Friday, September 10, 2010

How Far Would You Go For a Great Tortilla?


At the airport in Salt Lake you check in and get tags for your luggage, but you don’t part company there.  Instead you take your bags down a little farther where you hand them off to go through a security check.

When I flew home a couple of weeks ago I had two pieces of luggage with me.  A big suitcase and a small duffle bag. 

First I handed off the suitcase to the worker there.  He rolled it into the line of waiting suitcases.  Then I handed him the duffle bag.

I could tell by his response that he expected the duffle to be fairly light—full of things like pajamas and mascara.

Instead, he almost dropped the bag.

“What on earth is in here???”  he asked.

“Well,” I said, “That’s a bit of a story…”


Costco in Utah has a product that Costo in North Carolina don’t have.  (Besides Tilapia Loins.)  (Actually I haven’t checked.  I really don’t know if you can buy Tilapia Loins here.)  Anyway, in Utah you can buy raw tortillas that you take home and cook right before you want to eat it. 

For a tortilla loving girl like me, this is total nirvana.  It’s like dying and going to homemade tortilla heaven. 

Since I took a lot of stuff belonging to other people out to Utah in my suitcase, I thought there was a good chance I’d have some space available to bring something back.  And from the beginning I planned that that something was going to be raw tortillas.


(I just noticed that I’ve used the word “yum” quite a bit lately in my blog.  Sorry about that!)

So one day there I was in Costco.  It was in the middle of the week, but I figured I could go ahead and get the tortillas and just store them in my brother’s fridge until I left.

Just one problem.

I couldn’t find the uncooked tortillas in the store.  I looked and looked and looked.  It didn’t help that their store was laid out nothing like ours so I was pretty lost.  Eventually I gave up and took the rest of my stuff to check out.

“Did you find everything you were looking for?” asked the perky Utah clerk.

“Well actually…” I decided to go for it.  “I was looking for the uncooked tortillas but I couldn’t find them anywhere.”

Just at that moment another worker walked by and heard what I said.  She explained that they were in the process of remodeling, and that those tortillas had been moved just that morning.  “Do you want me to go get some for you?” she asked.

I wavered.  Half wanting not to be a bother, and in a hurry to leave.  The other half (the hungry half) wanting those tortillas.

“Sure,”  I said.

“How many do you want?”

Ummm…I didn’t know.  How many?  A lot.  Enough to eat for a while.  And to share a few with my kids.  But how many is that?

“Four!”  I said.  “No, Five!”  (Whatever that means!)

In a few minutes she was back.

With a BIG BOX.  That looked HEAVY.

With some trepidation I looked in.  There they were, my four, no five, bags of raw tortillas.

And they were huge.

How big, you ask?

August 2010 401

Yep, just over 4 1/2 pounds per bag.  If you need a comparison here, a box with 4 sticks of butter is exactly 1 pound.  These were heavy bags of tortillas!

I thanked the Costco worker for tracking down the tortillas for me and paid for them, frantically doing the math in my mind.  Five bags of tortillas that weighed four and a half pounds each…the math did not come easily but I finally figured out I had just purchased just over twenty two and a half pounds of tortillas.  And that I was probably not going to be able to fly home with all of that!

In the end I left one package of tortillas with my awesome brother and sister in law to thank them for letting us stay at their house and for letting my tortillas live in their fridge for a couple of days.  I also gave a package of tortillas to Cindy Lynn, and I brought home just three.  Not quite 15 pounds of tortillas, it was still enough to make that poor duffle bag seem unreasonably heavy.


“Tortillas?!?”  the security worker said incredulously.  “That’s what’s making this bag so heavy???”

And that, my friends, is why I was not surprised to get back to North Carolina and find this hiding under the packages of tortillas..

September 2010 009

And I have had a freshly cooked tortilla for lunch and dinner almost every day since I’ve been home.  Whether or not I’ve needed one!

Now I’m trying to figure out who the next person I know that is traveling to and from Utah…to see if they’ll bring me more tortillas!


  1. Too funny! I remember they had those in Seattle. When we lived there I went on a massive hunt for a burrito that could live up to Cosmic Cantina in Durham. I found a place that made their own tortillas, and everytime we went there on a date, I would order 3 or 4 to go "for the babysitter". Then I would always eat them in the car:).

  2. Glad I am not the only one who searches for food to bring home. Mine is cookies from a certain grocery store. It was hard to even find one of those stores where I was in CA last time. The girls were very happy I did though. :)

    My cookies didn't weigh near as much as your food though. :)

  3. I've been laughing out loud since the baggage inspection pic. What a hlarious retelling! I think you've just made my day. =D So glad you've been enjoying your specially sought out treat.

  4. I think blogs need a "like" feature. I read this post an enjoyed it, but I can't really think of anything else to say about it...

  5. Those tortillas are the best! Why oh why can't they just sell them at our Costco! The last thing we packed home in bulk was chocolate covered cinnamon bears. Clark brought me home around 8 bags...

  6. I'm just laughing because I can just see you telling the story to the baggage claim guy! He asks a simple question about what is in the bag, and you launch into a 5 minute story about tortillas! THAT is why I love you so much!

  7. I bought those at our Costco in the last year I beleive. I don't know why we stopped, so I haven't looked lately, but I did buy them here in NC.