It had the air of an illicit deal…money was wired to an account. A rendezvous point was chosen—the Tête Carré (square head), a day and a time. But this deal involved some freshly made corn tortillas.
A friend had asked me to take on this mission, which I readily agreed to. Nice, and France, may be as close as it gets to food heaven, but the French are not known for loving spicy food, and for whatever reason, Mexican food is way down on the list of easily available ethnic foods. Finding chiles, fresh or dried, is a quest, so I was happy to have a potential source of good tortillas literally just a short walk away.
Fernanda makes them to order, and they come in vacuum sealed packets in 2 sizes (15 cm or 12 cm) in different quantities. We got the bigger ones, in smaller packs so they would stay fresh. She doesn’t suggest freezing them, saying they will last sealed for about 3 weeks.
She was here working on her MBA and started craving the tortillas that were a regular part of her diet in Mexico. Fernanda brought her tortilla press back from home and started making her own. Friends who got to taste them told her she should sell them and now she is, with help of her fiance, Nikhil. It’s still a small operation, delivering to Nice, Cannes and Antibes. If you want to order some, you can contact them on WhatsApp +3375882114 or their Instagram page @tortillas.nanda.
Withing seconds of walking in the door I had to try one. Wrapped it in a slightly damp paper towel and gave it 30 seconds in the microwave (or “micro” as it’s called here). Warm, tender, full of corn flavor, it was delicious. Seriously one of the best I’ve had in a long, long time.
Since finding tomatillos and seranos is a futile task here, the next day, I settled for some jarred salsas that could be doctored. With some Spanish chorizo, cheese and some quickly pickled red onions, we had what looked and tasted like pretty good tacos in a few minutes. Since the tacos were good and we felt we should use up the rest of the package, I tried a couple with some poulet rôti, cheese, more pickled onions, and salsa. Not bad for an improv.
It’s hard not having better or more authentic ingredients to go in these really tasty tortillas. However, we will be experimenting more and are happy to know that great tortillas are only a text or two away.