Pantry Heroes: 5 Ways to Use Tortillas
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Using a tortilla as a sandwich wrap isn’t a new concept. But it is one that has gained more relevance as delivery, carryout, and curbside food sales have shot through the roof. Any sandwich—BLTs, po’boys, French dips, Reubens—can be wrapped for a cleaner to-go experience.

A Central American staple dating back to 10,000 B.C., the tortilla, has nearly endless applications. Tortillas are for all dayparts, all courses, and all menus.
 
As restaurants and operators cope with unpredictable demand and look to lower costs, they are trying to find ways to repurpose ingredients across their menus. The versatility of the tortilla makes it the perfect candidate. 
 
To help operators develop cost-effective menus, Devour by Dot will be celebrating some of the most flexible ingredients and sharing how they can be used for multiple recipes in our Pantry Heroes series. Here are five ways our first pantry hero, the tortilla, can be integrated into menus outside of traditional Latin American and Tex-Mex establishments. 

 

1. Wrap It Up 
 
Using a tortilla as a sandwich wrap is by no means a new concept. However, it is one that has gained more relevance in a time of high delivery, carryout, and curbside traffic. A sandwich is at risk when it’s on the road. While foil or paper is often successful in keeping the bread in place, the fillings and condiments might slide to the bottom of the packaging, transforming a delicious lunch into a sloppy mess. 
 
Any sandwich—BLTs, po’boys, French dips, Reubens—can be wrapified for a cleaner to-go experience. With the fillings tightly wrapped up in a corn or flour tortilla, everything is more likely to stay in place for a tasty and mobile meal. 

 

2. Adventurous Kids’ Meals
 
Millennial parents are tired of the same, old kids' meals. That’s why restaurants are starting to create more sophisticated and diverse kids’ menus. Tortillas have played a big role in the evolution of kids’ menus, with quesadillas, tacos, and other Latin American dishes becoming common offerings for children. 
 
Tortillas are not only great for creating kid-friendly Latin American fare. They can be used to create a variety of fun, playful, and even healthy offerings. Serve cinnamon chips made from tortillas with apple salsa for a snack. Use them to make pinwheels with healthy fillings. 
 
Since take-home DIY kits have become popular in recent months, restaurants could offer kits that include tortillas. A make-your-own pizza kit, for example, could give kids the option to use tortillas for a crunchy base. They could also choose from a variety of different toppings to make their own creation. It’s a great way to keep kids active and get them in the kitchen. 
 
3. Global Inspiration
 
Variations of thin flatbreads have existed across cultures for thousands of years. Chefs can experiment with substituting tortillas for other flatbreads and mixing ingredients from different countries to create something new. 

 

For example, tortilla scraps can stand in for pita bread to create a Mexican fattoush. Fattoush is a Levantine salad typically made with fried pita scraps, a variety of seasonal vegetables, and an olive oil dressing. In addition to subbing in fried tortilla scraps, chefs can play around with Mexican oregano, sumac from the Levant, salsas and quesos, Levantine hot sauce (known as shatta), and other regional ingredients to make a unique dish. Let tortillas serve as a gateway to exciting flavor combinations. 
 
4. Desserts With Crunch
 
Tortillas aren’t just for savory treats. After being baked or fried, wheat tortillas can be filled up or dipped into fruits, chocolate, ice cream, and more to satisfy any sweet tooth. 
 
Create an apple pie filling for taquitos. Roll a banana into a wrap and plop it in the fryer. Pile whipped cream and fruits into a chocolate-dipped taco shell. Serve sundaes inside baked tortilla bowls. Have stale tortillas lying around? Use them to make cinnamon chips to dunk into fruit salsa. This pantry hero gives chefs a lot of options to add some crunch to desserts. 
 
5. Snacks and Apps 
 
More time at home means more time for snacking. Tortillas are perfect for a number of snacks and appetizers. Fry up some mushrooms and cheese inside a tortilla. Make a Southwest-inspired eggroll using it as the wrapper. Stuff small tortilla bowls with crab salad or poke. Use it to wrap hot dogs, cheese, or asparagus. Come up with creative fillings for mini tacos or quesadillas. Make tortillas a go-to ingredient for bite-sized comfort foods. 
 
Your Sourcing Solution
 
Fry it, dip it, fill it, shred it, bake it, fold it, wrap it—chefs can do it all with tortillas. Operators can use it multiple ways across their menus to cut down costs while still inventing new dishes. That makes tortilla a fitting pantry hero.
 
Stay tuned for more versatile ingredients in Devour’s Pantry Heroes series. In the meantime, explore corn, flour, vegan, mini, and flavored tortillas on the Dot Expressway for menu inspiration.
 
Start experimenting with tortillas—browse products today on the Dot Expressway