Tortillas are the cornerstone of many Mexican dishes. Many of you have tried your hand at making enchiladas, flautas, or tacos, yet got stumped in the Mexican food aisle of your local grocery store, stuck between the choice of corn or flour based tortillas. Is there a noticeable difference for those with a less discernible palate? You bet. But it comes down to more than just taste.
As Greater Vancouver’s “go to” Mexican food product supplier and deli we feel it is our duty to weigh-in on the debate over whether you should choose corn or flour tortillas for your next great “at home” Mexican feast.
Corn vs Flour Tortillas – Which is Better?
Taste & Texture
Taste is certainly a subjective thing. We can’t tell you for certain which you (and those you are feeding) will prefer, but we can note the differences as they apply to flavor and texture. Flour tortillas are softer and more pliable than their somewhat flakier corn cousin, which is a big reason they can be considered more “mainstream” amongst those looking to make quick Mexican food in the home, especially when there are kids seated. Because flour tortillas are farther removed from the seed to table process there are more additives (more on this below), resulting in artificial sweetness and flavor, so those accustomed to “fast Mexican food” (a la Taco Bell, etc.) may prefer them out of familiarity. However, this is only a benefit when you need to make-up for a lack in flavor in ingredients. Corn tortillas may be flakier but they complement sauces, herbs, spices, and main ingredients (chicken, beef, pork, fish, cheese) much better. You will not find any true gourmet Mexican restaurant serving anything but corn tortillas.
Flour tortillas may be proportionately higher in calcium and iron (positives) but they are much higher in calories, fat, sugar, and are obscene with sodium (negatives) when compared to corn tortillas. Flour is also not an option for anyone with a gluten intolerance and the some brands “may come in contact with peanuts” along the cookie-cutter assembly line. The negatives far outweigh the positives from a health perspective. Corn tortillas on the other hand, carry health benefits such as high-fibre and magnesium.
Goes Best With…
Flour tortillas do make for easy transportation. You can roll up the messiest of burritos/enchiladas and sandwich a plate-sized quesadilla with ease and grab it to go without losing half of your ingredients. They are practical for a variety of scenarios from picnics to potlucks. However, when it comes to Mexican street food such as the ever-popular taco, there is no substituting corn tortillas. In addition, you can’t beat corn tortillas when it comes to frying, so if you’re looking to master the art of making your own hardshell tacos, taquitos, or corn chips (this one is obvious) corn tortillas are the only true option.
Authenticity to Mexican Cuisine
Chances are you have found this site and article because you are looking for information on authentic Mexican food products and recipes. If authenticity is indeed important to your needs in the kitchen then when it comes to authentic tortillas corn is it. While some northern Mexican town eateries offer up flour tortillas on their menus such a thing is a spillover effect from the diluted Tex-Mex and Mexi-Cali culinary hybrids from across the U.S. border. Authentic tortillas are corn tortillas.
WINNER: Corn Tortillas (was it too obvious?)
Convinced? Then you’ve come to the right place! If you reside within or are visiting the Greater Vancouver area then El Comal is your one stop shop for corn tortillas, strips, chips, and (taco) shells. View our complete product line here.