How Long Do Tortillas Last – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 week

How long do tortillas last and why? It’s a question many people have had for over a century now, especially considering that tortillas are an extremely popular dish.

Coming from the Spanish for little cake” they are prepared on a stove with either corn or flour as the main ingredient. Indeed, one of the first things they will ask you when you go to a Mexican restaurant is whether you want a corn or flour tortilla, but I digress.

Considering that both individuals and businesses buy these tortillas in bulk, it is important to understand what factors can cause them to deteriorate. Yes, you can get food poisoning from a tortilla, so this is something we need to know about.

How Long Do Tortillas Last
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How long does it take for a tortilla to go bad?

Tortillas TypeLife
Unopened Tortillas (Room Temperature)1 week
Unopened Tortillas (Refrigerator)3 months
Unopened Tortillas (Freezer)6 months
Homemade Tortillas (Room Temperature)3 days
Homemade Tortillas (Refrigerator)1 week
Homemade Tortillas (Freezer)6 months

A number of different factors go into the shelf life of your favorite tortilla. The type of storage, the type of tortilla, and whether they have been placed in the fridge or left out all will play a role in how long it takes.

flour tortillas

Unopened Flour Tortillas

For example, an unopened flour tortilla will normally last a week at room temperature, three months in the fridge, and six months in the freezer. On the other hand, an unopened corn tortilla will last for a shorter time period in the fridge (only about a week), but they will last about the same time amounts otherwise.

Homemade Tortillas

Do you like your mother’s or grandmother’s homemade tortillas? If that’s the case, be sure to store them properly! Homemade tortillas are actually even worse than corn tortillas. They will only last two or three days max at room temperature and only about five days to a week in the refrigerator.

The good news for homemade tortillas is that they also can be frozen for a time span of six months just like the other types of tortillas.

Why does it take this amount of time for tortillas to go bad?

The length of time for tortillas to go bad largely depends on what you do with them. If you leave them out at room temperature, naturally it won’t take long for them to become spoiled. This is because the heat acts upon the microbes in the tortilla shells and changes the composition, essentially making them inedible after a certain period of time.

Tortillas in basket

Obviously, storing them in a refrigerator will help them to last longer, simply because it holds their composition in check. However, even that type of storage won’t last forever. They will eventually get warped.

Of course, the best way to store them would be to freeze them. Of course, even with this method, you will only have about six months, and that will unfortunately probably change the taste too.

If you are curious about the proper storage and preparation of your tortillas, here is a handy table to refer to:

Proper Tortilla Storage

OpenedUnopenedDefrosting
Store them the way you found them in the store, and make sure they are wrappedRefrigeratePlace tortillas that have been in the freezer in the refrigerator for at least six hours.

If you keep these tips in mind, you are sure to enjoy your tortillas for years to come!

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=6pqj03NP-6kC&oi=fnd&pg=PR13&dq=Tortillas&ots=-bAhlOgohR&sig=4tUHjHDKLn0V5S0ad0eU7N9prhQ

Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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