tortillacooking tools

Tortillero

A tortillero is a tortilla holder, and many times a cover too, that is meant to hold and insulate tortillas. It helps them stay warm, soft and cozy after they have been heated and while you finish them off along with your meal. In a Mexican home, they are as popular as tortillas themselves, eaten almost everyday and accompany almost every meal. The same applies for restaurants, no matter how humble or fancy.

Tortilleros tend to be stunning in their craftsmanship, design and color. They are usually handmade and can have from the most simple to the most intricate designs. Mexican cooks take great pride in arranging their table to make it colorful and beautiful, and the tortillero is no exception.

Tortilleros are all circular in shape and are made from many materials. There are basically 2 different types. The first is a woven basket, typically made from natural sources such as wood, palm leaves or different plant materials. The woven version can come with or without a lid.

When it doesn’t come with a lid, usually a cloth napkin is placed inside to wrap and hold the tortillas. The cloth napkins can be as beautiful as the tortilleros! Many are hand decorated and sewn like the one above.

tortillero with a lid

Then…there are those with the lids, which tend to look like cute little hats.

tortillero cloths

The second type of tortilleros are those made completely out of textiles. They are just as creative and can be decorated as the woven ones, from simple, to very dressed. They always have an opening to place the tortillas inside and can also be placed inside of a woven tortillero.

tortilleros stacked

Tortilleros can also serve as open baskets for bread and come in many different forms… Just see how many!

Some people also like to get a thing called a “tortilla warmer”, which acts pretty much like a warming pillow. It can be placed in the microwave and then under the tortillero, to keep the tortillas even warmer…

Comments

14comments inTortillero

  1. Margaret Martinez

    Feb 28

    Hi Pati, Do you have an online store to sell all Mexican products? Like tortilla warmers, comals, spoons, bowls, the list is endless. If you don’t currently have one, you might want to consider having one. I would buy your products, after all, they are authentic. Have a blessed day.

    1. Pati

      Mar 01

      Thank you for the suggestion Margaret! I don’t have a store yet…

  2. Denise

    Feb 28

    Pati when are you opening your store? All the wonderful things you show us from all your travels! I’m sure I’m not the only one who loved all of these!

    1. Pati

      Mar 01

      Oh maybe one day. 🙂

  3. Mary from Terry

    Jan 07

    Hi, Pati! I just returned from 2 weeks wonderful vacation in Quintano Roo. I bought numerous souvenirs but my favorite is definitely my tortillero. It is beautifully hand woven. I also love the hand carved wooden spoons I found in a market in Puerto Morelos. A few days after we returned home, we had a tamale-making party for our family and friends, using your recipes for guidance. We made a spicy shredded pork shoulder butt filling, a very spicy ground venison filling, and a seafood version of tamales using cornhusks (no masa) filled with shrimp in the shell, fresh grouper, diced zucchini, fresh corn kernels, onion and poblanos. We also made several types of fresh and cooked salsas as condiments. Needless to say, everyone loved the food and the experience of making tamales from scratch. The tequila drinks we made were pretty darned good, too!
    My husband and I love the Yucatan so much that we are contemplating retirement in the Merida area in a couple of years, spending winters there and summers at our home in central Mississippi, right across the Gulf of Mexico. As I stare out the window this morning at the ice and sleet in our yard from yesterday’s major winter storm, I am determined to get back to Mexico within the next few months. I’m brushing up on my Spanish, too, which I have no spoken for over 30 years. Amazing how much of the language came back to me while we were there. Viva Pati y viva Mexico!

    1. Pati

      Jan 14

      Oh thank you so much for your lovely message, Terry! I wish I had seen a photo of your incredible food spread you made for your party, it sounds like such a delicious and fun fiesta! Well, the only thing I can say is I hear you: Merida is one of the nicest cities in the world that one could retire too. And the people are beyond divine.

  4. Mary from Terry

    Jan 07

    Hi, Pati! I just returned from 2 weeks wonderful vacation in Quintano Roo. I bought numerous souvenirs but my favorite is definitely my tortillero. It is beautifully hand woven. I also love the hand carved wooden spoons I found in a market in Puerto Morelos. A few days after we returned home, we had a tamale-making party for our family and friends, using your recipes for guidance. We made a spicy shredded pork shoulder butt filling, a very spicy ground venison filling, and a seafood version of tamales using cornhusks (no masa) filled with shrimp in the shell, fresh grouper, diced zucchini, fresh corn kernels, onion and poblanos. We also made several types of fresh and cooked salsas as condiments. Needless to say, everyone loved the food and the experience of making tamales from scratch. The tequila drinks we made were pretty darned good, too!
    My husband and I love the Yucatan so much that we are contemplating retirement in the Merida area in a couple of years, spending winters there and summers at our home in central Mississippi, right across the Gulf of Mexico. As I stare out the window this morning at the ice and sleet in our yard from yesterday’s major winter storm, I am determined to get back to Mexico within the next few months. I’m brushing up on my Spanish, too, which I have no spoken for over 30 years. Amazing how much of the language came back to me while we were there. Viva Pati y viva Mexico!

  5. mary benway

    Feb 09

    I loven youe show. I would like to have specific recipes,but I cannot get them online. Thank You

    1. Pati

      Feb 10

      You can find all the recipes under the TV section of my site http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/tvshow/ There is a section called Season 1, and another Season 2. They are all there for you all!

  6. Katrin

    Jan 30

    The tortilleros are beautiful. Thanks for sharing this great piece of Mexican cooking. Do you have any resources where these can be purchased stateside? I’m most interested in the cloth ones, but the baskets are really lovely, too!
    Gracias!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 31

      Hola Katrin, I’ve always bought mine in Mexico and do not know where to get them in the US. But, you can use any clean kitchen cloth or cloth napkin as a tortillero!

      1. Katrin

        Feb 01

        Gracias, Pati. This means I must make a trip to Mexico at some point! I’ve been using kitchen towels and found they have worked quite well.
        BTW, I came upon your blog while on a recipe search. I recently made your Chilorio and it was delicious! My Mexican boyfriend, who had never heard of it, was thrilled by the outcome as well. Thanks for a great website/blog/recipes!

  7. Kevin Gately

    Jan 29

    YOU ROCK PATI! Mexican Food is just incredible, the variety, the history. Mexico Lindo y Querido !

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 30

      Thank you so much Kevin you made my day!

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