I sat down as I began to write this article, and I wrote down all the adjectives I would use to describe a flour tortilla from an American supermarket. Gummy, stale, dried-out (which takes talent in conjunction with gummy), oily-tasting, nasty.
It doesn't seem to matter who makes the tortillas; whether it's GRUMA and their evil forays into northern Mexican staples, or a mom-and-pop tortilla shop. Flour tortillas require preservatives to stay pliable and edible, and those preservatives render flour tortillas disgusting. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of running to Roland Rubalcava every time I want to make carne asada tacos with flour tortillas, and I don't have time to make my own when I'm cooking after a day at work, so I'm trying to find the least awful flour tortillas in the supermarket, with a nod toward the lowered bar I've set.
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SHOW ME HOW
As flour tortillas go, then, La Familia's didn't suck completely. They didn't have the awful chemical taste of GRUMA (Mission brand), nor did they have the clueless shortening taste of Trader Joe's flour tortillas. They're too thick, but they heat nicely on a flame. They held up under the onslaught of Real del Castillo cheese and my family's loose, El Pato-y taco filling; they burritoed decently. La Familia's main cardinal sin was sticking together so badly that without careful attention, you'd lose the top layer to the pile.
One note: they did last a preternaturally long time in the refrigerator. I'm weirded out by tortillas that can sit for God-only-knows-how-long on the shelf at Ralphs and then survive for two weeks in the
fruit tortilla drawer of my refrigerator.