The Store-Bought Tortilla Brand You Should Keep Out Of Your Grocery Cart

There's a reason why Lidia Bastianich finds flatbread so fascinating — because every culture has its own form of it. Roti in India, focaccia in Italy, pita in the Middle East, and, in Mesoamerica, it's the tortilla. Tortillas are the vessels that hold all of your beloved South and Central American dishes together. For so many recipes, tortillas are the foundation. If they're not up to par, whatever you're serving is — to put it blankly — doomed.

There's perhaps no better test for a tortilla than rolling a burrito, where the technique of folding the tortilla is as important as the tortilla itself. The wrong one will lack adequate elasticity, causing it to tear — or worse —break under the pressure of your first bite, sending the fillings straight into your lap. To avoid the frustration and the mess, there's one store-bought tortilla brand you should keep out of your grocery cart, and that's Old El Paso.

In Tasting Table's ranking of 12 store-bought tortilla brands from worst to best, Old El Paso flour tortillas for burritos came in last. Our taste testers tried giving them the benefit of the doubt, suggesting that they could have just got a bad batch — but, at the end of the day, these tortillas were dry, patchy, and strangely crusty. Described as rubbery as opposed to elastic, it's safe to say that Old El Paso tortillas fail the burrito test. If you let them in your grocery cart, they'll likely fail you too.

Choosing a tortilla brand you can trust

Nothing feels as deceptive as biting into your breakfast burrito one second, only to find its contents on the floor below you the next. Nor is there a greater betrayal than unknowingly buying a pack of off-tasting tortillas and not realizing it until you serve them to your family at the next Taco Tuesday. As the Tasting Table taste testers experienced, Old El Paso tortillas are not a store-bought brand you can count on to avoid either of those situations.

Even if it were just a bad batch, you deserve tortillas you can trust — if not to save your money, then to save your homemade huevos rancheros. While the Old El Paso tortillas aren't guaranteed to have you or your burrito's backs, other store-bought tortilla brands are. Of course, your abuela's tortillas will always be preferred. But, if you're at the store and you need a brand you can fall back on again and again, you're going to want to get the best quality.

When it comes to quality store-bought tortilla brands, look no further than the one that Tasting Table's taste testers ranked number one: Maria & Ricardos. The brand is found in the freezer section and offers a variety of flour, corn, and whole wheat tortillas that won't break or betray you. Other than that, you can also look for brands like Mi Rancho, or La Tortilla Factory — which were all also ranked highly — or the Tacombi-produced food brand, Vista Hermosa.