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Apr 15, 2011 07:06 AM

Freezing corn tortillas

I got a freezer recently, so I am starting to stock up on things that freeze well. I'm uncertain on one point: I have to go maybe ten miles out of my way to get to the nearest Latin market that stocks really good corn tortillas (El Milagro brand out of nearby Chicago).

Next time I go there, can I buy a boatload of tortillas and then freeze them, without the texture suffering much? Any special packaging requirements? (I don't have a vacuum sealer like Food Saver.)

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  1. I have a pack of El Milagro in my freezer right now, and while I can't really offer much of an opinion for long-term storage (I never freeze mine for more than a month or so), they do thaw reasonably well. There is a *bit* of dryness, which can lead to cracking when folding them, and sometimes they like to stick together, but this is easily solved by thawing them very well before use, and warming them in the microwave with a damp paper towel to make them supple once again.

    If I were to store multiple packs for longer than I do now, then I would likely remove the original packaging (too much air in there), and then wrap small stacks of tortillas tightly in plastic wrap (or maybe foil?) and then put all the stacks in a freezer bag. You'd be able to thaw in whatever quantity you are most likely to use then.

    Good luck, and congrats on the freezer. I'm jealous.

    1. When you thaw them, they need to be in the package or if you only thaw a few, put it in a plastic baggie otherwise they dry out even more. If you fry them afterwards, they come out nicely too!

      1. Congrats on your deep freezer.

        I used to bring a lot of corn tortillas with me from the United States to Dubai when I lived there. In all honesty, corn tortillas are at their best when extremely fresh. After that, they turn to cardboard discs but still taste decent as enchiladas or deep fried. I would eat as many as possible right away, then freeze the rest. The frozen ones need to thaw completely to be handled or they will stick together or break up. They just taste too sad to eat simply thawed and re-heated. I would do reynosa style tacos (stuffed and deep fried) , enchiladas, tostadas, or deep fry them and use them at the bottom of an egg breakfast plate or something. I would also use them by sticking them into certain blended soups. The texture does suffer very much, quite frankly. Since you are not living far far away from a source of fresh corn tortillas, I would suggest that you not bother freezing them.

        1. In NYC Whole Foods, corn and flour tortillas on the shelf are often defrosting: they apparently freeze these at some point in the purchase/distribution chain. It bothers me but who knows how many other large retail chains do the same thing...Whole Foods does the same with packaged
          smoked salmon.

          1 Reply
          1. re: penthouse pup

            It's good to live in tortilla country :P

            Seriously, though, there are tortilla factories everywhere. We had one nearby where I grew up in Michigan, at a time when it was difficult to find canned jalapenos and Dr Pepper there. Great tortillas are worth seeking out, but after freezing, they are no longer great. I get mine from a nearby restaurant that makes their own masa fresh daily. Like I said ...

          2. Okay, thanks for all these replies, everyone. Sounds like it's worth giving freezing a try. But as luckyfatima suggests, I should maybe just count my blessings that they're fresh within ten miles of me everyday. I recall living in Germany and bemoaning how impossible it was to find staple Mexican foods. I'd have driven miles without thinking twice about it then.