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Maria y Ricardo's New Corn Tortillas

almansa May 16, 2012 02:19 PM

I ran into the chef of Maria y Ricardos Tortillas yesterday and he introduced me to a new product of theirs: soft corn tortillas. They're deep yellow and redolent of corn. And they're very soft. I plan to use them for my kids' lunches since the tacos will stay soft all day and have a nice toasty flavor right out of the bag. He said they're at Whole Foods, but I didn't see them in Woburn earlier this week.

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  1. Science Chick RE: almansa May 16, 2012 02:45 PM

    I have consistently had a difficult time getting Maria y Ricardo's corn tortillas at WF stores over the past couple of years. They only seem to carry their own brand, which are coarse, thick and nasty as can be. Maybe your encounter is a good omen of things to come.......I'll certainly keep my eyes open for these!! Thanks, almansa!

    8 Replies
    1. re: Science Chick
      opinionatedchef RE: Science Chick May 17, 2012 12:43 AM

      i used to buy M y R but then i switched to the Tr J corn tortillas . I much prefer them. You might want to give them a try. Also, just so you know, La Verdad will sell you their amazing hand made corn tortillas for short $.

      1. re: opinionatedchef
        Science Chick RE: opinionatedchef May 17, 2012 05:16 AM

        thanks, opchef...yes, I've used the TJs ones, and they are pretty good. Honestly, I picked up a massive pack of some brand in the Latin section at Wegmans and they were really pretty tasty. I don't know the maker... Very soft, light. The type you need to double up on. I froze them in packs of 6 for meals and they freeze very well too. Probably not as "natural" as I normally like, but better than TJs or those nasty WF ones.

        1. re: Science Chick
          almansa RE: Science Chick May 17, 2012 02:11 PM

          That's funny. I switched to TJ's back then, too, when they changed the formula for the flour tortillas (basically pressured by WFM to do so). TJ's are more similar to the old MR tortillas. So are Nature's Promise from Stop & Shop. Maria y Ricardo still make them the old way, but they're only available to restaurants. I was impressed with the new corn recipe. I actually left the show Tuesday with a pack of La Nina corn tortillas as well and tried both. I preferred M&R's. I would say La Nina's stacked up pretty well against Cinco de Mayo's, but weren't better. They were, however, smaller in diameter.

          1. re: almansa
            b
            bear RE: almansa May 19, 2012 11:43 AM

            My preference depends on what I'm using them for. I like Cinco de Mayo for soft tacos because they're tender and delicate, but find that they absorb a lot of fat and are kind of tough when fried.

            Trader Joe's are a bit drier and coarser and fry up dry and crisp, so for tostadas and chilaquiles I use those. They freeze really well, too, so it's easy to grab a couple for a quick huevos rancheros on Sunday mornings.

            I'm looking forward to trying the new M & R product.

      2. re: Science Chick
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        chowmel RE: Science Chick May 17, 2012 06:23 PM

        I'm always able to get M y R at woburn wf. They had corn in the past but I haven't noticed these new corn ones yet

        1. re: Science Chick
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          Splendid Spatula RE: Science Chick May 18, 2012 09:30 AM

          Fresh Pond WF has Maria y Ricardo tortillas, several different kinds, regularly.

          1. re: Splendid Spatula
            Science Chick RE: Splendid Spatula May 18, 2012 10:19 AM

            Most WF stores carry all the different flour tortillas.....it's the corn ones that they rarely carry, so that you'll buy their store brand.

            The Washington St. WF in Newton does the same thing with Iggy's WW baguettes....stopped carrying them so that you are forced to buy their store bakery one. The Beacon St. WF, however, still carries the Iggy's WW baguette. Maybe depends on what they bake in-house and are trying to push.

            1. re: Science Chick
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              bear RE: Science Chick May 19, 2012 11:37 AM

              The River St. WF had the traditional corn Maria y Ricardos as well as their own yesterday.

        2. itaunas RE: almansa May 17, 2012 03:04 AM

          This is slightly off topic, but figured someone might be interested. La Nina reopened in Everett (about 3-4 months ago), but isn't doing direct retail sales anymore and no retail outlets yet.

          5 Replies
          1. re: itaunas
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            hyde RE: itaunas May 17, 2012 03:57 AM

            how do they make money? supplying to restaurants?

            1. re: hyde
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              bearzie RE: hyde May 17, 2012 05:31 AM

              Here's the reply from La Nina I received after i asked them about retail outlets.

              "Right now we are just doing wholesale but you can get our chips at
              Boloco on School street in the financial district as well as our
              tortillas. But there are no places selling our products retail. Keep in
              touch we hope to be doing retail again soon."

              I haven't been to Boloco so I'm not sure if they are always available. Plus I think this location is only open M-F.

              1. re: bearzie
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                LaNina RE: bearzie Feb 20, 2013 11:53 AM

                We are still working on getting into retail soon!!...but if you want to try our tortillas Taco Truck, El Pelon, Painted Burro, pedros use our product!!

                Will keep you updated, we want to share our product with New England as much as people crave it!!!

            2. re: itaunas
              Aromatherapy RE: itaunas May 17, 2012 05:51 AM

              Thanks for posting that, I had been wondering about them. They need to update their web page.

              1. re: Aromatherapy
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                bear RE: Aromatherapy May 19, 2012 11:40 AM

                I do wish La Nina would update online. I emailed a couple of months ago and never received a response. I was really looking forward to buying some fresh masa for tamales when they reopened in Everett. I hope they end up with a retail place.

            3. i
              Isolda RE: almansa May 17, 2012 05:20 PM

              I'm a little confused. How are these different than their regular corn tortillas, which I have been buying for years, first at WF in Framingham and then in Woburn/Winchester? The M y R tortillas I buy are the 6 inch (or so) corn tortillas, all natural, way better than the vile WFM store brand, or even Trader Joe's since they changed their recipe to make them shelf-stable. How are the new ones different?

              10 Replies
              1. re: Isolda
                almansa RE: Isolda May 19, 2012 11:25 AM

                The come out of the pack soft and pliable - a bit doughy - and don't need to be warmed, although they're good in a pan or on the grill.

                1. re: almansa
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                  Isolda RE: almansa May 20, 2012 10:58 AM

                  Are they labeled differently from the old kind? I went to WF in Woburn and all I saw was the kind I normally buy, which are somewhat stiff and do need to be warmed, so I held off buying them until I find the new ones.

                  1. re: Isolda
                    almansa RE: Isolda May 22, 2012 02:58 PM

                    I went to Woburn yesterday and they don't have them yet. I was too lazy to ask or request.

                2. re: Isolda
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                  deglazer RE: Isolda Jun 18, 2012 10:17 AM

                  http://www.assocbuyers.com/shop/pc/vi...

                  Here's a link to ingredients for the soft corn tortillas. Seems they are a hybrid corn/wheat product. Which isn't a bad thing but also rules them out for many people.

                  Love the regular corn. I haven't found anything that has comparable corn taste and crazy masa aroma when reheating. That includes La Nina, which are great - non GMO corn, made daily from their own fresh masa, local. For bullet proof thin-for-doubling I prefer La Bandarita, available at Stop and Shop. But they have almost no corn flavor. For me, Cinco de Mayo is not the right thickness for most uses - too thick to double, too thin for single. But that's just my taste.

                  1. re: deglazer
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                    bear RE: deglazer Jun 18, 2012 10:22 AM

                    deglazer, do you know if La Nina is doing retail again yet?

                    1. re: bear
                      d
                      deglazer RE: bear Jun 18, 2012 10:42 AM

                      Not as far as I know. They're crazy busy with wholesale, from what I've heard.

                      1. re: deglazer
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                        bear RE: deglazer Jun 18, 2012 10:47 AM

                        Good for them. I hope they can manage a small retail operation in the future, though. I want to make tamales with fresh masa!

                        1. re: bear
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                          LaNina RE: bear Feb 20, 2013 11:55 AM

                          We at Tortilleria La Nina will keep you updated. Crossing our fingers to be selling in retail soon.

                          1. re: LaNina
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                            bear RE: LaNina Feb 20, 2013 12:34 PM

                            Good to hear. I'm really looking forward to making some tamales with fresh masa.

                            1. re: LaNina
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                              phatchris RE: LaNina Feb 20, 2013 02:16 PM

                              I used to get them at your Chelsea storefront, great stuff! Awesome guacamole as well.

                  2. tatsu RE: almansa May 21, 2012 10:33 AM

                    This is the brand I usually get at Alewife Whole Foods. It's pretty good, the regular white one. I make "Tatsu Breakfast Tacos", that are almost vegan. Grab a wok, saute some fake soy sausage, little dab of Pixian Bean Paste that I use for Ma Po Tofu, and when that's cooked, put it to the side and scramble some of that silken tofu from the local place in East Cambridge on Rodgers St. When the water mostly evaporates, I throw some shredded monterey jack on and kill the burner. Meanwhile I have the Maria y Ricardo's on the flat iron skillet. Best quick breakfast!

                    Anyway, I tried the new "soft yellow" ones. They are soft and stay soft, even after flat grilling. I found it a few weeks ago at Alewife Whole Foods again (the best WF around, forget Dedham!), but it wasn't there yesterday unfortunately. I think they were a touch larger in diameter than the white ones.

                    I think it's a good product, prices are similar or better than the 365 brand. I didn't know they were local, good to know.

                    1. b
                      bear RE: almansa Feb 20, 2013 05:47 AM

                      I found these at the Waltham (Lexington St.) Shaw's yesterday. They were a little larger and thicker than most corn tortillas, and worked well in fish tacos. Only one tortilla necessarily and they held up to my usual over-filling.

                      I don't know how they'll fry up, but steamed they were good. I'll buy them again. They didn't have any of the original white tortillas.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bear
                        Allstonian RE: bear Feb 20, 2013 06:32 AM

                        Jenny Ondioline and I saw them at the Allston Star Market over the weekend as well - both the "soft corn" and regular flour tortillas in the refrigerated section, near the sour cream, along with other brands of wheat tortillas such as Mission. I was curious whether Star was also offering M&R's regular corn tortillas, but those are kept non-refrigerated in another section and we didn't go look.

                        1. re: bear
                          Science Chick RE: bear Feb 20, 2013 08:34 AM

                          I have purchased these twice in the past few weeks and really like them. They are coined as having a more "handmade" style and are certainly thicker. Held up great for an enchilada dish I made and also for fish tacos. They have a little bit of wheat gluten and flour in them, in addition to a few gums to create the more flexible texture. I was quite surprised to find them, as well as the entire M&R line now, in the Waltham Lexington St. Shaws. Hooray!

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