Traditional mexican romeritos sandwich with mole sauce and shrimp on a wooden background
Food - Drink
What Makes Mexican Tortas Unique?
What Is a Torta?
Tortas are similar to a sandwich as far as they’re both made up of bread filled with toppings. However, there’s a wide variety of tortas whether hot, cold, or wet from the torta ahogada stuffed with pork and drowned in spicy salsa to the torta guajolota, which is like a tamal just with a sandwich roll in place of corn husks.
Traditional Bread
Although there are countless torta variations, only a few bread types are used. These rolls date back to when Mexico was briefly ruled by the French Empire and Belgian baker, Camille Pirotte introduced baguette-style breadmaking resulting in bread like the sourdough-style birote, crusty bolillo, or the larger, round talera loaf.
While there is a mention of tortas in a newspaper dating back to 1864, most people credit the invention of tortas to 11-year-old comfort food prodigy, Armando Martínez Centurión in 1892. In fact, his name was given to Mexico City’s first torteria, Tortería Armando, which is still in business 130 years later.
Popular Variations
From the torta ahogada and torta Cubana to the torta de tamal and torta de milanesa, there are countless tortas. Some of the most common are Mexico City’s torta pepito, with marinated slices of grilled flank steak on bolillo bread, and the pambazo, a chorizo torta made with telera bread that is dipped in salsa and fried.