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tortilla

[tawr-tee-uh; Spanish tawr-tee-yah] /tɔrˈti ə; Spanish tɔrˈti yɑ/
noun, plural tortillas
[tawr-tee-uh z; Spanish tawr-tee-yahs] /tɔrˈti əz; Spanish tɔrˈti yɑs/ (Show IPA).
Mexican Cookery.
1.
a thin, round, unleavened bread prepared from cornmeal or sometimes wheat flour, baked on a flat plate of iron, earthenware, or the like.
Origin
1690-1700
1690-1700; < Spanish, equivalent to tort(a) cake (see torte) + -illa diminutive suffix < Latin -ella
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for tortillas
  • If you were a bakery that only made bread it only makes sense to try bagels and tortillas if donuts are going out of style.
  • The use of grains for bread, tortillas and chapattis is linked to the growth of the world's population.
  • He started his career selling tortillas door to door.
  • The beans managed to be soft without getting all mushy, and they were seasoned enough to enliven the bland tortillas.
  • Sop up extra liquid with toasted and buttered flour tortillas.
  • Add a little rice to fill out the meal, or pile the pork and slaw on tortillas for a scrumptious south-of-the-border dinner.
  • Or make rajas, roasted chiles with onion and melted cheese served in tortillas.
  • Get some tips for heating up tortillas to get rid of the raw flavor.
  • Top with almonds, serve with rice and beans, pasta or tortillas.
  • Check and adjust seasonings, then put mixture in warm tortillas.
British Dictionary definitions for tortillas

tortilla

/tɔːˈtiːə/
noun
1.
(Mexican cookery) a kind of thin pancake made from corn meal and cooked on a hot griddle until dry
Word Origin
C17: from Spanish: a little cake, from torta a round cake, from Late Latin; see torte
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tortillas
tortilla
1699, from Amer.Sp. tortilla, from Sp., "a tart," lit. "a little cake," dim. of torta "cake," from L.L. torta "flat cake" (see torte).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for tortillas

tortilla

round, thin, flat bread of Mexico made from unleavened cornmeal or, less commonly, wheat flour. Traditionally the corn (maize) for tortillas was boiled with unslaked lime to soften the kernels and loosen the hulls. (This lime was the principal source of calcium in the Mexican diet.) The grains were ground on a stone saddle quern, or metate. Small pieces of dough were patted by hand into thin disks, a task requiring considerable dexterity. The tortilla was then baked on a comal, a griddle of earthenware or iron. Today most tortillas are purchased at tortillerias, where the dough is mixed by machine, stamped into disks, and passed by conveyer belt over a flame. Tortillas stale quickly and are usually bought fresh daily or even for each meal

Learn more about tortilla with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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