Do tortillas go bad? and how long do they last stored? The simple answer is yes but not as quickly as you think.
Personally, I like to stock up on most of my kitchen goods so that I don't have to go to the supermarket frequently. That's why I'm interested in how long something stays good before turning bad.
Tortillas are the light flatbread that is used to make burritos, tacos, and a variety of other sandwich-style meals. It’s easy to prepare and takes minimum effort, it originates from Latin America and comes in many varieties. There are even gluten-free options available for those who need such things.
It comes in several forms: corn, flour, potato, and whole wheat. It can be purchased at the grocery store or you can make them at home with a tortilla press.
If you buy this flatbread (flour or corn) in bulk in advance for a longer period, you might be wondering if it can go bad anytime soon. Here is a brief guide on the expiration of tortillas and if they go bad.
Do Tortillas go Bad – Does the expiration date matter?
Yes, tortillas, like other dough-based products, do go rancid. If not stored properly, it may spoil fast. Commercially prepared ones have a longer shelf life than homemade ones.
Different types of tortillas (flour, wheat, corn) have their expiration and best-by dates. Another thing to consider is the way you store it. If they're in an open container or if the environment is too humid, you run a risk of spoiling them.
Some people store tortillas in the freezer. This is the ideal approach for storing them for months.
Is the expiration date important? The best part of this flatbread (corn or flour) is that you may preserve them for future usage after they've passed their best before date. Many varieties can last up to 6 months in the freezer if frozen.
Storing them in your fridge or pantry is different. corn tortilla has a longer shelf life than its counterparts when refrigerated, they last longer for up to 7 weeks.
More information on different tortillas and their expiration under varying circumstances is given in the table below.
|Tortilla type (unopened)||Pantry||Refrigerator (properly sealed)||Freezer|
|Corn Tortilla||7-10 days||7 weeks||6 months|
|Flour Tortillas||7 days||4 weeks||4-6 months|
|Spinach + Wheat Tortillas||7 days||3-4 weeks||6 months|
If you make your own tortillas, I don't recommend storing them for more than 3 days before consuming them for optimum freshness.
How to know if Tortillas have Gone Bad?
If you suspect that your tortillas have been sitting around for long enough, you want to check them for spoilage before eating. There are many places you can look at to determine if your tortilla has gone bad.
First things first, look at the expiration date (best before dates), if it has passed, then move on to other indicators.
Beware: Tortillas can look perfectly fine and still be bad.
It might not be perfect, but you can always tell an unusual or a bad odor. Especially right after you open the packing. In this case, throw the tortilla in the bin.
When a tortilla is in excellent health, you'll be able to recognize it. You'll be able to notice any unusual marks on it later this way. Look for mold growths on the surface of the tortilla.
Tip: Spinach tortillas turn yellow/pale when bad.
This is where most of the changes happen. Softer ones go crispy stiff. They also lose their moisture and dry out. This isn’t visible to the naked eye so you would have to touch to feel the dryness.
This works as the final check. If you are still suspicious if the tortilla is good, take a small bit and taste it. If it tastes stale or funny then it has gone off.
Tips to improve its shelf life
My favorite part about tortilla is that you can always squeeze out a few extra weeks or months from it.
- Store the tortilla in a dry and cool place
- Freeze it to extend life for several months
- Do not leave tortilla open in the air
- Use air-tight containers for storage
As much as we all love fresh products when it comes to edibles, having preserved items for emergency purposes is always handy.
How to Store Tortilla?
Storing tortillas is somewhat tricky. They are sensitive to moisture and air contact. You can either store them in a fridge, a pantry or just freeze them away. Each method serves a different purpose and provides varying shelf life.
If you are looking to store your tortillas for a few days (a week), the pantry is perfect in this case. Store them in a chilled and dry pantry. Make sure that there are no significant temperature changes involved. Remember, moisture is death!
If you plan to store them for more than a week (a few weeks), a fridge is your perfect option. It will keep the tortillas cool and chilled. Always keep them away from other items and store them in an air-tight container. Any air exposure will spoil your tortillas. Especially in the case of homemade ones
Tip: Zip-lock bags are great to ensure protection from air exposure.
If you want to store the tortillas long beyond the expiration date, freezing them is your best and only option. Remove it from its original packaging and separate each flatbread with parchment paper. Wrap the bread with plastic wrap (cling film) and place it in a freezer-safe bag or an airtight container before storing it in the freezer.
How bad is it if I eat expired tortillas?
The simple answer is, not bad at all provided you haven't eaten a whole pack. The only downside is the taste. No one wants to have a meal that doesn’t taste delicious! The expiration date on the tortilla package indicates how long will it stay delicious.
Do tortillas go bad in the fridge?
Yes. Tortillas can go bad anywhere if not properly sealed before storing. Under perfect conditions, they last for about 4-6 weeks in the fridge. After that, it lose its taste.
What does mold on tortillas look like?
Molds on tortillas would have a slightly fuzzy surface, it will be discoured, it may be green or black, or have white spots on it.
Can you eat expired tortillas?
Yes, but the tortillas won't taste as good. If it is only a few days past its expiration and if it was stored properly and no evidence of mold then it should be edible. In reality, if a tortilla is hard or brittle, it should be discarded even if it hasn't yet expired.
Recipes to do with leftover tortillas
This is the part where I tell you how to upcycle your leftovers tortillas and make something delicious with them. Here's a list of recipes ideas to get you started
Conclusion: The best way to store tortillas is in a dry, cool place. If you want your tortilla to last longer, we recommend freezing it. However, if the tortilla has been opened and exposed for too long of time or stored improperly, then chances are that it will go bad sooner than expected. We hope this article helped you learn more about how to care for your favorite Mexican food staple!