Have you ever wondered does tortillas go bad? If you have, then you are not the only one. Here we have the best FAQ to help answer your questions about tortillas.
A tortilla is a flat, circular, unfermented bread made from water, salt, wheat flour, or corn.
The word “tortilla” originates from a Spanish word that means “little cake.”
Traditionally, they are produced at home, cooked daily, and consumed when they are relatively fresh.
Tortillas are used in popular dishes like quesadillas, burritos, and tacos.
And when they lose their freshness, they are fried to make tortilla chips or tortilla soup.
Furthermore, the tortilla is a staple throughout Mexico and Central America and eventually gained popularity in the United States and other parts of the world.
Since then, tortillas have progressed from “ethnic” to “mainstream” food.
It comes in two varieties: maize (corn) tortillas and flour tortillas.
And while they differ in size, taste, and color, both are delicious in their own way.
The average size of a flour tortilla is often larger than that of a corn tortilla.
On the other hand, the color of a flour tortilla is pale-white, whereas the color of a corn tortilla is a solid yellow.
In addition, corn tortillas have a crunchy texture and salty flavoring, whereas flour tortillas are soft and have a mild flavor with a hint of sweetness.
But have you ever pondered, do tortillas go bad?
Or how long do flour tortillas last?
Do bad corn tortillas have a smell?
How to tell if a corn tortilla has gone bad?
Read on, and together we explore the ins and outs of tortillas while waiting for that burrito you just ordered.
A flour tortilla is a soft, delicious wrap made from wheat flour, salt, and a water-based dough.
They are cooked and pressed in the same manner as maize tortillas.
Meanwhile, commercially manufactured flour tortillas use chemical leavening agents such as baking powder.
Now, if you think of having burritos, you’ll probably need flour tortillas.
While your craving might get you a bulk of flour tortillas from the store, hold your horses as they also go bad, just like any other food.
So in light of the question, do flour tortillas go bad, the answer is yes.
They can get rigid and brittle, which makes them unpleasant to eat.
Opened or unopened, tortillas, in general, expire.
However, the shelf life of your tortillas can be extended, and their quality can be maintained if you store them correctly.
Which means they should be protected against heat and moisture.
If you buy tortillas at the store, it is best not to open the package until you are sure you want to use them.
Do corn tortillas go bad?
Corn tortillas are made from finely ground cornmeal or also called masa harina.
Since corn tortillas are easy to create, many people make their tortillas at home.
Also, it is due to the fact that this staple is quite versatile and can be used in a wide variety of dishes.
When fried at a high temperature, corn tortillas can be turned into chips in addition to serving as an ingredient in a variety of traditional Mexican recipes.
However, corn tortillas are no different from any edible item; they go bad over time, too.
They spoil more rapidly as a result of environmental factors such as heat, moisture, and pathogens.
The only way to extend their shelf-life is to properly store them in a sterile environment free of heat and moisture.
How long do flour tortillas last?
The way you keep your flour tortillas determines how long they will last.
You can let them sit in the cupboard, put them in the fridge, or freeze them; the choice is yours.
If you store flour tortillas in the pantry, they should be good for seven days, but storing them in the fridge will make them fresh for three to four weeks.
Meanwhile, they’ll be good for six to eight months if you opt to freeze them.
To extend the shelf life of tortillas, freezing them is an excellent option.
As an alternative to storing them in the refrigerator or the pantry, this method is more suitable for the long term.
Lastly, even after the expiration date, tortillas are safe to eat but will spoil after a while.
On the other hand, homemade flour tortillas only last about two to three days in the pantry.
They can be stored for a week in the fridge and for a more extended period in the freezer.
How to tell if a flour tortilla has gone bad
Now that you know how long flour tortillas last, you may be wondering how to tell whether a tortilla has gone bad.
Tortillas made with flour absorb a great deal of moisture much more quickly.
Given this fact, it increases the likelihood of mold growth, especially if the packet has been opened.
So it is best to consume your flour tortillas within a week of opening the package.
It is easy to spot the obvious signs that the flour tortillas have gone bad.
Look for mold development, dark patches, an unpleasant odor, and discolorations.
Do bad flour tortillas have a smell?
Flour tortillas typically have a mild scent of flour aroma.
When you find that your tortillas have an odd odor, you should know that it is the scent of mold and that you should throw them away.
Just smell it off.
It is most likely that your sense of smell is telling you the truth when it tells you that those tortillas smell odd.
It is important to remember that if tortillas are not firmly sealed, the risk of absorbing aromas from other items in the refrigerator is high.
How long do corn tortillas last?
The shelf life of corn tortillas is significantly longer than that of whole wheat, spinach, and flour tortillas.
You may be wondering why this is the case.
It is because they are made up of whole grains.
Whole grains are resistant to mold and other potentially dangerous components.
When stored in the pantry, maize tortillas have the potential to remain edible for up to ten more days.
Their shelf life can be extended from six to eight weeks if stored in the refrigerator.
Additionally, they can have an additional six to eight months added to their shelf life if frozen.
In fact, putting them in the fridge can increase their longevity, doubling the life span.
The same rule applies to the sealed packet of tortillas, even though they haven’t been used yet.
Make sure your corn tortillas aren’t exposed to moisture, as this will encourage mold and germs to develop.
How to tell if a corn tortilla has gone bad
To determine whether or not the tortilla has gone bad, you will only need to look at three indicators.
Always make sure to check the package for any signs of mold growth.
Molds could grow almost everywhere, even inside the packages, especially if you left them unopened.
Consuming them poses a significant risk to one’s health, even though their appearance may still be pleasant.
Change in Appearance
The color of tortillas does not typically shift over time.
Therefore, if you notice the presence of white and green colors in your tortilla, discard them immediately.
If the tortilla package has a musky smell, the entire packet of tortillas must be thrown out.
And if the tortilla starts to feel slimy, there’s a sign that molds are ready to start growing on it.
Do bad corn tortillas have a smell?
When maize tortillas have reached the point where they are no longer edible, they produce a foul odor.
In addition, older corn tortillas have a more brittle texture as compared to tortillas made from freshly ground corn.
Therefore, you should be able to determine whether or not your tortillas have become contaminated with mold.
They give off a musty odor, and the flavor is extremely terrible.
Nonetheless, we hope the odor will be enough to dissuade you from trying it.
Tips on storing tortillas
It’s not difficult to keep tortillas in storage, but your method depends solely on how long you want to keep them.
If you’re going to leave them on the pantry shelf, ensure they’re tightly sealed and not left open to avoid heat and moisture.
Keep them in a cool, dry, temperature-controlled environment.
But if you want to maintain the freshness of your tortillas but are still undecided when to use them, you can either store them in the refrigerator or the freezer.
Both of these storage areas will maintain their freshness.
However, keep in mind that refrigerated tortillas have a short shelf life.
If you have finally decided to put them in the freezer, here are some tips.
You will need wax paper and resealable freezer bags to freeze your tortillas.
Inserting wax papers in the spaces between the tortillas before putting them in a resealable freezer bag may prevent the tortillas from freezing together into one big chunk.
It will make the process of thawing easier and more convenient too.
Additional tip: you can write the use-by date on the freezer bag to know when it is suitable to consume the tortillas.
Frozen tortillas can be stored in the freezer for up to eight months.
The bottom line
Tortilla is a versatile food product that has been around since 10,000 BC.
You can include it in various foods, including sweet and savory recipes.
You can even stuff it with hefty toppings like mouthfuls of meat, cheese, and dipping sauce.
If you want to explore a new recipe using a tortilla tonight, go for it; the sky’s the limit!
My recommendation is you try our yummy version of the Mexican Tortilla Casserole.
- Some parchment paper
- An airtight container, plastic bag
- Keep the tortillas separated by putting a layer of parchment paper between them.
- Then place them in a sealable plastic bag or airtight container.
- Slide the sealed tortillas into your freezer and store them for up to 4 weeks.