What happens when you take some of the best Tuscan traditions—the use of fresh, local, preservative-free ingredients, and an artisanal, hands-on, meticulous approach—and apply them to two Tex-Mex favorites, tortillas and taco shells? Tijuana can tell you.
In the past year, the popular Tex-Mex haunt’s via il Prato location has launched in-house tortilla, tortilla chip and taco shell production using two traditional, industrial-size, made-in-Mexico machines—and a painstakingly controlled approach. Though the machines’ technology allows for production of up to 18,000 tortillas each week, the process requires manual attention and skilled maneuvering, much like the Tuscan region’s renowned craft traditions. Just call Tijuana your local “tortilla-smiths.”
With the arrival of the machines came the internal menu tweaks, and then the outside requests: perhaps looking to expand their repertoire, area restaurateurs and shop owners started inquiring about purchasing tortillas from Tijuana’s owners Eike and Adriane. Imagining the possibilities of finger food parties, themed “fiestas” and the endless routes to take with recipes, the Tijuana team decided to open up tortilla sales to the general public. (Shortly, you’ll even be able to find 100 gram bags of tortilla chips stocked in your favorite local bars).
As for full tortillas, on offer are vegan-friendly flour- and corn-based options, the latter of which are gluten-free. Both make a filling foundation for numerous Mexican mains and sides—think soft tacos, burritos, enchiladas, nachos and more. But don’t feel confined to Central America for inspiration: if you’re hosting a party in piedi, with your guests mingling and wandering and buffet-pecking, try using them for mini-pizzas or filled pinwheel-shaped canapés, or pair the chit-chat with some chips and salsa. For a seated dinner, try serving quesadillas or sizzling fajitas. Really comfortable with the group at your table? Go for something hearty and hand-dirtying, like street food-style wraps, kebabs or classic burritos.
The bottom line: when you’re hankering for a fiesta in Florence, supermarket piadine just won’t suffice as good tortilla substitutes. Call Tijuana: they’ll take care of the tortillas, you bring the piñata.
Tijuana. Via Ghibellina 156r and via il Prato 57-59r, Florence.