Everyone loves Mexican food, and vegetarians are no exception. If you follow this dietary practice, Mexican food has lots of options for you, from frijoles to rice. But what about tortillas? Are they vegetarian? Keep reading to find out.
Are Tortillas Vegetarian?
Well, it depends on the type of tortilla. As you know, Mexican tortillas come in two categories: corn tortillas and flour tortillas. Corn tortillas are usually vegetarian, as they’re typically made using only corn, water and salt. However, when it comes to flour tortillas, the answer isn’t as clear-cut, as we’ll see below.
Plus, remember that, as we saw in a previous post, the term “tortilla” is also used in Spain for a dish of battered eggs with other ingredients such as potatoes, or spinach. Needless to say, this type of tortilla is typically not vegetarian, although there are some modern versions where non-vegetarian ingredients are substituted for vegetable ones (for example, chickpea flour instead of eggs).
Are Mexican Corn Tortillas Vegetarian?
Yes, in most cases Mexican corn tortillas are vegetarian because they’re made with nothing but corn flour, water, and a pinch of salt.
However, the best way to make sure if the tortillas you are about to eat are vegetarian is to ask the person making them if you’re at a restaurant or to check the package if you’re buying pre-made tortillas.
The process of preparing corn for tortillas is known as nixtamalization, and is unique to Mexico. To learn more about it, check out our previous post, “Tortilla, the Humble Star of Mexican Cuisine.”
Are Mexican Flour Tortillas Vegetarian?
In the case of flour tortillas, the answer is more complex. Traditional flour tortilla recipes call for animal lard to be added to the tortilla mix, making them unsuitable for vegetarians.
In any case, the use of lard is declining in Mexico and commercial flour tortillas are usually made with vegetable oil. Again, the best way to know what’s in your tortillas is to ask the restaurant or to read the package.
El Pollo Norteño: Authentic Mexican Food
Craving delicious, authentic Mexican food made with ingredients of the highest quality? El Pollo Norteño has you covered!
Visit any of our five locations (Anaheim, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, and Lake Forest), order online, get in touch through Facebook, or call 866-MI-POLLO to enjoy our vast selection of authentic Mexican dishes.