I used to be a flour tortilla girl; I wasn’t into the corn flavor and didn’t like how thin Mexican tortillas were. However, being married to a Guatemalan and living here means it’s now a requirement to eat tortillas…and I LOVE them. Guatemalan tortillas are much thicker and doughier, so by default, they’re much more delicious 🙂
Most mornings, we start our day with a run around Antigua. Along with the usual sounds of a city waking up, there is always the unmistakable pat-pat-pat of tortillas being made. There are hundreds of tiendas here that sell fresh tortillas, “los 3 tiempos” (3 times a day). The women (always women) making them stand over the hot fire/griddle all day (it’s called a comal in spanish), only using their hands to flip the tortillas. Tortillas to Guatemalans are like what the Baguettes are to the French; a necessity, a staple, and endlessly versatile.
Corn has been the foundation of the Guatemalan diet for thousands of years. It grows everywhere here (even in the small patches of grass on the highway medians), and besides tortillas, Guatemalans use corn in Atol de Elote, Tamales, and Elote Loco.
How much do they cost?
For Q5 ($0.75), you get 20 (!) Since the typical Guatemalan eats about 8-10 tortillas a day (3 with each meal), they must make thousands every single day! They are kept wrapped in a piece of Guatemalan fabric (or a tightly tied plastic bag), to keep them warm.
We live next door to a Tortilleria (convenient when you want tortillas for breakfast and can run over in your pajamas), which is so popular that it always has a line (see below). You will often see ladies waiting outside with big wicker baskets, so that they can buy 100 or more at a time for large families.
What do you eat them with?
We sometimes eat tortillas with breakfast, making little breakfast tacos with egg, beans, panela cheese, and hot sauce. Other times, I’ll make random vegetarian tacos for dinner (like the one below with plantain, panela cheese, and pineapple). Most Guatemalans will eat tortillas alongside traditional dishes such as Pepian or Jocon, every single day.
Have you ever had Guatemalan tortillas? Here’s a good (and easy) recipe to try!