Last week Bon Appetite featured an article by Senior Staff writer Alex Beggs, “Why Are H-E-B’s Flour Tortillas So Dang Good?” The post a love letter to H-E-B’s instore made private brand tortillas is evidence that private brand has the ability to move beyond price and value to love.
Beggs has a history of writing about her love of private brand with an ongoing series of reviews of Trader Joe’s private brand products.
Why Are H-E-B’s Flour Tortillas So Dang Good?
Texans know: These chewy, buttery beauties are a state treasure. But where did they come from?
Like you, the H-E-B flour tortilla has accepted the fact that it is imperfect. It’s okay with that. That’s part of the reason everyone loves it so much. Its little quirks. Like the lumpy, bumpy, not-quite-circular shape. Some air bubbles here and there. An edge that’s folded over a bit, like a teenage ear awaiting a piercing. These are signs that the precious H-E-B tortilla is homemade. Or as close to homemade as you can get in a 68,000-square-foot grocery store along the Houston interstate.
My half-Mexican, very Tex-Mex mom used to make flour tortillas with an electric press. She’d roll balls of dough made with flour, salt, baking powder, warm water, and Crisco and let them proof into silky balloons under a towel. Then she’d set up an assembly line where my siblings and I would stand to the side while she pressed out the tortilla and then passed it to us. Well, it would have been an assembly line if we’d put them in the kitchen towel instead of eating them one by one. Sometimes we’d slather them with butter and chew them in front of the TV, not knowing how this stupid greasy moment would be one of life’s best.