I grew up in Watsonville, a town 100 miles south of San Francisco and known for its agriculture. My own family was part of that industry, and as a result I was around plenty of workers from Mexico. Over time, we received home-cooked dishes and food from these men’s families. The best of these amazing gifts were pork tamales, enchiladas, the occasional flan. But the ultimate was freshly made tortillas.
Since I’ve left my hometown, I’ve appreciated the painstaking care that goes into making these little delights. Of course, the best ones are made with manteca (lard), even though it’s incredibly unhealthy to eat. Maybe that’s why I feel I haven’t had anything like those ones I remember gobbling up as a kid.
Now that I live in Colorado, I’m certainly not lacking for good tortillas. I always try to buy them locally made in the supermarkets, like Tortillas Mexico from Denver, which aren’t always that great. And as “unauthentic” as they seem, I don’t mind going to Whole Foods and picking up one of their still-steaming tortillas from their bakery, if I’m in the store. Most of the time, they taste better than the “authentic” ones from Tortillas Mexico.
But nothing beats the homemade stuff I grew up on. I’m still looking for something that measures up.