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Flour Tortillas (Moved from Home Cooking Board)

  • j

Is there a difference between the flour tortillas that are found at the market in the dairy aisle as opposed to the ones that aren't refridgerated and sold in the International aisle?

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  1. I would look at the list of ingredients on the package. I am suspecting that the refrigerated ones have a bunch of preservatives in them. And the "international aisle" ones if they are coming from a local maker may not.

    That's what I look for when I'm buying them. I buy the ones without crap in them. And then if it's more than I need right away, I just freeze them.

    1. In my findings, the refrigerated ones are the garbage ones.

      1. Interesting, because I have noticed that the refrigerated ones are more prone to tearing, even after warming. What I can't understand is why they have to be refrigerated if they have preservatives in them.

        1. I make my own tortillas, I refrigerate them after one day only so that they don't go stale, I think that is the only reason tortillas are refrigerated unless they are the ones that are sold raw and must be cooked.

          3 Replies
          1. re: cook52

            How do you make yours??
            I've made a couple of half hearted attempts at finding a decent recipe/method.


            1. re: Davwud

              You know I can't say I follow a recipe as I learned from Grandma & Mom, but here goes; about couple cups of flour, 1/2 tsp salt,, 1/2 tsp baking powder, cut in approx 1/4 c shortening, then knead with warm water to form ball divide into smaller smalls let rest approx 10-15 min. roll out and cook over a hot griddle (comale), flip over when tortilla bubbles. Good luck

          2. The differences depend as much on the brand as on the location. In general, though, the refridgerated ones have a long shelf life, in the store and at home. The international aisle ones should have a high turn over rate, though you can put them in the fridge at home.

            Most national brand fridge ones are thick and cardboardy. But I have found some quality ones there as well. I used to get a quality 'Santa Fe' brand in the Seattle area.

            I usually get non-fridge ones from Trader Joes that are quite good, both their more expensive 'handmade' and less expensive 'generic'. But the non-fridge brand that a non-grocery Walmart sells are ok. They have more preservatives so they don't go moldy as fast when camping.

            I buy by feel - the package should be pliable. I prefer thick irregular ones, but the thinner machine-made ones are better for wrapping.


            1 Reply
            1. re: paulj

              Tia Rosa is the mass market brand that I've been happy with.

              It is hard to say what I don't like about some of the other ones I tried on a recent camping trip. There was some off taste. For now I'll stay away from ones that list margarine (with sub ingredients like sugar). Tia Rosa lists salt just a head of leavening.


            2. Are you referring to the refrigerated uncooked tortillas?
              If so - the basic difference is that they have to be baked/fried/toasted before use.
              These are usually thinner than the pre-cooked, have less or no preservatives depending on brand, are usually much tastier than the pre-cooked.

              1. Replying to...

                Interesting, because I have noticed that the refrigerated ones are more prone to tearing, even after warming. What I can't understand is why they have to be refrigerated if they have preservatives in them.

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                RGC1982 May 08, 2008 08:24PM

                I've noticed the same thing since we store ours in the frig. So I did a Google search of 'storing flour tortillas'. It came back with a thread at 'americaskitchen.com'. One person brought up the fact that they don't store theirs in the frig for the same reason that it is not recommended to store bread(s) in the frig, as it tends to actually make it stale in that it drys it out. This is probably the reason flour tortillas (FTs) stored in the frig are prone to tearing, especially thinner ones. Another poster there had an interesting technique that may help to restore some moisture to refrigerated stored FTs. She covers them with a damp paper towel (PT) before heating them for 20-30 seconds in the micorwave. I think I'm going to give this a try but also place a damp PT under the FT as well as on top. In the two food stores where I generally shop there are no flour tortillas stored in refrigerated cases. Buying in smaller 'count' packages and using them up quickly is probably the way to go if you don't want to refrigerate them.

                Edited to add...I just tried the wet PT technique and have to say it worked extremely well. It produced a soft pliable FT that did not tear when rolling up my well stuffed burrito I made for breakfast.

                1. I now only make them at home thanks to this thread.