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Mexicans choose sliced bread over tortillas!


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I guess that might depend on what you think a "good" tortilla is. Unless somebodies changed the tortillas in MX City -- I certainly haven't tasted a change around here -- I would still eat a tortilla in MX City over one sold in TX!

But can we get someone to fund a research trip for that? :laugh:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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That was a real jolt .. that article. But then I began to want to know more about who did the study, how they did it, etc. I was fairly recently in Mx City and in Puebla and Veracruz, etc., and let me tell you, I love the Luna family here, and I know that they make the masa there, etc. but I'm sorry. The corn tortillas here ARE NOT better than the ones in Mx City. Unless, of course, they bought them in the Mx City Sam's!

Did you note that they mentioned in passing that the gov't had reduced their corn and tortilla subsidies? And how did they determine in areas outside of cities whether the consumption has dropped? Maybe more people are making them at home in the rural areas, and maybe Pan Bimbo is making inroads in the big cities due to advertising. But giving up tortillas for white sandwich bread is scary.

I agree. We need to study this properly.

theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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I don't know about Mexico City but I do know that the masa that they use down there typically has a richer taste of corn. Maybe that is just me. A handmade tortilla of the thicker variety is a thing of beauty. Those that we get here remind me of cardboard and rarely have that cornier taste.

Scary thought #548: I saw a Bimbo Bread truck in downtown Houston the other day.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Maybe it's a white corn vs yellow corn thing or a wheat flour vs masa thing? I know that here, though, the Mexicans seem to buy as manyh or more tortas as tacos (by weight, at least). It may just be the value of them, though, but they rarely buy the burritos at any of the taco trucks and taquerias I go to.

btw, I don't mind Mexicans eating less tortillas if in concert Americans are eating more tortillas. As long as the tortilla is still around and the tias still excel at making them, to each his own.

Edited by ExtraMSG (log)
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Scary thought #548: I saw a Bimbo Bread truck in downtown Houston the other day.

I know what you mean ... but on the upside, it can be sooooo much fun to watch other people spotting the "BIMBO" truck driving down the street. They look like they've been goosed and then freeze-framed!!!!

Yes, it is quite scary that Pan Bimbo has invaded us. We have them here in Dallas occasionally. Friend of mine thought it was a mobile spare parts, botox, and implant re-inflation service. Refused to believe that it was bread.

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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Well... I think of the wheat tortillas as a "whole 'nother thing" and they are normally found in Northern Mexico anyway. Most of my business ramblings down there has been to the south of Mexico City, gulf coast and Yucatan. We had some guys in Tampico for an extended stay and they rented a house that came with the cook/housekeeper. She was a wonderful cook and got the tortillas from this family that grew their own corn, did the nixtamalization thing, ground the masa and then made the tortillas. They were a revelation. I just think they grow different varieties of dent corn than we do here.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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What exactly is Pan Bimbo?

Think Wonderbread, but "Bimbobread" is, in my memory (it's been a while) even softer. It's wildly popular in Mexico. I suppose they must have at least one bakery in Texas. Anybody know?

Rice pie is nice.

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I know what you mean ... but on the upside, it can be sooooo much fun to watch other people spotting the "BIMBO" truck driving down the street. They look like they've been goosed and then freeze-framed!!!!

Yes, it is quite scary that Pan Bimbo has invaded us. We have them here in Dallas occasionally. Friend of mine thought it was a mobile spare parts, botox, and implant re-inflation service. Refused to believe that it was bread.

Theabroma

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

OK... there is my GulleyLaugh for the day.

Did I hear somewhere that they bought Mrs. Baird's? Or am I making that up?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Did I hear somewhere that they bought Mrs. Baird's? Or am I making that up?

No, you heard right; in addition to Mrs. Bairds, Bimbo also owns Thomas' English Muffins, Entenmann's, Oroweat, and Boboli. The name might make for an easy chuckle, but Bimbo is one serious enterprise.

Confusingly, there's a different Bimbo in Spain, which like Bimbo in Mexico, is that country's big commercial baker. Bimbo Spain is owned by Sara Lee.

Welcome to the Global Supermarket.

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www.bimbobakeriesusa.com will explain everything ... and probably some things that you did not even know required explaining.

It's a HUGE company. But in Mexico everyones seems to be eating corn tortillas from the tortillerias - including the tortillerias de comal - where they are individually hand pressed, and cooked on a clay or metal comal, or else bread in the form of bolillos, teleras, and pambazos - all variations on French bread - a lean dough baked with a crisp crust - and a galaxy away from Bimbo.

Yes, they bought Ms. Baird's - but they have closed down the flagship Ms. Baird's bakery ops on Mockingbird and Central Expy, and have moved their North Tx operations to Ft. Worth.

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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Now I am wondering if the old Mrs. Baird's bakery here in Houston is still operating. Gee... I can't remember where it was just now. It was somewhere close in to town because that was all there was is what we now call "close in" back when I was a kid. I used to go with my mother to the day-old shop.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have seen what looks to be "fresh masa" at Fiesta of late. It is more common around the holidays but I have seen it other times as well. I am wondering if it is really traditional fresh masa or if it is just reconstituted masa harina masquerading as fresh masa.

I agree with what Robb said about the "industrial tortillas" invading Mexico. With the exception of having the extraordinary privilege of getting my chops on the real thing for a time, I don't find the typical tortillas in Mexico much better than here.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Just a few cents worth on tortillas and Bimbo to fill out what Theabroma and others have said.

Corn tortillas have always been class-based in Mexico. The poorer and more rural you are, the more corn tortillas you eat. The well-to-do ate bolillos etc. I have friends who claim they never eat tortillas though with the promotion of tortillas as part of the national cuisine following the Mexican Revolution, most people now eat some tortillas.

The quality of the tortillas in Mexico is falling fast. If you use masa harina (a pretty new technology) they don't roll as well nor do they taste as good. Most of the tortillerias now use masa harina. (Though some people still nixtamalize their own corn and just take it to the tortilleria to be ground, particularly in the country).

The quality issue has been exacerbated by the influx of American corn which is hybrid dent not a flour corn like most local varieties. I'm still trying to find someone to explain why you can't hydridise a flour corn for the Mexican market. But when this is made into masa harina (as I think it is) it has different properties. Most Mexicans devoutly believe that it is also the case that whole ears and not just grains go into masa harina though whether this is an urban myth I am still trying to find out. In any case, the tortillas from Mexican tortillerias, although fresher than the horrid cardboardy things in plastic bags in American grocery stores, are not very good.

That means there are now two groups in Mexico who eat good tortillas. The poor who still grow their own corn. And the rich, like me, who buy hand made local corn tortillas from ladies sitting outside the markets of Mexico. Although these cost at least twice what a tortilleria tortilla would cost, it's still not worth anyone's while, except single and very poor women, doing the incredibly hard work of making these and lugging them to the market.

According to those who know, the tortillerias could turn out much better products. One irony of the fact that staple foods were subsidised until recently in Mexico is that there has been no incentive to mechanize the making of good tortillas which could be done.

Everyone in Mexico eats Bimbo. It was founded in 1945 by a Basque family (fleeing Franco) and decided to go with square bread so as not to compete with bolillos. It's incredibly well run, now the second biggest baking company in the world, and dominant across Latin America. The founder has just produced a fascinating business management/history of the company.

Mexicans like the bread because it keeps, unlike tortillas (though that's getting easier as even the poorer families get refrigerators). It's sharing or taking over its wheat flour predecessor--the soda cracker--for packed lunches and after-school snacks. It's available in even the smallest hamlet and on every corner as the big companies in Mexico are (ironically) encouraging the opening of small corner stores to increase their distribution. Numbers have soared even as Wel-Mart has come in.

and on a lighter note, Bimbo's slogan in Mexico is "con todo cariño" which means "with all my affection/love." I don't think they have that on the US trucks.

Rachel

Rachel Caroline Laudan

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It's interesting that you say that bread stays better than tortillas. Now I'm NOT dealing with the good stuff, but that's rarely true with the varieties of corn-based, store-bought, tortillas we get in the United States Northeast. Even at room temperature (which admittedly is usually a bit cooler here).

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I have seen what looks to be "fresh masa" at Fiesta of late. It is more common around the holidays but I have seen it other times as well. I am wondering if it is really traditional fresh masa or if it is just reconstituted masa harina masquerading as fresh masa.

I see the same packages (I think two seperate brands) at HEB everytime I'm there, and wonder the same thing. The ingredient list usually lists Nixtamal as one of the ingredients.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Jon, The tradition in Mexico was that women made tortillas six days a week and only on Sundays did they eat stale ones. We now keep home made tortillas four or five days in the refrigerator. I'm prepared to microwave or steam them. But Mexicans prefer them tostada after the first day.

So sliced, packaged bread does keep longer. It also has the advantage that you can eat it cold. Tortillas have to be heated which may not be easy for a child just home from school or for a workman who does not have access to a bit of wood and a sheet of metal to toast tortillas,

Rachel

Rachel Caroline Laudan

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Now that I think of it, I have seen it at HEB as well. Interesting that they would list nixtamal. That should be referring to just the treated corn. Once it is dehydrated, I would think that it should be referred to as masa harina.

I can see two ways at least that having nixtamal on the label may or may not mean anything:

It really is fresh masa and nixtamal is rightfully listed as the predominate ingredient.

It really is reconstituted masa harina but, since nixtamal is the predominant ingredient in masa harina it is listed as the predominant ingredient and we will just forget about that li'l ole dehydration step. :hmmm:

Am I getting too cynical?

I think I am getting a headache... And we aren't any closer to understanding the love affair with Bimbo Bread.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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