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A'' tortilla'' (, ) is a thin, flat, circular unleavened flatbread originally made from maize hominy meal, and now also from wheat flour. The Aztecs and other Nahuatl speakers called tortillas ''tlaxcalli'' (). First made by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica before colonization, tortillas are a fundamental part of Mesoamerican cuisine. Corn tortillas in Mesoamerica are found as early as 500 BC.

Varieties



Corn tortilla

Tortillas made from nixtamalized maize meal—masa de maíz— are the oldest variety of tortilla. They originated in Mexico, and remain popular throughout the Americas. Peoples of the Oaxaca region in Mexico first made tortillas at the end of the Villa Stage (1500 to 500 BC).Towards the end of the 19th century, the first mechanical utensils for making tortillas, called tortilla presses, tortilleras, or tortilladoras, were invented and manufactured in Mexico.

Wheat tortilla

Europeans introduced wheat and its cultivation to the American continent, and it remains the source for wheat flour tortillas. Wheat flour tortillas were originated in the northern region of Mexico. Wheat tortillas usually contain fats such as oil or lard, salt, often leavening agents such as baking powder, and other ingredients. Otherwise, the preparation and cooking of flour tortillas on a comal is identical to that of corn tortillas. Flour tortillas are commonly used in dishes like ''burritos'', ''tacos'', and ''fajitas''. It is part of the daily food repertoire in throughout Mexico, whose gastronomy and culture has influenced those of many Central American countries and some states in the U.S.

Nopaltilla

A nopaltilla is a cactus-corn tortilla. The word is a portmanteau of ''nopal'', Spanish for the ''Opuntia ficus-indica'' cactus, and tortilla.

See also

* Arepa * Chappati * Indigenous peoples of the Americas * Latin American cuisine * List of tortilla-based dishes * Sopaipilla

References

{{reflist Category:American cuisine Category:Appetizers Category:Flatbreads Category:Guatemalan cuisine Category:Honduran cuisine Category:Mexican cuisine Category:Salvadoran cuisine Category:Spanish words and phrases Category:Staple foods