by Paco Ojeda
While the ubiquitous corn tortilla—the staple of Mexican cuisine—predates the arrival of Europeans to the Americans, wheat flour tortillas, or simply flour tortillas, are not indigenous to pre-hispanic tribes. They are, in fact, an innovation created by exiled Sephardi Jews, who considered corn meal as non-kosher, so they used an unleavened, water based dough to produce them. Nowadays, they are readily available in supermarkets and convenience stores all over the country, but purists argue that, in order to enjoy the best flour tortillas in Mexico, you have to head northern states, where humidity and altitude play a key role in their making, whether it is by hand at home, or through an industrial machine.
Patricia García of La Regia Flour Tortillas can attest to this fact. Originally from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, her enterprise has been producing homemade flour tortillas for local hotels and restaurants since 2000. Both Patricia and her husband are certified nutriologists. When they found themselves looking for a business niche that would help them support their growing family, they began adapting the traditional northern recipe for the local climate with excellent results.
In recent years, they have added a new twist: flour tortillas flavored with basil, chipotle pepper, parsley, as well as gluten-free varieties. In addition, they decided to bring their products to Mercado Los Mangos with excellent results. “We set up shop on the first Saturday Mercado Los Mangos opened, and it’s been amazing since then,” she commented. “Six Saturdays later, we have regular customers that come back on a weekly basis.”
La Regia also sells buñuelos, made from a yeasted dough that is deep-fried, then covered with powdered sugar and cinnamon. While they are usually served primarily during the Christmas season, she has found that they are a popular item year-around. “We started selling on an ongoing basis some two years ago, and now people look for them all the time,” she added.
Mercados Los Mangos is open every Saturday from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm through the last Saturday in May. It is located at Av. Francisco Villa 1001 in Colonia Los Mangos, just before the turn to Costco.
Interested in becoming a Mercado Los Mangos vendor? Pick up an application at the information booth on Saturdays. You will also find plenty of copies of the Vallarta Tribune and P.V. Mirror. Questions? Email mercadolosmango(at)gmail.com. To learn more about Biblioteca Los Mango’s academic and cultural offerings for children and adults, please visit BibliotecaLosMangos.com.