Do Corn Tortillas Go Bad? (What to Know)

Do Corn Tortillas Go Bad?

Corn tortillas might not be as famous as flour tortillas in some countries, but they are considered better and the staple of Mexican cuisine. Corn tortillas are made from hominy, the whole kernels of maize, and it has been treated with alkali to improve their nutrition. However, you can’t help but worry if they go back, especially if you have too many leftovers.

Generally, corn tortillas are flatbread and usually comes in circular shapes if you are looking for a healthier version, then the corn tortilla outshines the flour tortilla. Authentic corn tortillas are made by curing maize in lime water, and it has been discovered to go stale immediately after production if there is high moisture content.

Quick Answer: Yes, you can expect corn tortillas to go bad, just like any product made with dough, but it does have a longer shelf life than flour tortillas. All foods have a limited shelf life, and corn tortillas are no exception, corn tortillas will have an elongated shelf life if they are stored in the freezer or refrigerator.

Corn tortillas need to be stored properly whether it’s opened or not, as mold is the first effect that can be harmful to them. Homemade corn tortillas and commercially packed ones are stored in similar ways also, it’s an incredible resource to have in your kitchen. Read on to learn about the shelf life of corn tortillas.

Can Flour Tortillas Go Bad? What to Know
Source: Serious Eats

Do Corn Tortillas Go Bad?

Corn tortillas do go bad eventually and the type of cornmeal or corn flour used is what determines how long it takes before that happens. Any product made from the dough will eventually go bad which is why refrigerating them is often advised but note that it can only last a few more days in the fridge and even when frozen, it can start to lose its quality.

The way corn tortillas are stored will also determine when they go bad. This type of tortilla should be consumed within a week or at least 10 days from the day of purchase.

Tortillas are very expensive food either homemade or commercially bought, so there is no reason to store large quantities of it note that homemade tortillas will go bad faster because they have no preservatives in them.

So, corn tortillas go bad even when they are refrigerated, they will only last 1 to 2 months in the fridge. The rule of thumb is to buy fresh tortillas regularly and avoid storing them. If you purchase store-bought corn tortillas, it is recommended not to open them until you are ready to eat them and store them in the fridge as well but remember that it will only delay their spoiling, not eliminate them.

Signs That Corn Tortilla Has Gone Bad

How do you tell when corn tortillas have gone bad? We already agree that corn tortillas go bad which is why it’s important to know all the signs that show it has gone bad and should not be eaten. Corn tortilla that has been exposed to moisture can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria so, the signs below will tell you it’s time to toss out your corn tortilla.

  • The tortilla will turn stiff and hard
  • There will be a subtle change in the smell, which would increase with time
  • If your tortillas start to feel slimy, then it’s likely to start developing mold anytime soon
  • Mold starts to appear on a tortilla that has passed its prime; this does resemble white or green patches on the surface
  • They can also be unusual spots or change in the color of the corn tortillas.
quesadillas and crisps for lunch
Photo by alleksana on

How to Store And Freeze Corn Tortilla

To extend the shelf life of corn tortillas, you can learn the proper way to freeze and store them. You need to learn that not all corn tortillas are equal, some are made using cornmeal and some are made with corn flour. Luckily you can freeze any tortilla. Freezing is the best way to extend the life of corn tortillas, you can freeze them past their printed date.

Corn tortillas from the grocery store often contain preservatives, so they will last longer than homemade ones.

However, for long-term storage, you can freeze them, they are also best stored in their original packaging, while the homemade ones can be stored in tightly sealed, releasable plastic bags and placed in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Here are simple tips to follow for storing corn tortillas properly.

  • Allow fresh tortillas to cool to room temperature before storing them away in the freezer or refrigerator.
  • Do not suddenly expose to a temperature drop; the texture of the warm tortilla will degrade, and it can also lose its masa flavor.
  • When reheating one from the fridge, sprinkle it with some water
  • Freeze leftover uncooked tortillas..

How to Store Corn Tortillas

Homemade tortillas are not that different from store-made ones but when it comes to storage and expiry dates, they are slightly different. Understanding corn tortillas’ shelf life is important, it helps decide how long they should last and when to throw them away.

Actually, can pretty much tell quickly when a corn tortilla has gone bad.

Corn tortillas last longer than other types of tortillas like spinach and flour; this is because they are made of whole grain. Corn tortillas can stay fresh if it stays unopened and its kept in a cool dry place like the pantry or cupboard for a week.

To ensure that homemade corn tortillas last, you will want to ensure they are kept in an airtight container and placed in the fridge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do corn tortillas expire?

Yes, store-bought corn tortillas eventually expire but they generally last past the best-by date as the expiration often depends on how it is made. An unopened corn tortilla in the fridge should last a month or two before it expires.

How long do corn tortillas last?

Homemade corn tortillas should last 6 to 8 days in the pantry while they would last 6 to 10 days in the fridge store-bought ones might last longer due to the preservatives in them but not more than 2 weeks or a month too.

Do corn tortillas go bad if not refrigerated?

No, corn tortillas will not go bad if refrigerated rather, this can extend their shelf life. Most tortillas, however, do not need to be refrigerated as they tend to lose their taste but you might want to do that if you want to keep them edible for longer.

Is it safe to eat expired corn tortillas?

Corn tortillas should be safe to eat 2 to 3 days after expiry. Also, if stored correctly, the quality can be maintained, but they also need to be protected against heat and moisture. Corn tortillas that are spoilt due to mold need to be discarded.

Wrapping Up

Technically tortillas are thin unleavened bread, so they should best be treated that way in terms of storage.

Corn tortillas are a staple for making dishes like tacos, chalupas, tostadas, enchiladas, and many more. They are versatile flatbreads; hence, you can consider making many things with them before they expire.

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