Corn Tortillas or flour ... how to choose?

Other than personal preferences, are their guidelines for choosing either corn tortillas or flour for a particular purpose? For example, I’m making grilled shrimp tacos for dinner tonight. I have access to freshly made corn tortillas as well as pretty fresh flour tortillas. Is there a reason to choose one over the other? What about for other kinds of tacos? Are there tortilla/food pairing suggestions? Am I overthinking this? Thanks!


I use corn tortillas for tacos and enchiladas, and flour tortillas for burritos and quesadillas. Most of the Mexican restaurants I’ve been to do the same, and I figure they must know what they’re doing. (That’s not a great reason, but it’s my reason.) Also, enchiladas would turn to mush if made with flour tortillas, I’m pretty sure.


We eat a lot of tacos.

My rule of thumb is “Whatever I feel like on that day.”

For grilled shrimp, I would use your “freshly made corn”, because it sounds great.

I sometimes use flour for ground beef or chicken. I almost always use corn for fish and shrimp. (And cabbage and cilantro and yogurt salsa! YUM!)


Agreed, no flour tortillas in enchiladas, only corn. Flour tortillas also make lousy chips.


I think it sounds great, too! Okay… I’m on my way out to the Mexican grocery store where cases of corn tortillas, still warm from the presses, are stacked high at the front door.


For tacos, I think either one will work beautifully.


I always prefer a good corn tortilla for tacos and tostadas, mostly because i love the flavor and flour tortillas don’t bring much in the way of additional flavor to either dish.
Always corn for chilequiles, enchiladas, taquitos and chips/fried strips for garnishes.
Flour for burritos and chimichangas, i think quesadillas can go either way- i like a quick cheeseless quesadilla snack with corn tortillas, refried beans, and veggies with salsa- that same combo on flour would be kinda boring.


I agree with everyone so far. I make my tortilla choices mostly based on the place the food is from. I love northern Mexican food and think that flour tortillas are often most appropriate with machaca or chile verde or chile colorado, at least when cooked norteño style.


Old thread but a post on the dinner thread made me wonder.

When it comes to enchiladas, flautas, I much prefer flour tortillas. Not the usual corn. And there is nothing better than a fried flour tortilla chip, salted with a dab of butter…

Corn tortillas have their place. tacos, taco dorados and chips and…

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I’m a corn guy but if the cooks are good it’s all good.

Now, when we’re perched at the end of the bar at El Tiempo in Houston drinking killer margaritas, lots of salt for me, watching the ladies press and grill flour tortillas it is necessary to get a few hot ones with butter.

Freebie tortilla chips of course, this is Texas.


That was the kiss of death for a Top Chef contestant.


Kinda like risotto. I prefer corn tortillas but in Houston I’ve had good flour tortilla enchiladas. not mush at all.

I’m not sure who the Top Chef contestant was but to be honest many are clueless making dishes they’ve never made before with disastrous results.

I find myself yelling at the screen and asking have they watched the show before.


Agree, have had delicious enchiladas using flour tortillas, although I prefer corn @jcostiones. If it’s good, I’m not that picky; as well, with home cooking, it often depends on what kind of tortillas are at hand.

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It’s a little bit embarrassing how well I know every episode, even the dreaded season in Texas.

I made sure to pick a flame-worthy title!

Top Chef Week 3 Recap: Befelled by a Tortilla…Ultimately, Keith Rhodes took the hit because he chose flour tortilla over corn tortilla in his enchiladas, a felonious crime in the state of Texas. …

Oops! Fake news. I think that quote was from Top Chef’s Keith: I Knew Sarah and Lindsay Would Throw Me Under the Bus

Here’s one;

Flour tortilla enchiladas, or how to lose on Top Chef.

Or how about
The tortilla mishap that ruined Top Chef‘s first Quinceañera

To be fair, they were store bought, and not the good ones. And those cooked shrimp…

‘Top Chef: Texas’: Make your own tortillas, or else


I gave up on those shows years ago. Yelling at the screen. Nowadays I just tell Cooks Country and ATK what they’re doing wrong.:slightly_smiling_face:


In my opinion there’s enough variation between one person’s corn tortillas and another’s, and enough variation between flour ones too, that “Get (or make) good ones if you can” might be more important than whether they’re corn or wheat. I’d rather finish my dinner saying “That was really good” than “Well, at least authentic choices were made”. Both authentic AND good is nice, but if I had to choose just one …


This subject touches the realms of the movie Sophie’s Choice .

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I live in Houston and quit watching half way, too many stereotypes and the best food city in the state Houston was excluded.

The word in the local press was the city didn’t want to pay alleged extortion fees to Bravo.


I remember that part too. :no_mouth:


Like all food “rules,” I’m assuming you know that the tortilla police won’t show up & smack you around if you don’t follow these traditions but…

Flour tortillas started in the north of Mexico, where the vast grasslands were suitable for growing wheat. The wheat was introduced into the region by Spaniards who needed it to make communion wafers. Before that time, tortillas were made from grinding corn on matates.

In Mexico, “enchilada” refers to the tortilla itself - “en chilada” - meaning “in chile sauce” - and not the filling. After being dipped in chile sauce, the tortillas are folded, then topped with a crumble of some sort of Mexican white cheese. Sometimes fillings are added before the sauced “en chilada” tortillas are folded. In all the time I’ve spent in Mexico, which is considerable, I’ve never seen enchiladas rolled around a stuffing and then baked.

Flour tortillas are never used for enchiladas. The main reason seems to be because flour tortillas get soggy, sometimes to the point of falling apart when they’re saturated with the chile sauce.

Flour tortillas are used to wrap up fillings and either eaten just like that, or placed on a plate & topped with some sort of sauce or other garnishes like cheese, pico, avocados. They are never baked or otherwise cooked. And they are never called ‘enchiladas’ in Mexico because the tortillas are not dipped or smothered “en chile” sauce. They are called ‘burros’ or ‘burritos.’

Generally speaking:
Corn tortillas - enchiladas, tacos, tostadas, chilaquiles, huevos rancheros & most other applications that involve cooking

Flour tortillas - burritos & buñelos

Both types of tortillas are routinely eaten with meals as a side dish, like we eat slices of bread - along with. Flour are probably more common & popular in the north; corn in the south.