7 Types Of Tortillas You Didn’t Know Existed

Growing up in a Mexican household, tortillas were the foundation for all meals, serving as edible utensils that made forks obsolete.

Any Mexican food enthusiast will rave about the value of a fresh, hand-made tortilla and it’s exciting to see the creativity that has developed over the years.

It feels like the plain corn tortilla is starting to take a back seat these days, as different styles have started to make their way to Mexican cuisine around the U.S.

We found this out firsthand at the first annual Tequila Casadores Tortilla Awards, where five Los Angeles-based Mexican restaurants battled it out to show their unique techniques were the future of tortilla-making.

While at the competition, we caught up with chef Aaron Sanchez, who was judging the event this June.

Sanchez has lent his Mexican culinary expertise to shows such as Chopped and MasterChef, and has as much tortilla street cred as anyone. The celebrity chef stressed that “The tortilla is essential. It’s the foundation—the canvas for Mexican cuisine. Period.”

It’s no mistake Sanchez knows a thing or two about thinking outside the box, and applying new techniques to older recipes. Tortillas are no different.

Below are a few different techniques that I got to experience at the Tortilla Awards, plus a couple notable tortillas that you might want to familiarize yourself with.

Hopefully this list will put you on to new tortillas, and maybe encourage you to try something new, yourself.

Not all tortillas are created equal, but thankfully, they’re always created deliciously.

Blue Corn:

All right, we’ll get this one out of the way, because it is little more common now, thanks to fancy tortilla chips. While we usually see them in chip form, obviously you can eat them in their original tortilla form.

There’s no fancy tricks to make this tortilla, as the blue color comes organically through actual blue corn.  The blue corn is ground and made into the masa, just like you would a standard corn tortilla.


Nopales, or cacti, are popular in Mexican cuisine, so much so that they’re incorporated in tortillas to give them a green tint.

To make a nopal tortilla, you skin and slice the cactus, and blend it until liquefied. From there, you pour it into corn flour and knead to form the dark green masa.

Nopales provide a healthier alternative to traditional tortillas, without sacrificing taste.

Hoja Santa:

A Mexican pepperleaf, hoja santa is leafy herb that is blended and incorporated in tortilla masa. Being an aromatic, it gives the tortilla a bit of a strong, herby flavor to compliment your taco.

Hoja santa also makes your tortilla green, which is always an interesting visual. Between the smell, taste, and look, it’s definitely a tortilla that will trip people out.

Beet Root:

I first saw this bright pink tortilla at the Casadores Tortilla Awards in Los Angeles. Using beet root, and chickpea powder, La Diosa de Los Moles hand-made these at the competition, and paired them with tequila lime shrimp.

The beets should give the tortilla a mildly sweet flavor, plus the bright red/pink color are beautiful when mixed with other colorful foods such as cilantro, or red onions.

Jalapeno and Nopal:

With both jalapenos and nopales as the key features, this green tortilla offers a spicy kick embedded within.

This is essentially a nopal tortilla with a kick. Jalapenos are blended in to the masa, giving spice connoisseurs a little extra flavor that you don’t usually get with a standard tortilla.

If you like spicy tacos, this tortilla could kick your butt.

Pan Arabe:

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Pita bread! If you’ve ever seen al pastor meat spinning on a vertical spit, you probably know it’s because some Mexican cuisine is inspired by Middle Eastern food, due to Middle Eastern immigrants making their way to Puebla in the early 1900s.

Tacos Arabes were part of Mexican inspiration, and are tacos that use a thin pita bread, or “pan arabe” as its tortilla base.

With a little bit thicker, yet softer texture than traditional tortillas, pan arabe serves as a more sturdy vessel for taco meats.

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This tortilla comes from Oaxaca, which is known for growing hibiscus, or “jamaica” plants.

The jamaica flower gives the tortilla a natural lavender color, as in the prep process, hot water is poured on the dry hibiscus, releasing the dark tint that has become familiarized with hibiscus drinks.

The hibiscus flavor isn’t particularly strong, but is still complimentary to lighter foods such as shrimp, fish, or veggies.

Bet you never thought there could be so many tortilla remixes? Now that you know, try something new, and take your tacos to the next level.

Fast Food What's New

Taco Bell Adds Double Stacked Tacos For $1


Taco Bell just announced the addition of a new Dollar Menu item that left our mouths watering. The fast food chain just announced their new Double Stacked Tacos, which will be rolling out nationally in a few days.

Made with both a hard tortilla and a soft tortilla, the Double Stacked Taco’s two shells are held together with a different flavor of sauce. The new menu item will be available in three flavors: Cool Habanero, Sweet & Spicy, and Cheddar Crunch.


We ordered one up featuring a Doritos Locos Taco shell and it tasted pretty awesome. Getting a DLR hard shell, however, will result in a 20-cent uncharge. A small price to pay for some leveled-up goodness.

You can find the new Double Stacked Tacos at participating Taco Bell locations on Dec. 22.


This University Offers A Class Devoted Entirely To Tacos


If you’ve ever felt your love for tacos was enough to take a course in, you might be interested to hear there’s a class for you. The University of Kentucky is now offering a course on tacos, according to Munchies.

The undergraduate class is called “Taco Literacy: Public Advocacy and Mexican Food in the US South.” The objective of the course is to build social connection through food.

Some of the coursework include reviewing restaurants as well as studying the cultural significance of Mexican food. Eating tacos is also a pivotal part of the curriculum.


Students are also required to read about different aspects of the taco, extensively. This even includes a book devoted entirely to tortillas.

If only tuition for the University of Kentucky wasn’t so expensive, we’d love to take a course. Until then, we’ll just homeschool ourselves at the taco truck down the street.



We Never Knew We Needed An All-Cheese Tortilla Until This Burrito Appeared


Last week, Foodbeast hosted a cheese challenge in honor of our upcoming cheese festival: Oozefest. One of the sickest entries was from Grubfiend who created this burrito featuring a cheese tortilla.

The burrito is filled with shredded beef, Spanish rice, black beans, cilantro, Oaxaca cheese, California chile sauce and wrapped in a tortilla that’s made ENTIRELY OF CHEESE.

This seriously made our hearts stop for a minute.

You can find more insane recipes from Grubfiend here and follow  him on Instagram for dope food photos.

While you won’t find the burrito at Oozefest, you’ll definitely find enough oozy goodness to satiate your cheesy cravings. Hope to see you guys there tomorrow.



Posted by Foodbeast on Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fast Food

Chipotle Is Testing Tortillas That Feature ONLY 4 Ingredients


It seems everyone’s trying to go healthier these days. In an effort to make the menu a little more wholesome, Chipotle is aiming to reduce the number of ingredients in its tortillas down to four, reports the New York Times.

While most homemade tortillas usually consist of these many ingredients, the quick-service-restaurant offers ones that have a few extra. This includes fumaric acid, sodium metabisulfite, sorbic acid and many others.

The problem is, Chipotle goes through about 800,000 tortillas a day. This number is sure to grow as the chain is growing every year. So producing that massive number of tortillas could be a pretty big concern.

Working with the crew at Bread Lab, they developed a tortilla that only requires four: flour, water, oil and salt. However, the dough requires a fermentation process that’s a bit time-consuming. Can’t have that at a QSR.

Nonetheless, the plan is to test the tortillas at small restaurants in select regions. If successful, they’ll begin to test them at more restaurants.

Chipotle’s current tortillas boast about 11 different ingredients.

Fast Food

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Taco Bell Just Released Tortilla-Fried Chicken, Served In A Biscuit Taco


Photo: Peter Pham/Foodbeast

Taco Bell really knows their breakfast game and the game they’re playing is: biscuits and crispy chicken.

The fast food chain has announced plans to begin serving a Biscuit Taco this week which includes, you guessed it, a biscuit folded like a taco. The kicker is, they’re using chicken that’s rolled in crushed tortilla chips.

We were invited over to the Taco Bell test kitchen to peep this bad boy. How bad do you want to take a bite out of that?


Photo: Peter Pham/Foodbeast

The Mexican food-inspired chain has been known for taking popular breakfast items and making tacos out of them. Taco Bell’s new chicken biscuit taco is no different. Topped with a jalapeño honey sauce, the biscuit will be the first in a line of new fried chicken products.

We recommend you slather the sauce. It’s definitely not something you should be shy with.

Also available in the biscuit taco variety are more traditional breakfast ingredients like bacon and sausage. These biscuit tacos are served with eggs and cheese.

The Biscuit Tacos are set to hit stores March 26. They can be purchased from all participating locations for $2.49 without tax.


The closest we’ll get to eating a real Pokemon. Cause that’s why you catch them… right?


Picthx Pokemonten_XY

Packaged Food

Doritos Releases Spicy Sweet ‘Fiery Habanero’ Dinamita Chips

doritoshabanero copy

Things habanero peppers taste like: fruit. Flowers. Supah hot fiyah?

Typically reserved for sweet spices, glazes, and desserts, the vibrant orange-red chile is also the latest flavor inspiration for Doritos’ line of spicy rolled Dinamita tortilla chips. Since the tongue-singing habanero clocks in anywhere between 100-350K on the Scoville scale, chances are Doritos’ new Fiery Habanero Dinamita chips will be the punchiest of the bunch, which also includes Nacho Picoso and Chili Limon.


Serving suggestions: dipped into bubbling queso, sprinkled into a cocktail made from the blood of your enemies, or, most deliciously, coated around spicy deep fried ice cream. Available in select markets nationwide, $0.50 — $2.99.