One thing that always gets me going is the lack of true Mexican food in this town. Although there are some restaurants that do a good job, most have replaced the artful mix of traditional ingredients for cheapo wanna-be colorized, preservativized and groslizized ingredients. I could go on and on about this so lets just start with the tortilla.
The tortilla (I am talking about the corn tortilla) is the most basic and popular ingredient in our cuisine. For a long time its price was tightly controlled so that everyone could afford to go to the “tortilleria”, which only sells tortillas, everyday and buy a good kilo of warm, fresh tortillas. It is part of the Mexican collective conscious to be sent as a child to buy tortillas and eat one with a bit of salt as the patron lovingly wraps your purchase in craft paper. In many cases, the tortilla is used as a fork to eat the dish that is meant to accompany. That is how important this beloved ingredient is to the Mexican people.
Here, the collective conscious is to buy pre-made, hard and stale tortillas from Safeway. I believe that if an A bomb should tragically ever go off, cockroaches and Mission tortillas would be the only survivors. In fact, I think we should find a new purpose for Mission tortillas: as frisbees. Then if people get hungry while playing in the park, they can just open their mouth and catch it – edible frisbees.
So the word of the day is tortilla, not because you might not know its meaning, but because its often mispronounced in the same way that Napoleon Dynamite’s grandma said quesadilllla.
Here is a short list of Denver tortillerias in case you are in the neighborhood:
Tortilleria Cuahutemoc – 1550 S. Federal Blvd. or 1320 Chambers Ave.
Tortilleria Colorado – 1774 W. Mississippi Ave.