Behind the tortilla curtain

Not the steel curtain separating the El Norte from Mexico.

Not the film of the book starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Costner either.

Nada. No. Nyet. The Tortilla Cortina of which I blog separates NM torts from AZ ones.

Mi compa del Mexico Nuevo para Nogales, Arizona’s cousin has a saying about the thick, billowing, puffy, chewy round white flat four things that are NM’s version of tortillas, “They’re a waste of flour.” This may be a bit of a stretch.

Or it may be that NMTs aren’t stretched out enough.

No matter. I reserve a soft place in my otherwise cast iron stomach for nearly all variety of tortilla so long as they are as they go by their god-given name, in other words: “un-wrapped.”

So much depends


a white


glazed with

(insert ingredients here)

beside the rice

and beans.

Por ejemplo, NM torts make excellent paper towels. They wipe up nigh every last drop. Your own personal Brawny Man in the face of a shimmering plate of carne adovada. When your casita crock pot de carne adovada (recipe to come) burbles “Let’s Eat,” Phx has several outlets where one can score super absorbent semi-fresh ALB Tort Factory torts.

Newsflash: soon the same thing can be said about Bangor, Maine:

(Not “Let’s Eat” but Alb Torts go global blah x 3.)

AZ torts are flatter, wider, drier, grittier and tough enough for even the deep fry baptismal necessary up from which rises the golden chimichanga. (Kinda like our summers.) A safe place to stuff your stuff (and face) with your saucier fillings like green and red chile, chorizo, and clam chowder. The larger circumference provides the tort for essential folds to prevent contents from running down your arm and/or into your lap. (If you are thick enough to try a Chowderitto, send video to:

Red Eagle Brand, a local maker/distributor regularly supplies most Phx grocery stores with a variety of sizes in white as well as high hosanna masa maize amarillo (yellow corn). At the home base or operations, El Porvenir sells fresh torts and tamales to go.



Go forth. Be ready to strap on the feed bag. Don’t be fooled by the factory/filling station façade. Be surprised as I to graze on a full menu of  top-notch AzMex“food”.




Though the owner will tell you straight up (just like she told me when I said, first time I stepped into the dimly lit shop, “I didn’t even know you served food.” ):



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