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A tortilla chip is a snack food made from corn tortillas, which are cut into wedges and then fried (alternately they may be discs pressed out of corn masa then fried or baked). Corn tortillas are made of corn (maize), vegetable oil, salt and water. Although first mass produced in Los Angeles in the late 1940s, tortilla chips are considered to be a Mexican food. Though usually made of yellow corn, they can also be made of white, blue, or red corn.
The tortilla chip was popularised by Rebecca Webb Carranza as a way to make use of misshapen tortillas rejected from the automated tortilla manufacturing machine that she and her husband used at their Mexican delicatessen and tortilla factory in southwest Los Angeles. Carranza found that the discarded tortillas, cut into triangles and fried, were a popular snack, and she sold them for a dime a bag at the El Zarape Tortilla Factory. In 1994, Carranza received the Golden Tortilla award for her contribution to the Mexican food industry. She died in Phoenix, Arizona, on January 19, 2006, at the age of 98.
Tortilla chips are the quintessential and often complimentary appetiser in Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants in the U.S. and elsewhere. Their popularity outside of California saw a steady rise in the late 1970s when they began to compete with corn chips, the dipping chip of choice during the first three quarters of the 20th century. They are typically served with a dip, such as salsa, chili con queso, or guacamole. When not served with a dip, the chips are often seasoned with herbs and spices. Although now available worldwide, the United States is one of the main markets for tortilla chips. Commercial brand names for tortilla chips include Tostitos and Doritos.
A more elaborate dish utilising tortilla chips is nachos, which consists tortilla chips served with melted or shredded cheese, although often other toppings are added or substituted, such as meat, salsa (such as pico de gallo), refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, diced onions, olives, and pickled jalapeños. More elaborate nachos are often baked for a short period of time to warm the tortillas and melt shredded cheese. First created circa 1943 by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, nachos may represent the earliest known creation of tortilla chips.
- Tortillas: - Encyclopaedic page describing all variants of tortillas
- South American tortilla recipes - :
- Corn tortilla recipe - make them from scratch with masa harina
- Corn tortillas - a Thermomix recipe
- Wheat flour tortilla recipe
- Gorditas - Thick Mexican tortillas
- Quick tortillas - a recipe idea for using left over tortillas
- Burrito (or taco de harina) explained
- Minced beef burritos - A burrito recipe
- Enchiladas - a recipe and an explanation
- Chicken enchiladas
- Cheatin' chicken enchiladas a quick version of the above
- Quick beef enchiladas
- Honduran Enchiladas, This is a typical dish from Honduras
- enfrijoladas, a similar dish to enchiladas
- Homemade tortilla chips - Make superb tortilla chips from soft corn tortillas - better than anything you could buy!
- Cheese nachos - A cheese nacho recipe
- Frito pie - If you like Tex-Mex, you'll love this
- Easy frito pie - Make Frito pie-on the hoof!
- Minced beef for tacos - A Mexican spicy beef taco filling recipe
- Memphis BBQ pulled duck tacos - A duck variation on the same theme
- Sincronizada recipe - A Mexican speciality that can alos be found all over South America
- Quesadillas - A selection of quesadilla recipes
- Dobladas - Stuffed tortillas from Guatemala
- Enfrijoladas recipe - tortillas stuffed with re-fried beans and spices
- Chilaquiles - a fabulous recipe from two Mexican visitors
- Tostadas de guacamole y crema - A famous Diana Kennedy recipe
- Cheese pupusas - a stuffed tortilla from El Salvador
- Pupusa de Chicharron - similar to pupusas, again from El Salvador
- Spicy lamb tortillas - A recipe idea taken from crispy duck pancakes
- Duck fajitas - and a similar version, with crispy duck
- Gressingham Memphis Barbecue Pulled Duck - Commercially available pre-prepared pulled duck
- Spanish tortilla recipes:
- Capricorn, pea and mint tortilla - A Spanish-style tortilla with goats' cheese
- Potato and goats' cheese tortilla - Another Spanish-type with goats' cheese
- Tortilla Española - A Spanish tortilla
- Tortilla capuchina - another Spanish tortilla
- Tortilla 'batatas harras' - A spicy Spanish tortilla
- Squash, halloumi and chilli omelette - Spicy, with squash & Greek cheese
- Omelettes - Many omelette recipes
- Misc. tortilla recipes:
- Tortilla press - The device and also a great tip for making them without a press!