A tortilla (/tɔːrˈtə/, Spanish: [toɾˈtiʎa]) is a type of thin flatbread, typically made from corn or wheat. In Spanish, "tortilla" means "small torta", or "small cake". It was first made by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica before European contact. The Aztecs and other Nahuatl speakers call tortillas tlaxcalli ([t͡ɬaʃˈkalli]).[1]

Alternative namesTorta , Mexican Pizza
Place of originMesoamerica
Main ingredientsMasa harina, Hominy


A Mexican woman prepares maize while making tortillas. Tulum and Coba, Yucatan, Mexico.

Corn tortillaEdit

Tortillas made with maize (corn) are the oldest variety of tortilla, and remain very popular in Mexico and Central America as well as South America and Guam.

Wheat tortillaEdit

Wheat was not grown in the Americas prior to the arrival of Europeans, but is a common source of flour for tortillas today.

Wheat tortillas usually contain fat, salt, often leavening agents such as baking powder, and other ingredients, but otherwise the preparation and cooking of wheat tortillas on a comal is identical to that of corn tortillas. Flour tortillas are commonly used in burritos, tacos, fajitas, and other Tex-Mex foods.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Nahuatl Dictionary. (1997). Wired Humanities Project. University of Oregon. Retrieved August 29, 2012, from link