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best tortillas from super markets in L.A.and O.C.

jsl Oct 16, 2006 11:41 PM

Sometimes I need to get tortillas fast so end up at the super market. Which are the best and most authenic tasting to buy? Both corn and flour. I don't care for the Mission brand.

  1. Eat_Nopal Oct 16, 2006 11:48 PM

    I like the "Truly Handmade" brand at Trader Joe's... they have a very hearty, earthy aroma & flavor. But, they are expensive and a little thick & stiff. The best way to heat them is over a little bit of oil in a covered heavy frying pan.

    1. elmomonster Oct 17, 2006 12:06 AM

      I like the Joselito brand, which is sold in Mexican grocery stores. One such grocery store in O.C. is in Tustin, called Bodega "R" Ranch, on the corner of Walnut and Newport.

      It's lightly salted, has a fine crumb, and is just like the chips found in Mexican restaurants. Sells for about $2 for a 2 pound bag.

      If I want an even fresher tortilla chip, and I mean right off the fryer and bagged, I go to El Gallo Giro in Santa Ana. Not only do they fry the tortilla chips there, they grind and process the masa to make fresh tortillas too. But you have to be there at the right time to buy the chips. And they go fast.

      Here's an earlier review I did on it, with photo:


      1. ozzygee Oct 17, 2006 12:25 AM

        Get the corn ones fresh. Most mexican grocery store chains have tortillerias in them.

        Vallarta Supermarkets does. http://www.vallartasupermarket.com/

        Most packaged tortillas are now owned by one conglomerate even though they have different labels.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ozzygee
          Das Ubergeek Oct 17, 2006 03:56 AM

          Vallarta and most Northgate markets have a tortilleria in them, as ozzygee said. Some of them make things other than run-of-the-mill corn tortillas, too. My Vallarta makes corn in several sizes, flour (usually), huaraches, sopes and gorditas.

        2. g
          globalgourmet Oct 17, 2006 05:03 AM

          Trader Jose's handmade flour tortillas.


          1. y
            yclops Oct 17, 2006 05:07 PM

            For gringo chain-supermarket flour tortillas, I like the Guerrero brand. They have enough fat in 'em to be flexible and crisp up nicely on a griddle, much more so than the Mission brand. Guerrero also has an "uncooked" flour tortilla that you can slap in a pan and cook up fresh. They're fun, but I don't know if they're a huge improvement over the regular ones (they do make terrific Chinese danbing, though).

            If you have time to go to a Mexican supermarket or market, you may see unmarked packages of very large flour tortillas for burritos; these are usually excellent.

            For corn tortillas, I dunno.

            1. Ginger Wolf Oct 17, 2006 05:19 PM

              I thought you were asking about tortillas, not chips or preparations. I look for Guerrero or Romero brand, for store bought ease. They are even sometimes warm in the stores when purchasing. My only problem is they sell them by the three dozen, which for me is a lot. I've even imported these to lonely places that are seriously lacking in Mex prep foods, say West Virginia, just to show folks how to fold a proper fried taco. I find them at Stater Brothers specifically.

              1. j
                Jack Flash Oct 17, 2006 07:39 PM

                Every packaged tortilla I've seen is no longer made with lard, but with oil or shortening, and they just don't have the same texture or consistency as the ones with lard. Do any of the local markets/tortillerias still make tortillas (particularly flour ones) with lard?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jack Flash
                  Reeter1 Dec 23, 2006 11:19 PM

                  Yes, please help us lard fans! For years, I'd go out of my way to find Eldorado brand flour tortillas. They were the only ones left in our area (Pasadena) that still used lard. Now, succumbing to the trend towards hyrdogenated vegetable oil, Eldorado quit making 'em!

                  As a second-generation native Angeleno, I grew up on those nice, elastic lard tortillas. I can't stand the vegetable oil ones. The big supermarket brands (Guerrro, Mission, etc.) are so bad, I've stopped buying tortillas!

                2. m
                  missyumyum Dec 23, 2006 08:28 PM

                  From a run-of-the mill grocery store, I prefer Diana's brand of tortillas, both flour & corn. If your store doesn't carry them, try the Guerruero brand. If you can find their uncooked ones, they are definitely the closest to fresh tortillas. Just make sure you heat them in a pan, the microwave is not an option! If you can make it to a Trader Joe's, their homeade tortillas, while on the thick side, are quite good.

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