When making homemade tortillas, the little things can absolutely make or break the dish of the day. Whether you’re making birrias or homemade enchiladas, its super important for you to recognize the different types of corn tortillas. Different occasions call for different kinds of tortilla, and it can severely affect the outcome of your cooking.
The best way to know the difference between white and yellow corn tortillas is to look at the desired texture of the dish that you’re looking at. Yellow tortillas are made for durability and can hold large amounts of food. White tortillas can hold less but are softer and less likely to tear or rip
Why Do Yellow Tortillas Crumble So Much?
Yellow tortillas are wonderful for street tacos, for tortas, and many other classic dishes. The way that yellow tortillas are made varies from place to place, with each separate household defining the tortillas in their own way. You may notice that the texture of the tortilla may vary widely vary based of the different factors in the home, but there is a very similar factor in why yellow tortillas crack and crumble.
Yellow tortillas are slightly dryer than their white counterparts, and the dryness of the yellow tortillas means that it needs to be heated on a constant basis. White tortillas can last a bit longer, but also may not be given the same treatment as a yellow tortilla due to it being used in foods with a lot of sauce, such as enchiladas.
Yellow tortillas crumbling comes from a mixture of dryness and coldness on part of the tortilla. This may also be why yellow tortillas are less likely to break when making birria, as the tortillas are put in the same sauce as the meat that is cooking.
When Do I Use White Tortillas?
The best way to determine when you should use yellow versus white tortillas is based on the texture you want. Mexican cuisine is full of different textures and spices that can be amazing to experiment with, but the best way to determine which tortilla is right for the job is to determine what texture you want for the dish.
For softer dishes, such as quesadillas and enchiladas, its generally better to use white tortillas because they lack the crumbliness of the yellow corn tortillas, which will distract from the myriad of spices often used in softer dishes. If you look at the comparison of the number of spices in enchiladas versus street tacos, you’ll be able to see the difference.
For dishes that don’t require a soft tortilla, such as a taco, yellow corn tortillas are perfect. They are designed to carry a larger number of foods due to the dryness of the tortilla, so that the meat of the taco doesn’t fall out of the bottom.