Everything You Need To Know About Tortas

If you ever thought of sandwiches as boring, run-of-the-mill meals, you have never tasted a torta. According to El Pollo Norteño, these Mexican sandwiches started springing up as early as 1846 when the citizens of Puebla, a south-central Mexican town, began making easy-to-carry sandwiches filled with any food they could get their hands on. Others claim a Mexico City entrepreneur thought up the sandwich in 1892 and started selling them filled with a variety of foods. This vendor's business still stands and sells tortas to this day. 

The torta of today maintains a similar pragmatic construction. According to Spoon University, tortas feature a fluffy bun that has a similar texture and taste to brioche that gets spread with butter and topped with anything you can imagine. Fillings include refried beans, avocado, peppers, chicken, steak, carnitas, all kinds of cheeses, and anything else you could dream of throwing in one. The flavors end up resembling that of a taco, but the bun takes the flavor to a whole new level. When you order a torta, make sure you actually get a sandwich. In some Latin American countries, people associate tortas with omelettes, while the same word also means "cake" in Spanish.

A torta for every region of Mexico

You might imagine tacos or tamales when you picture authentic Mexican cuisine, but ask anyone who lives south of the border and they could easily claim tortas as a national food icon (via Salon). These economical and delicious sandwiches have inspired different regions of Mexico to come up with their own local specialties. Puebla has a distinct torta called a cemita, the torta ahogada comes loaded with sauce, some feature a Basque-style stewed cod, and you can even get vegan versions. The bread, called a bolillo, always comes overloaded with toppings, making for a hefty meal that guarantees to fight off hunger all day. You can't have a torta without some pickles, and any torteria worth their salt makes their own pickled onions, carrots, and peppers in-house.

For a show stopping sandwich, look no further than a torta. These filling meals pull out all the stops and deliver a product worth drooling over. If you can pick up one of these authentic sandwiches in your area, make sure to try as many as you can to find the perfect version for your palette. With so many fillings and flavors like no other food, you can't go wrong with this Mexican staple.