Authenticity depends on where you’re standing! My family came to the US from Mexico in the 1920s and quickly adopted bleached wheat flour, white rice, and macaroni pasta because that’s what Americans ate. Probably back in Mexico that was what the upper classes were eating, too. Decades later, I grew up making white-as-white flour tortillas with Crisco, which I still make (except instead of Crisco I buy the fancy-pants organic veggie shortening). To me flour tortillas are authentically Mexican-American and make me think of home, family, and tradition way more than grinding corn with a metate ever would.
I’ve read Lottie and Doof for years now and you never fail to make me excited about new recipes (I can’t even count how many recipes I’ve tried and loved from your archives. But this one just hit all the right spots, and arrived just as I was considering writing about the tortillas I grew up eating and helping my mother to make, usually as chief tortilla flipper, peering into the cast-iron skillet to wait for the bubbles to begin dotting the dough. They were always flour tortillas, sometimes half whole wheat, and always made in an extra-large batch so we could take them to school slathered with peanut butter and jelly or toasted for breakfast and spread with salted butter, cinnamon and sugar. Thank you for the beautiful post and for validating my love of home-made flour tortillas.
I am a flour tortilla fan, too. A burrito made with a flour tortilla is my kind of comfort food. :)
I have also purchased grains from Anson Mills and can attest to how great they are. The grits are fantastic, and I agree with you on the farro piccolo. It is some of the best farro I have had. I can also vouch for the carolina rice, buckwheat flour, and cornmeal. They are a great company, everything is shipped to you fresh, and the website does have great recipes to help you figure out what to do with all that bounty. I will have to try the wheat flours with my next order.
I grew up on the border of Mexico, so we ate tortillas with everything. While the rest of the country was making homemade bread or travelling to France to find the perfect baguette, we we eating flour tortillas (or corn) with caldillo, quesadillas instead of grilled cheese, and various incarnations of tacos. We were so out of the loop we didn’t even realize there was a loop! Today, as much as I love a piece of good, toothsome bread, I still crave a hot, buttered flour tortilla. In fact, this yogurt I’m eating is going back in the fridge and it’s time for a quesadilla. I’m with you, Tim – I’ll take yummy and uncool any day :)
That IS a great gift. We just got a box of Anson Mills flours and grains today, actually, and I have a batch of buckwheat cookies in the oven right now. We’ve been serving the Sea Island Red Peas, Carolina Gold rice and the Farro at our restaurant here in Tallahassee for a few months, but this is the first time I’ve tried their grains. I’m quite smitten already.
Thanks so much for sharing! Try as I might, I can’t seem to get the hang of corn tortillas either. Really looking forward to getting my hands on some Anson Mills flour and trying the flour tortilla recipe.
I haven’t even read the rest of the entry, but needed to comment immediately and say – wait, what? flour tortillas aren’t cool? Hahahahaha. It’s always refreshing to learn that you were uncool in a way you didn’t even realize. Shows how pointless the concept of cool is. Tim, you’re awesome.
If loving flour tacos is uncool and wrong, I never want to be cool and right. Anson Mills has long been on my radar as David Chang has praised their products to the skies, but maybe I’ll have to finally break down and order some of their grains. Have you tried any of the corn products?
learning how easy it is to make flour tortillas was a game-changer for me. Shiv loves to help me flip them–and then he loves to eat them warm. confession: I often use lard instead of oil, because I have somehow become one of those people who renders her own lard (we get pork fat in our monthly meat share from time to time). those tortillas are extra flaky and wow; I recommend.
also, have you read The Third Plate? I haven’t yet–it’s on my list–but I know that Glenn Roberts, the founder of Anson Mills, is profiled in the book. I have only ever bought their grits–it’s hard to find their products in stores down here–but those were superb. once my current pantry grain stores run out, maybe I need to treat myself to an online order?
That first paragraph — just amazing and so on point.
I lived in Honduras for a year where the traditional Honduran dish was a flour tortilla filled with beans, eggs, cheese and avocado (called a baleada). Why Honduras only had baleadas, I’m not quite sure since it seems like a concept that many Central American countries would take on. But regardless, Hondurans are all about the flour tortilla. I would eat baleadas for breakfast and lunch and dinner and just the mention of a flour tortilla has me drooling. I still make them all the time but usually only when I have nothing in the pantry and spot some flour and realize I can whip up tortillas in 15 minutes. That being said, your recipe seems like a nice treat. Seems I’ll have to spice up my tortilla game soon.