Where can I find these tortillas?
May 9, 2009 7:15 AM   Subscribe

At a Walmart in Missouri, of all places, I found some pre-packaged, refrigerated tortillas that were very, very thin pieces of uncooked dough stacked together. You just peeled one off, put it in a pan to quickly cook it, and ended up with a delicious, home-made-tasting flour tortilla. Where can I find these in Chicago?

I've tried making my own, and even when I use a tortilla press, I can't seem to get them thin enough.

These pre-packaged, uncooked torts are perfect, but I can't find them in Chicago. So far I've checked Jewel, Trader Joe's, and even Walmart out in Skokie with no luck. I'd rather not (unless it's my only choice) go on a wild goose chase, checking every single Mexican market in town, in hopes of finding them.

So, have you seen these anywhere, or do I need to go back to MO?
posted by nitsuj to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (Also: I'm willing to order online, too!)
posted by nitsuj at 7:15 AM on May 9, 2009

Response by poster: So, uh, I added the order online note as an afterthought; Just doing a Google search shows there are a ton of places to order online. So please disregard that option as an answer: local Chicago only, please!
posted by nitsuj at 7:21 AM on May 9, 2009

Buy fresh and freeze them yourself. The Google word you are looking for is 'tortillaria'.

Tortillarias in Chicago.

You'll know you're in the right place from the smell.

You can make your own pretty easily too, including freezing a dozen per zip-lock back with wax paper between. I do this when I'm feeling industrious.
posted by rokusan at 7:25 AM on May 9, 2009

www.walmart.com has a store locator. Look up your product, type in a city/zip code and it will tell you if there is a local store that sells what you are looking for.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 7:27 AM on May 9, 2009

Response by poster: Walmart.com doesn't list the product on its website.
posted by nitsuj at 7:36 AM on May 9, 2009

rokusan's suggestion sounds ideal, but your description also reminds me of the large uncooked tortillas my parents would get from Costco and cook at home (to eat with Indian food, chapati style!). If you're already a member, it wouldn't hurt to check at a Costco or Sam's Club next time you visit. I wonder if they are the Tortillaland variety? They are sold by more than one retailer online.
posted by PY at 7:53 AM on May 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

My wife went to Laredo a few years ago and brought back a few packages of "Sandy's Tortillas" for me at the recommendation of the people she was meeting there. They were delicious and came packaged exactly as you described.

Once we ran out, I found that you could order them online and did so several times. But their order page hasn't worked since last October and they haven't responded to e-mails either.

Since then, I've just been making my own tortillas using masa harina, which is easy to find at even a large supermarket. It's not quite as convenient but still pretty easy to do.
posted by tomwheeler at 8:05 AM on May 9, 2009

I'm a tortilla nut (usually I drive to Yuma specifically for the lard-y hole-in-the-wall tortillarias) but just lately I've discovered this type of tortilla too, and you're right—they're great. The kind my local marketeria has on the shelf is Guerrero® Tortillas de Harina Fresqui-Ricas. They come in the purple trim bag. Guerrero is apparently a Mission brand, and very common in the supermarkets around here. Their normal tortillas are crap, but these finish 'em in the pan kind are delicious.

In other words, if your local supermarket has one of those aisle endcaps that's all tortillas, just poke around that for a while.
posted by carsonb at 8:16 AM on May 9, 2009

Aside: There are big regional differences in the stock wall-mart carries. They have a sophisticated and well run inventory system and the shops in Chicago will not necessarily carry the same items, especially food, and extra especially ethnic food that might have been regionally sourced. Most regional food manufactures would be hard pressed to supply the national demand that wall-mart would take up.
posted by zenon at 8:22 AM on May 9, 2009

Response by poster: I believe they were Tortillaland. But $15 for 44 seems pretty expensive, and well over what I paid at Wamart (surprise, surprise).

I'm really hoping someone knows of a specific grocery store that sells these in the Chicago area.
posted by nitsuj at 8:24 AM on May 9, 2009

PY nailed it, Costco should have them in the freezer section. They are really, really good!
posted by masher at 8:34 AM on May 9, 2009

Nthing the Costco suggestion. I've seen them in the stores in the Spokane area.
posted by hippybear at 8:36 AM on May 9, 2009

Response by poster: Good to know Costco has them. Now, if I can only find a place that doesn't require a $50 membership card. :)
posted by nitsuj at 8:44 AM on May 9, 2009

Yes, I saw these at Costco last week, though I couldn't tell you if it was the same brand.

Costco might have a one-day trial pass, but I'm not sure. You could stock up? :)
posted by sugarfish at 8:59 AM on May 9, 2009

Oh, and that's Costco in the Chicago burbs, so I know this market has them.
posted by sugarfish at 9:00 AM on May 9, 2009

As an aside, which city were you in? I think I'd like to get some of these if they are in Columbia.
posted by schyler523 at 11:08 AM on May 9, 2009

Now, if I can only find a place that doesn't require a $50 membership card.

You can walk in and see if they have them without a card. Just smile and walk confidently past the door-person with a big smile.

If they DO have them, you'll need to use further social engineering to get someone else to buy them for you. Again, I suggest you employ The Big Smile.
posted by rokusan at 1:04 PM on May 9, 2009

I have done the opposite (?) of PY... bought something like chapatis but flatter at Ralph's, and was surprised when they turned out to be exactly like flour tortillas anyway, just in an "Indian" package. I suspect these are exactly the same mass-produced product others are talking about, so my extra-advice is to check out the Indian section and products as well as the Mexican.
posted by rokusan at 1:06 PM on May 9, 2009

Agree with Rokusan... I regularly shopped at Costco without a membership card when I only needed one or two items. My technique was to wait until a family group of my ethnic makeup entered and confidently walk along in with them. Then when getting in line, I chose to wait behind a motherly-looking type. Then I claimed to have forgotten my card, before I got to the checker-- loudly. Moms always help.

You can also buy costco hotdogs/sodas and alcohol without a card.

Yeah, I was cheap in college.
posted by samthemander at 6:27 PM on May 9, 2009

« Older I'm a little (sticky) teapot.   |   Tutorial or template for embedding Quicktime VR... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.