A Tortilla Is Not Always A Tortilla

Scan — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

Except in Mexico and some Central American countries a tortilla is an egg omelet. The most famous omelet is the Spanish one which is very thick (with olives, potatoes, onions and red pepper) and eaten cold, preferably the next day with ice cold manzanilla..

In Mexico a tortilla is a pliant flat bread made from corn that has been treated with lye. In short it is called “tortilla de maza”. A wheat flower tortilla is a “tortilla de harina.”

When my family and I moved to Mexico in 1954 I found Mexican tortillas a curious thing. When I tried a few that were freshly made at home to me they had the taste that was akin to the smell of a chicken coop.

I soon discovered that if you fried a tortilla until it was golden brown and eaten while hot that the taste was scrumptious. All I need to do was sprinkle it with some salt. As soon as the fried tortilla became cold the taste was not the same and not as good.

Today I decided I wanted to fry five tortillas and sprinkle them with Mark Budgen’s Maldon Salt. I ate them with sliced cocktail tomatoes. I must report that the Maldon Salt made this combination outstanding.

This is one of the reasons why tortilla chips are always a letdown. The secret is above. Mexicans will put on a fresh tostada (the name given to a fried corn tortilla) re-fried beans or ground meat and then shredded lettuce, tomato, radishes and onion. Most of us will cut up a serrano chile. None nicer! A tostada in my Buenos Aires is a slice of toast. In Mexico it is pan tostado.

Link to: A Tortilla Is Not Always A Tortilla.


Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.