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Why do authentic Mexican places serve 2 corn tortillas for each individual taco and not one?

Are the corn tortillas not substantial enough to hold the fillings? What is the thinking behind this?

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  1. I believe, though have never posed the question and can't be absolutely sure, that that is the thinking, that one tortilla will usually tear and split from the liquid and heft of the fillings. I know I have done this at home, and one corn tortilla just won't hold the fillings.

    1. It's to help with saucy fillings. It also makes a great tortilla-to-filling ratio. And I have seen some people eat the taco using just the inner tortilla, then use the second to scoop up any goodness that fell out of the taco, essentially making a small second taco.

      1. Now I want to go eat some tacos, but I am too full from dinner. Lunch tomorrow then!

        1. This is specific to a particular part of Mexico; generally a little further south than the border region, though not quite central. My guess is that two two tortillas are just that much more filling, and a cheap way to satisfy customers. Or it may be a regional tradition, (I wouldn't know).

          4 Replies
          1. re: gilintx

            I live thirty miles north of the Mexican border and 2 soft corn tortillas is what you get here with carnitas and most other fillings--same when I've eaten at taco stands thirty miles into Mexico.

            1. re: escondido123

              Hmm. So maybe it's a regional thing? I never saw it before I started frequenting a taco truck whose owner came from San Luis Potosi. Never saw this in Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Guanajuato or even the D.F.

              1. re: gilintx

                Hmmm...and I don't think I've seen a taco in Mexico *without* 2 tortillas.

                Here's a short 6 minute video about tacos in Tijuana and the presenter does talk about why there are 2 tortillas - http://crossingsouth.com/videos/tacos/ . Not sure I agree with him 100%, but he makes a plausible argument for 2 tortillas.

            2. re: gilintx

              2 corn tortillas per taco in Salinas, California -- taco trucks & restaurants.

              1. re: KaimukiMan

                Wasn't there a much longer thread debating one v two?

                1. re: paulj

                  Yes, here:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/762812
                  "Plse Help Stop the Arguing About 1 or 2 Tortillas on Mexican Tacqueria Tacos!"

                  The question also came up here:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/301413
                  "Questions about Tacos from Taco Stands"