How Long Do Tortillas Last: Barbara Answers The Question

Ah, tortillas!

When someone mentions them, my first thought is about Spain, Mexico, and spicy food. Not to mention that I have used them together with my nicely thickened chili more than once.

Still, there are millions of recipes which can be spiced up or not, depending on your taste.

My family’s taste depends on the mood, actually, so sometimes my boys want spicy variety, and others not.

No matter, they all love tortillas, and because of them, I wanted to try this out.

Let’s dig in, shall we? 🙂

Related: Learn To Find The Best Canned Chili With Barbara

What are tortillas in the first place?

As I said, and you probably know, tortillas are tracing back to one of the most beautiful areas on the globe, the Mesoamerica. From there, they spread to Spain first, where today are made differently and include eggs and potatoes.

There are many types of this bread, which are different in thickness, but in general, there are two kinds of these; wheat and corn flour-made.

To make things a bit more interesting, I have tried out homemade, whole wheat and spinach varieties as well.

Of course, if you wish to conduct a similar experiment, feel free to include as many as you want.

The sky is the limit (or the type of tortillas you can find). 😉


How have I tested them?

To be honest with you, I didn’t want to push things too far on this matter. Instead, I have taken three situations you can come across, and just used those.

In short words, I have left one of each kind of tortillas in the open (just lying around, doing nothing), put one in the refrigerator, and one in the freezer.

This gave me a pretty good image of the results.

Also, there was no specific way to tell if the tortilla was spoiled or not. I have used my feeling and the sense of smell. Surely, any sign of mold is a definite one that tortilla needs to be thrown away.

I’ve noticed one more thing; as tortilla is getting older, it stiffens, and as my younger son would say “becomes like cardboard”. For one to be proclaimed as fresh and edible, it must be soft, and without mold, it is simple as that.


The results are here!

Now we get to the fun part.

Mind that if you wish to try this experiment, you will have to keep your family from disturbing the objects (tortillas, of course).

It was difficult for me since I have three male family members who love my cooking.

1. The longest - freezer

Since this approach was somewhat the most boring one, I’ll start with it.

Namely, I have put all tortillas into the freezing chamber and left them there. As one should expect, they deep-froze and remained such for a long time.

Half a year, to be precise.

Now, you may come across to different mixtures and additives used by various manufacturers, but for those cheapest ones (if you are reading my blog, you know that I love to save money where I can), somewhere about 6-7 months after the printed expiration date is the most they can endure.

After this period, they are still edible, since there were no traces of spoiling, but trust me; you don’t want to try THAT. I had a feeling if I was eating a kitchen cloth (yuck!).

2. The second one - refrigerator

Now, this is where things are starting to become interesting.

My faithful, well-organized refrigerator was somewhat packed, since I love to stay well-equipped for my kitchen adventures, and I have put them in such way that they are not bent or crushed.

The first one to give up were homemade ones. Without all the things manufacturer would add, they became dry after a few days, and a week after “best used before” date, I had to throw them away.

Whole wheat, flour, and spinach tortillas held heroically some three weeks longer than the manufacturer expected, which is nice, but it is nothing compared to those made of corn.

This sturdy little fellow held for seven weeks in the refrigerator, and although the taste was somewhat bad, it could still be used.

3. The third place - no assistance

I didn’t have to tell you that tortillas will last a short amount of time if left out of cooled areas.

Still, I didn’t want to just move them from one place to another, so I put them in the storeroom.

The temperature there was a bit lower than in the kitchen, and this certainly influenced the result, but not much.

As with the previous case, the first one to tap out (I watch a lot of sports with my husband recently) was a homemade tortilla. Without anti-spoiling reagents, after just a few short days it booked a one-way ticket to the trash can.

Flour, spinach and whole wheat ones lasted for about a week, and again, the winner was corn tortilla.

This one held for about nine days, before I gave up and threw it away. 

The results – comment

  • I don’t believe that this competition was fair. Since homemade tortillas cannot have the same ingredients as those made in a factory, it is natural that they lasted the shortest amount of time.
  • As with the others, since corn flour is the most resistant one, it made tortillas which contain this ingredient to last the longest. The rest can be hit-and-miss, so sometimes one will last longer, despite the expectation.

Conclusion

In any case, I have done this little experiment because of one thing; so you don’t have to (and because I’m curious).

It is my best advice to use tortillas before the date printed on the package, to avoid any possible harmful effects.

If you want to make tortillas on your own, I can advise you to use them that day, or the day after, just to be sure.

The question how long do tortillas last is thus answered, and the results are at your disposal.

I hope that you will enjoy eating, as I enjoyed writing about them. 🙂

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

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