You haven’t had the best of Spanish cuisine without experiencing the flavorful taste of a corn or flour tortilla. Tortillas are an essential part of mouth-watering dishes such as tacos, tostadas, and burritos. They are also a crucial component in making enchiladas, tortilla chips, fajitas, and tortilla soup.
While corn and flour tortillas are largely similar, they have significant differences, and the Spanish tortilla option you pick can easily impact the outcome of your meal. Corn tortillas are thought to be more authentic because it has been a staple Spanish and Mexican food for more centuries than flour.
However, they are both versatile ingredients that combine well with various dishes. But really, what are the main differences between the two? Let us have the corn vs. flour tortilla debate by looking at the three main factors that separate them: nutrition, calories, and carbs.
Corn Tortilla Nutrition
Corn tortillas are made from three ingredients: masa harina (cornflour mixed with lime), salt and water. They are less sturdy than flour tortillas, and you cannot add excess fillings. Corn tortillas are also yellowish and smaller than flour tortillas. The small size prevents it from falling apart. The nutritional value for one 28g corn tortilla is:
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Corn Tortilla Calories
Corn tortillas have fewer calories compared to flour tortillas. It is the perfect tortilla if you are on a calorie-restricted diet or a weight loss regime. A 28g corn tortilla has 62 calories. The values increase to 107–150 calories after deep frying.
In addition, the fillings you add to the tortilla also significantly increase the calories. To ensure your corn tortilla is healthy, choose fillings with less fat and more vegetables.
Corn Tortilla Carbs
Corn tortillas are made when corn is cooked in lime water or calcium hydroxide. Afterward, the corn kernels are ground into flour, then made into dough and flattened before heating it on a tortilla presser.
The carbs in a corn tortilla come from the whole grain; hence, one 28g corn tortilla has 12.7g of carbohydrates. Fiber and sugar also found in corn qualify as carbohydrates, and the amounts are 1.8g and 0.2g, respectively, in one corn tortilla.
Flour Tortilla Nutrition
Initially, wheat was not an ingredient in Central America and Mexican cuisine. The Spanish introduced flour to the region. Its popularity grew in North Mexico and the United States, with most households and restaurants using flour to make tortillas.
Flour tortilla is simpler to make because it is naturally firmer than corn. You only need flour, water and salt to make your homemade flour tortilla. It is ideal for home recipes if you want to use plenty of fillings that won’t burst after the first bit. The nutritional value for one 45g flour tortilla is:
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Flour Tortilla Calories
Flour tortillas contain more calories than corn tortillas because they are prepared with shortening or lard. One 45g flour tortilla has 134 calories, and the amount increases to 230–304 calories after deep-frying. Flour tortillas are not the best option if you are on a weight-loss diet.
Corn tortillas beat flour tortillas as a healthier option because it has less fat, more fiber, and fewer carbs. On the other hand, Flour is high in iron needed to supply oxygen to your cells.
Flour Tortilla Carbs
Since a flour tortilla is larger than a corn tortilla, its carbs count is usually high, but flour tortilla still packs more carbohydrates even with a similar-sized corn tortilla. One medium-sized flour tortilla has 23g of carbs with an additional 1g of dietary fiber.
If you are a flour tortilla enthusiast on a diet, there is a healthier option of using whole wheat flour to make your tortillas. This choice will boost the nutritional value while reducing the carbs, making it a fantastic low-carb food that closely competes with corn tortilla.
The tortilla you choose to make after the corn vs. flour tortilla comparison depends on the availability of the cornflour, your dietary needs, taste buds and the amount of fillings you desire to use. If you want to compare the two tortillas at a superior level, Socarrat is the perfect place to sample both tortillas and pick a winner.