Growing up Mexican-American meant tortillas were ever-present at almost every family meal. My parents were too busy to make them from scratch, so we relied on packaged varieties. Many of the readily available brands we bought just didn't cut the masa but over the years our options grew along with Buford Highway. Eventually we discovered the incomparable flavor of several locally produced "all natural" versions simply made with salt, lime and corn.
El Milagro Tortillas: This Chicago-based company has a production facility in Atlanta where it bakes tortillas fresh. The thin, medium-colored flats are dotted with plenty of brown spots (always a good sign) and are as close as you can get to making them yourself at home. They actually smell like corn – something other brands lack because of all the added preservatives. Available at El Progreso (3277 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Chamblee, 678-530-0704) as well as other markets citywide. www.el-milagro.com.
La Banderita Tortillas: Since 1988, Atlanta's Ole Mexican Foods has made it its mission to produce authentic Mexican items. The company makes a variety of tortillas, but the all-natural version is the best. The pale brown tortillas are sturdy and wrapped in the traditional wax paper and a plastic bag for added freshness. Available at El Valu (4949 Buford Highway, 770-452-1666) as well as other markets citywide. www.olemexicanfoods.com.
El Jardin Tortillas: You'll be hard-pressed to bypass the table of freshly made tortillas from the Buford Highway Farmer's Market bakery. When these golden beauties are hot off the conveyer, the aroma of corn fills the air and it's difficult to resist tearing open the package for a quick taste on the drive home. 5600 Buford Highway, Doraville. 770-455-0625.