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Why does anyone buy flour tortillas?

  • s

If there is a choice, I go for corn. I love how the roasted corn smell of a fresh hot tortilla makes me swoon and practically knocks me over. A flour tortilla seems to have no flavor or aroma. Why do you buy/use/eat flour?

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  1. I like them as a change of pace,and use them for fajaitas and breakfast tacos mainly.
    Bit I do like corn ones and have used them for both purposes.

    1. Corn tortillas are great for certain dishes as are flout tortillas. A huge cal-mex burrito in a flour tortilla is pure heaven.

      1. I like both as well, it is a matter of which I have a taste for at the moment, sometimes I even have one of each.

        I do more often than not crave corn tortillas for some steak tacos.

        1. Burritos are handheld goodness. You can fill a big flour tortilla with whatever you want and eat it without a napkin.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mojoeater

            a burrito wrapper is pretty much the only reason to buy flour tortillas--that said, its perfect for the job.

            1. re: Jeters

              hmmm...I can't imagine a fajita without a flour tortilla, maybe some folks use corn tortillas for that, but ugh! But I do agree with you on the burrito...flour tortilla is called for on that one, too.

          2. I tried using corn tortillas once. They were really unpleasantly gritty and doughy to me. How does one prepare packaged corn tortillas?

            I have had them in various kitchens when I worked with Mexican people. I always looked forward to the kitchen staff lunch when they made fajitas. However I've never been able to replicate the flavor at home

            1 Reply
            1. re: amethiste

              You can't eat them out of the bag, they need some cooking (and no microwaving). Either steam them until soft (approx. 30 sec) or toss them on a gridle until hot. If you steam them, use two to wrap up the meat/condiments. In my family and in most Mexican households, corn is the most common. In my travels to Mexico (tourist resort being the exception) I don't recall seeing flour tortillas very often.

              Of course, flour tortillas make great quesadilla, but you I also like to soften corn tortillas, stuff them with queso fresco, and pan fry until crispy.

              About the only thing flour tortillas get regularly used for in my house is to eat various forms of chili.

            2. Because they taste good.
              They're also the right application for the job sometimes. Much like a corn tortilla is.


              1. but can you pull a fresh hot tortilla out the fridge for an evening snack?

                Years ago I stayed with a border Mexican family for a month. The midday meal used corn tortillas freshly bought from the neighborhood tortilleria. In the evening we usually ate fresh, homemade flour tortillas. At breakfast we used the leftovers.

                I have never made corn tortillas myself, and don't have a ready source for fresh hot ones. Occasionally I've made flour ones. Mostly though I buy the best quality ones I can find (Trader Joes 'home made'), keep them in the fridge, and warm them right before eating (micro or grill). We eat more flour tortillas than bread, with a meal or wrapped around some ham and cheese. Corn tortillas don't work as well for that.

                Corn works well in the traditional Mexican dishes; flour is easier to adapt to non-traditional uses.


                1 Reply
                1. re: paulj

                  i used to wrap ham and cheese into a tortilla all the time. fast and easy to eat. flour tortillas are great as are corn...

                2. quesadillas!

                  to me -- corn is for tacos, tostadas or enchiladas.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hitachino

                    Made chicken quesadillas last night, excellent with three cheeses, my salsa, tomatoes, scallion, jalapenos and cilantro, and a little dollop of sour cream. Buttered the tortillas, came out the cheeses a beautiful melt, and golden flakey tortilla. DH took left overs for his lunch. YUM. I have pictures! So weird I know.
                    And they make a great colorado chimichanga when you want one NOW!

                    Corn are for enchiladas,tostadas, and tacos and shredded beef cigar-like flautas!
                    With guacamole, yes!

                  2. Sometimes I'll put pb in a ww flour tortilla, microwave until pb is melted for a quick snack. It just wouldn't taste good on corn.

                    1. I go to a place that sells raw/uncooked flour tortillas, and cook 'em up quickly in a hot skillet with a little oil. The quality seems much better...great for burritos.

                      Corn is great for fish tacos, or huevos rancheros.

                      1. What I want to know is why corn tortillas can't be made as big as flour tortillas?

                        Or am I just no shopping the right places?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          The diameter of my corn tortillas are a function of the size of the press. I roll out the flour tortillas. (I'm not some masochist purist, but just can't get good tortillas here. Thankfully a friend just back from Mexico brought us some.).

                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            Right. Also, some regions of Mexico do have large corn tortillas (and correspondingly larger presses). In the rural area of the Valley of Oaxaca where I sometimes travel for work, most homemakers make corn tortillas that are easily a foot across. They tend to be thinner and stiffer than other corn tortillas (they're cooked on the grill until toasted and crunchy).

                            I've seen them in Oaxacan restaurants stateside as well. Because of their texture and taste, they're not really interchangeable with flour tortillas, though.

                        2. A bit like asking why people buy red snapper when they can also buy trout.

                          1. when i was young... back at the dawn of history.... the woman down the street who grew up in New Mexico taught us gringos that "corn is for cooking, flour is for serving." I have no idea how accurate that is. I'm sure to hear about it now though!

                            1. Because I like them and don't like corn tortillas, not at all.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: dinwiddie

                                I agree, I have yet to have a Corn Tortillas that works for me... I always find them dry. Are my missing something? I wish I could find a corn Tortillas that I would like ?
                                Thanks, Brian

                                1. re: BRIANTHEFOODUDE

                                  First, you have to get (Taco) religion. Overstuffed burritos are sinful.
                                  Second, buy locally made, fresh tortillas or make them yourself (easy = premixed masa + tortilla press + cast iron skillet).
                                  If you live in OC, check out this post: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/433375 . Look for Diana's tortillas or the Northgate Market near you: http://www.northgatemarkets.com/store...

                                2. re: dinwiddie

                                  Corn tortillas (to me) taste like how horses smell. Does that make sense? No thanks.

                                3. As a lot of others have said - sometimes corn doesn't fit the bill - and I think a lot of it has to do with texture. For example: enchiladas would not hold up with flour and I would expect them to take on a slimy mouth feel. Why buy? Fresh flour tortillas are delicious, but super hard to get right. They have to be kneaded properly and then rolled to just the right thickness - I've tried to make em about 4 times now and out of a batch, I'll get maybe 5 or 6 perfect ones. (boo)

                                  1. Steve: I'm with you, I just don't relate well to flour tortillas...in fact, it's a turn off to see a restaurant serving them ...In Texas taquerias , when they need more hold-together power , they don't go to flour tortillas , they just double the corn tortillas . In other words, your taco comes wrapped in two corn tortillas instead of one .

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: pinotho

                                      The taquerias that I frequent, usually ask whether I want corn or flour with the plates and soups where this item is a side. Where the tortilla is an integral part of the dish, there usually are distinct names for ones made with corn v. flour. The antojitos section this page gives a good set of definitions:

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        most taco joints do serve them like that; doubled corn tortillas, which you don't have to ask for. i don't usually see a taco joint serve tacos on a flour tortilla unless specifically stated. other then that as stated flour tortilla = good handle for a ginormous two handed burrito.

                                        when you get a plate though is when i will usually be asked which type of tortilla i would like.

                                    2. I guess you haven't had good flour tortillas.

                                      1. For enchiladas, tacos al pastor, and huaraches, corn masa is basic. Similarly, harina (flour) is basic to quesadillas. For most other Mexican needs, it's dealer's choice, no right or wrong. Corn flour and corn tortillas have historically been highly subsidized by the Mexican government and consequently are incredibly inexpensive there, so corn will always be the default tortilla.

                                        1. I just don't like the corn ones... I bought a bag by mistake and didn't know they had to be cooked, so I tried to use them raw. UGH!
                                          Flour tortillas don't have much of a flavour of their own - they're a vehicle to hold the filling... unless you buy the herbed/garlic ones. The last breakfast burrito I had came wrapped in a delicious herbed tortilla. Yum!

                                          1. When I want a canvas or vehicle. I don't ask much from flour tortillas, just that they show up at the meal and serve their purpose, which is generally not to add flavor per se the way corn tortillas provide such a specific taste and texture. In many cases, as another poster noted, I don't care for the toothsome taste of corn tortillas that would compete with the other ingredients in my dish.

                                            1. Flour tortillas are a quick and easy substitute for chapatties if I don't feel like making them myself. They taste good with indian food. my husband, who is indian, uses them that way because he doesn't like corn tortillas.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Bengaliwife

                                                Really funny--in my work in India I did the same but in reverse: I often used chapatis like flour tortillas, filling with a bit of, for example, goat meat, lentils, and whatever had chili--rolling up, tucking in the other end, and eating.

                                              2. because the store-bought corn tortillas are dry, gritty and oddly gummy! the flour (depending on the brand) are generally not gritty, and if you pick up a decent brand they're not gummy either. now when I'm making my own? definitely corn!

                                                1. flour tortillas are used for different reasons, i love both, but if I'm eating green chile for example only a flour tortilla will suffice, and only one brand, from Albuquerque tortilla factory.

                                                  1. I buy them solely as a quick and easy way to make small thin crust pizzas.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: steinpilz

                                                      Flour tortillas are quite common in Mexico, and are the tortilla of choice in many dishes, particularly in the northern part of the Country.

                                                      1. re: ekammin

                                                        yep i was gonna say that, too. It's a regional thing and Northern, border, and Tex-Mex cuisines uses a lot of flour tortillas depending on the dish. Well made flour tortillas are heavenly.

                                                        1. re: luckyfatima

                                                          Agree. My Mexican family mainly uses corn tortillas, but there are some very specific things that we always use (good) flour tortillas for. For some reason, I always want flour tortillas for my chile colorado. I can't think of the other dishes at the moment. While I crave corn tortillas for most things, they are just wrong sometimes.

                                                    2. I love corn, but flour crisps up so much nicer for things like quesadillas. Getting fresh flour tortillas also makes a big difference. I get them from the hispanic grocery store not far from my house and they are hot off the press. Deliciousness!

                                                      As others have mentioned, they are also great for wraps. I use them to wrap all sorts of leftovers for lunch the next day. I also find them a convenient substitute for pita bread. I can't get fresh pita easily, and a fresh flour tortilla beats the pants off a packaged pita any day of the week.

                                                      1. My personal fave is always corn...To me, flour is only good for quesadillas

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: jinet12

                                                          Also good for chimichangas. Flour tortillas crisp up nicely.

                                                        2. I can't think of the brand, right now, but in stores in the Pacific NW, you can get tortillas that are flour with corn combined. Obviously not adequate for corn tortilla purists, but really nice for the enhanced corn flavor combined with the silky pliability of flour.

                                                          1. I actually prefer flour to corn tortillas. I especially like homemade flour tortillas. They remind me of being a little girl and my neighbor's grandparents would visit from Mexico. Her grandmother would make us flour tortillas and we would eat them, still hot, with butter. Just thinking of it makes me want to call Mary Beals...I wonder where she is?

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: amy_rc

                                                              Wow...I wonder if there is a word for "memory jealousy"?

                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                I think "memory jealousy" is the word! I, too, like a warm flour tortilla with certain dishes, such as carnitas, or as a quesadilla. I bet its great with melted butter, as well!

                                                                1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                  Again, quesadillas. A few years ago, I used to make cheese quesadillas for my daughter & her friends whenever they used to come over. They absolutely loved my version using "truly handmade flour tortillas", shredded cheese & refrigerated bruschetta all from Trader Joes. Agree with another post above that it is a great substitute for rotis to eat with Indian food.

                                                                  1. re: ceekskat

                                                                    Don't let the 'bruschetta' police catch you misusing their beloved term :) But I know what you are referring to. An even better filling is their 'mixed grilled vegetable brushetta'. Wrap that in a tortilla with some cheese and thin ham, and warm in the micro.


                                                                    1. re: ceekskat

                                                                      ceekskat- clearly you dodged the bullet otherwise known as Bruschettagate, where many many CHers contributed hotly to the debate over what "bruschetta" actually is... I guess you are referring to a fresh tomato mixture intended to be used as a topping (I am trying to be diplomatic here!)? If so, that sounds delicious. Did you melt it all on the stovetop? Kudos to you on finding nutritious and interesting food to serve your daughter, too!

                                                                      1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                        After sprinkling a layer of cheese, I spread the tomato mix evenly & place the quesadilla on a slightly greased pan. Just a little bit of oil on the pan makes the tortillas nice & crisp. As for the brushetta, bruschetta debate, I was merely making a reference to the Trader Joe's product. I know they have a bottled one but the refrigerated one is so much better. Of course the fresh "mixture" is even better, but the TJ's product is a big time saver (and I don't have to buy a big bunch of basil & watch the unused portion rot in my fridge).

                                                                        I've also used the TJ brushetta (I really don't remember how they spell it:-) to make appetizers using toasted baguette slices & my guests love it. If I a few guests, I can make a fresh batch but for lots of guests, TJ's helps me out a great deal.

                                                                2. re: amy_rc

                                                                  My grandmother's housekeeper would make huge flour tortillas and they would be overnighted to us in northern NY. They were good but the corn tortilla is still the tortilla I prefer. Even when all we could get were canned corn tortillas from Old El Paso.

                                                                3. It's biscuits vs. cornbread, baby!

                                                                  1. Good flour tortillas (like those entirely or partly with lard) are delicious. Flour tortillas are more traditional for certain dishes than corn tortillas, especially in northern Mexico.

                                                                    1. I'm with you, Steve. I love the flavor and aroma of a good, fresh corn tortilla. I think they are wonderful hot, spread with butter, and rolled up, and I also love simple quesadillas of Mexican melting cheese - or failing that, Monterey jack - on corn tortillas.

                                                                      I don't buy corn tortillas in grocery stores, though; since corn tortillas, unlike flour tortillas, are made without fat, they don't keep well, which is why commercial corn tortillas are invariably leathery and stale. I don't live near a tortilleria, but I can walk into a local Mexican restaurant that makes them fresh and buy a dozen any time.

                                                                      1. I lived in San Antonio in the '80s and flour tortillas were for tacos and anything else for which a a non-cooked tortilla was called for. Corn tortillas were for enchilladas, flautas . . . anything that had to be deep fried and/or dredged in sauce. I was always led to believe that flour tortillas developed in Texas (and, from what I'm reading here, Northern Mexico) because of the paucity of corn in the region. In San Antonio to this day, you can still see women patting out flour tortillas and putting them on the grill at a few traditional restaurants. ("Tortillando'' is a verb in Spanish.) There's really nothing better than a covered dish of steaming hot flour tortillas at your table. Since then, living in Mid-Atlantic America (i.e. not a Mexican food paradise, for sure), I've developed a taste for corn tortillas & even make corn tortilla tacos at home. But a well-made flour tortilla almost makes me shed a tear for my lost youth! <:>))

                                                                        1. I'm allergic to corn.

                                                                          1. Flour tortilla is like wonder bread. When I was 5, we made flour tortillas from scratch in kindergarten and served them with butter. I still love them heated on a hot pan until they puff with butter spread on them. The only one I buy are the ones made with lard, not the puffy Taco Bell kind.

                                                                            Corn is wonderful for most dishes. I didn't like corn tortilla for years because they had a weird texture and smell. I completely changed my mind when I went to Nicaragua and had the most wonderful handmade white corn tortillas that were thick and fresh. They were made on a pan over a wood fire. Kinda crispy on the edges and hot smokey corn goodness inside. I love corn tortillas heated on a pan until slightly crispy edges with most anything.

                                                                            1. I make my own flour tortillas with lard but I never buy them. I make them as an accompaniment to chili or whatever saucy dish seems like a good match. I especially like them for quesadillas when leftover, for breakfast. Homemade lard tortillas are nothing like store bought - they are puffy and light and a wee bit crispy around the edges and just delicious, kinda like a very soft, very thin, very tender pie crust (not exactly, but lacking any other comparison...)

                                                                              But if I had to pick one, it would be corn. I cannot get over how corn tortillas complement a more "traditional" mexican dish. Nothing like it.

                                                                              1. because when you've eaten a really good one, you can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want one.
                                                                                When we camk/kayak our way down to the bottom tip Baja, we freak out when we start to run low on the tortillas we buy from the random person on the side of the road.
                                                                                Nopthiong beats a fresh flour tortilla, rewarmed over the fire with some butter smeared on tom...as a plate to eat your freshly steamed buttered clams...the cleanup is quite delicious...mmm, I want to go kayaking!

                                                                                1. I buy flour tortillas (usually whole wheat) for quesadillas and wrap sandwiches. BTW, instead of frying my quesadillas on a griddle, I bake them in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or a 400 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted. Like previous posters, I use flour tortillas as vehicles for serving other tasty ingredients. Corn tortillas for tacos or enchiladas. Have never eaten either plain or buttered, but then again I've never had the privilege of trying one totally fresh and hot!

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: WendyBinCT

                                                                                    Before we moved to Arizona from Texas I never had a quesadilla with a flour tortilla. They were always made with two corn tortillas with asadero or munster cheese sandwiched in the middle, cooked on the comal I hope to one day inherit.

                                                                                    1. re: mamamia

                                                                                      This is true. Many, many years ago when we were kids, mom made quesadillas on Friday when we couldn't eat meat. They were always with yellow corn tortillas and Mexican cheese and fried. Never with flour. And when she made flour torts, (everyday) we stood in line with our hands out, butter ready. There was nothing like it. Mom was from Mexico. Dad too. Flour torts were eaten like bread, rolled up and eaten with the food. Then they were used to mop up any delicious juices on the plate.

                                                                                      1. re: Neta

                                                                                        Yes!! The older people in my family always have flour tortillas with a meal, in much the same way you would use bread. Dad still eats his beans with a spoon in one hand and a rolled tortilla in the other. He talks about being in a huge, poor family as a kid. Flour tortillas were splurges for them since masa was a lot cheaper than flour.

                                                                                        As kids we even ate our egg burrtios with corn tortillas. I would put a hot fresh corn tortilla on par with any flour version.