Here's the trick to making the best quesadilla at home

In the 16th century, an Italian cookbook appeared with a recipe for a kind of fried Pop-Tart (via The World). Those fried and sweetened empanada-like dishes may well be the Medieval ancestors of the quesadillas that grace 17 percent of our restaurant menus today (via Tastewise). What's the point? Quesadillas (or quesadilla-like foods) have been around for over 600 years. And while 600 years is nothing in the 11,000-year life of a deep-sea sponge, it's something for us human beings (via National Geographic). Specifically, it's about 24 generations of homo sapiens, and over 33 million of your distant and not-so-distant ancestors, who may or may not have chowed down on the beloved fried street food (via Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter). The quesadilla, it's safe to say, has passed our collective taste test, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

We know what you're thinking. It's high time you learn to make them well. Agreed. First off (novices, this one's for you), be stingy with the butter or oil you use to fry your quesadillas up (via The Kitchn). Use too much butter or oil you run the risk of ending up with sad, soggy, melted cheese pockets that aren't even deserving of the name "quesadilla."  To create crispy, golden-brown deliciousness, The Kitchn recommends a meager, half teaspoon on the bottom of your frying pan. You're off to a good start. But the true secret to a good, homemade quesadilla has nothing to do with butter. It's all in the dough.  

The single ingredient that guarantees heavenly quesadillas

Perhaps you've been hacking away at homemade quesadillas for years. In that case, you've no doubt experimented to high heaven with cheese. Mozerella, and its mild taste profile, is a hard no. Of course — you knew that already (via Oh, Sweet Basil). But have you ever tried switching up the tortillas shells you're using to fry your quesadillas in? We don't mean alternating between the corn and flour varieties. You'll nearly always want to go with flour, as this will make your tortilla pliable enough to encase cheese and other fillings (via Bon Appetit). What we mean is that you should only be sauteing homemade quesadillas in fresh, uncooked tortillas. 

Trust us, or, if you rather, trust Carrian and Cade who write up the cooking blog, Oh, Sweet Basil. Fresh tortillas are the difference between that-was-okay and I-can't-believe-I-don't-eat-these-for-breakfast-lunch-and-dinner. If you can't find fresh tortillas in your local supermarket, go ahead and make your own. All you need is an hour, and flour, water, baking soda, salt, and butter (via King Arthur Baking). From there on out, it's hard to mess this one up. After cooking your fresh tortillas, add your fillings and cook your quesadillas as you normally would. And, as always, don't let them get too cold, before eating. Buen provecho!