flour which is first made into a dough by using mostly water and then cooked on a skillet.

Texture- The texture is quite different for these two. In tortillas, you can add any number of fillings, and it will not tear out and is mostly used as wraps around the world. Chapati has a thin texture as it is meant to be torn out and dipped into a curry for eating.

Usage- Not only as wraps, but tortillas are also used for making several dishes, including tacos, burritos, Migas, enchiladas, and so on. On the other hand, Roti or chapati is mostly eaten with side dishes and sauces. But it is noteworthy to say that in some parts of India, they are coated with egg and then fried and are called egg rolls, a popular fast food.

Taste- Corn tortillas are mostly sweet in nature, whereas chapati has a wheat-based flavor as they are only made with this item.


Where did tortillas come from?

Believed to be an important part of the Mesoamerican Cuisine, it was made by indigenous people of the Mesoamerican Civilization. Evidence has been found which dates back to as early as 500 BCE.

Are tortilla and chapati same?

No, tortilla and chapati are not the same, as the tortilla is made of cornflour, whereas chapati is made from wheat flour. So the basic point of difference is its primary ingredient.

What is in a tortilla?

A staple food for the Mexican people, it can have multiple types of fillings, including different kinds of meat like chicken, ground beef and turkey, beans, cheese, eggs, and multiple tangy sauces.

Can tortillas be healthy?

A dish that can be conjured up into so much variety, it is hard to categorize it to be healthy or not. But it can be definitely said that some tortillas are healthier than bread. Corn tortillas are healthier than wheat tortillas if we check on the nutritional index.

Is tortilla better than roti?

Corn tortilla has a calorie score of 95.9, whereas wheat tortilla has a calorie score of 184. Roti, on the other hand, has a calorie score of around 104. Both of these dishes have a good amount of carbs. So it must be taken according to your diet.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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