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Mar 17, 2010 03:22 PM

The Taco- Case of the Tortilla.

I had a good taco the other night.
And it made me want to make a real good taco in the future.

Now before i jump ahead and get into sauces, toppings and the protien.. i would like to pay attention to the most important part. The tortilla.. usually undersung and neglected and usually bland.

So whats the best tortilla you have had? What makes a good tortilla for you?

And more importantly.. How do you make a amazing tortilla.

I am willing to make em by hand and get a press- if thats what it takes.

Your suggestions? techniques? recipes?


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    1. re: lestblight

      I've never made them but I'd like to someday. I've seen a couple of recipes on blogs. Check out Homesick Texan.

    2. Hmmm. I am also a homesick Texan.

      Best tortillas I can remember: a mix of wheat and corn masa, light and fluffy, cooked fully through but so soft like a cloud.

      I don't make them myself, though.

      1. I think the tortilla is the last thing to be worried can make a good taco even with a bad tortilla, but you can't have a good taco if your filling sucks no matter how good the tortilla.

        3 Replies
        1. re: joonjoon

          I'm getting To the filling... But first the tortilla . I don't think you can have a good taco with a bad tortilla.

          It's the first thing that meets your mouth and can heighten the anticipation to the sauce
          and meat and toppings. A dull lifeless tortilla Sounds like sadness to me.

          I ate at a tortilla factory here.. Their tacos were great. The meat wasn't topnotch ther sauce wasn't terribly intersting .. But their tortilla was tasty. Warm and savory with a hint of fat. I loved that hence this post.

          I then ate at a pricy taco spot here in NYC.. An it was the opposite protien was great and sauce delicious but tortilla was meh.

          I want a tasty first encounter and then a lovely rendezvous with the protoen and sauce.

          Speaking of.. How is lard in tortilla? I hear
          this makes it tasty?

          1. re: lestblight

            Lard is indeed incorporated into tacos ( both corn and flour ) and I personally think they are the best, taste wise, not health wise. I don't / can't make my own shells as I suck very bad at it and in my fit of a craving, will go out and buy them. My experience is to get the shells at a carniceria or a Hispanic market.

            1. re: JerryMe

              Traditionally lard ,or any fat for that matter, is not part of a corn tortilla.

        2. I like the tacos made with the small white corn tortillas - not the hard shell tacos, the soft ones where the tortilla is heated, not fried. They are only 4" - 5" diameter, and you usually get two tortillas, stacked, then the toppings on that from the taco trucks. Then you have to fold them up and try to eat them without all the toppings getting all over you and it never works and you end up smelling like tacos all day no mater how may times you wash your hands. Can you tell I'm hungry?
          I never considered making them from scratch since I can buy them so inexpensively.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pcdarnell

            Unfortunately without fresh masa it would seem that making tortillas is a losing battle, at least for me. I've used Manseca and water ala Bayless's recipe but they always just seem to be average at best. Plus it's tough to get the moisture of the dough just perfect to where it doesn't crack at the edges or stick to the plastic/press. I've heard some people add lard to their dough, I have some manteca in the fridge so I may try that next time I'm in the mood and see if it gets me better results.

          2. I share a preference for the small, soft white corn tortillas, with that tangy aroma.

            I have made them from masa harina with mediocre results. sometime I will start from scratch. This video is worth watching if you want to find out more.


            1 Reply
            1. re: andrewtree

              Most commercial corn tortillas are fine for tacos, fresher is better. I have eaten fresh off of the press corn tortillas and they are really good. But, if you really want a better tortilla, make flour, not for tacos, though, I use them for that as well, but for a real flavor treat for the effort, one that corn does not really provide.

              Tacos are all about the mix, good meat, seasoning to fit your taste seasoning, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions and the cheese that works for you. Salsa and/or hot sauce can be factored in as well.