Local, family-owned companies have joined forces to create heirloom corn tortillas for the Bay Area's taco, quesadilla, and nacho aficionados. San Francisco's La Palma Mexicatessen, established in 1953 by the Haro family, makes the tortillas for Napa's Rancho Gordo, Steve Sando's farm mostly known for a wide variety of beans. The two are helping to keep a third endeavor on the path of tradition.
The corn comes from the Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project, which encourages its farmers in Mexico to grow their indigenous plants with age-old methods, outside the demands of the international marketplace.
While mass-market corn tortillas can taste like cardboard, these tortillas are soft and flavorful. They also crisp up nicely in the oven and when fried into chips. Due to their short shelf life, the tortillas are not listed on the Rancho Gordo website. Call La Palma for availability, or look for it at local retailers such as Other Avenues, where we scooped up a dozen for $3.49.