No matter how hot and humid the weather, we are always drawn to the smell of freshly made tortillas in Mexico. While meandering around the old-town section of Puerto Vallarta, we happened upon "Tortilleria La Gloria," a fresh Tortilla factory. A staple and omnipresent element of the Mexican diet, "Tortillas de Maiz," or corn tortillas, date back to pre-Columbian times. Originally called “tlaxcalli” by the Aztecs, the Spanish conquistadors named them for their familiar "Tortilla Española," an egg and potato omelet still popular in Spain.
Traditionally, tortillas are made from corn meal that has been treated with the mineral lime, which causes it to release important amino acids. If this step is skipped, a diet high in corn can lead to a horrible dietary disease called Pellagra.
Inexpensive and versatile, it's easy to understand why Mexicans love their tortillas. We've been eating them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The folks at La Gloria were kind enough to allow us to photograph their operation behind the scenes.