Flour or Corn Tortilla: What’s the Difference?

January 14, 2021

We all love tacos. From the taco cleanse to festivals, tacos can be found almost everywhere. However, the question remains –flour or corn tortilla? Which is better?

Corn tortillas are believed to be the original tortilla, which dated as early as 10,000 BC. The term is coined by the Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez which means “little cakes”. Flour tortillas were later created by Spanish-Jews, who was exiled due to the Inquisition.

Both of them are exceptionally good but the choice remains on a person’s preference. These two may taste great but they differ from each other. So, what is the difference between flour and corn tortilla?

Corn tortillas, as the name implies, are made out of corn and water. A corn tortilla is produced through nixtamalization. The process involves soaking and cooking the corn in an alkaline solution such as limewater, which is then hulled.

Flour tortillas, on the other hand, have more ingredients in them compared to corn tortillas. Of course, the main ingredient is flour, but it also involves refined wheat flour, water, oil, baking soda, and salt. Lard or vegetable shortening is also needed in order for the dough to bind and stretch together.

Both types of tortillas are bendable and stretchable; however, corn tortillas are firmer and a bit chewy. You might want to use corn tortillas in a small amount as they tend to break apart when used in bigger sizes. Corn tortillas are great for chips, taquitos, and enchiladas.

Flour tortillas can be bent and stretched better because of their ingredients. Because of this, they are perfect for burritos, tacos, tostadas, and fajitas. Flour tortillas are also soft with a sweet taste.

When it comes to nutrients, corn tortillas are loaded with fiber and magnesium which is good for the heart, aids you in proper digestion, and helps in brain and muscle functions. Corn tortillas are also considered a whole grain which means they have fewer carbohydrates and calories. Corn tortillas have 209 calories, contains 0.4 grams of saturated fat, and 0.8 grams of sugar.

In contrast, flour tortillas are packed with fat, about 7.4 grams of fat, because of lard. However, it also provides more protein, iron, and calcium compared to corn tortillas. Flour tortillas have 291 calories, 1.2 grams of saturated fat, and 2.6 grams of sugar.

The Bottom Line
So, should you choose flour or corn tortillas? The answer will depend on your own preference and what flavor or taste you like for your tacos. If you are looking for a healthier option, then you would definitely choose corn tortillas. Corn tortillas are also more authentic and more affordable than the flour counterpart. But this doesn’t mean you only have to choose one among these two varieties. After all, there is no bad tortilla when it comes to corn and flour tortillas.

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