One Writer's Quest for the Perfect Flour Tortilla in L.A.
When it comes to carbs, it really is hard to beat a fresh tortilla. And while many food folks might think that flour tortillas are "less authentic" than their maize-made counterparts, that's simply not the case.
Here's why, according to Dommy Gonzales:
Food historian Donna Gabaccia describes in her book, We Are What We Eat: Ethnic Food and The Making of Americans, that corn was harder to cultivate in areas of Northern Mexico, which included what is now the U.S. Southwest. In turn, wheat grew abundantly and was substituted for corn in many preparations including tortillas. Flour tortillas are not only as authentic as corn, they're native to border states.
Which is what brought about a recent column in the L.A. Times. Writer Dalina Castellanos has been on a fruitless search for a tortilleria making the flatbread of her childhood. The author was raised in Arizona, with her family hailing from Sonora, where flour tortillas were the only way to go. One wouldn't think would be such a task to find flour tortillas in Los Angeles, a city whose rich culinary landscape is reflective of the fact that it's home to the largest population of Mexican Americans in the country.
But for Castellanos, it wasn't so easy. After discovering Mexicali's newish location on Figuroa, the writer thought she'd hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, they ship theirs straight in from Mexicali and don't sell them for take-away. (If you haven't yet tried their wares, be sure to check them out at the upcoming Tacolandia festival.)
She ended up finding solace at La Azteca Tortilleria, which makes flour tortillas almost as good as what her mom sends from back home. Still, it's hard to believe that there aren't more places specializing in this bordertown treat. But at least we're not stuck with Guerrero's.