When Alejandro and Aurora Orozco came to Canada from Mexico in 2001 they found that options for good Mexican cuisine were few. They were particularly dismayed at the poor quality of tortillas available that were lacking in flavor and fresh ingredients. In Mexico, tortillas are a mainstay, made fresh, often right before the meal. Alejandro and Aurora saw an opportunity, and started Tres Marias.
Starting with tortillas, Tres Marias began to challenge the predominant mindset in Canada, that they are simply a medium to contain other tasty foods. Tres Marias creates tortillas that are full of flavor themselves, and actually contribute to overall deliciousness of a meal.
Another challenge was shifting the idea that a good tortilla can sit on a shelf for months, like many conventional brands do. Some tortillas have shelf lives of up to 4 months because of the chemical preservatives and hydrogenated oils that prevent them from going off. Tres Marias is committed to a healthy tortilla- using a few simple ingredients, little more than organic flour, olive oil and sea salt- their tortillas must be refrigerated to prevent spoiling.
According to Alejandro, “If you want to make a taco, you need to have a salsa.” The second thing that Tres Marias added to their product line is an expansive variety of full flavor, high quality salsas, the most popular being salsa verde, avocado salsa and mango salsa. Alejandro is pleased to note that people are starting to incorporate traditional Mexican fare like salsa into Canadian dishes like scrambled eggs and pizza.
After attending an agricultural conference focused around the growing pulse industry in Canada, Tres Marias began to experiment with incorporating pulses into tortillas. After much experimentation, some innovative gluten-free options were created and are now very popular with people who are gluten-sensitive. Tortillas made with brown rice, navy beans, blue corn and garbanzo beans are great options for people avoiding wheat or even those wanting to try a different taste experience. These tortillas have unique, strong flavors, and have 25% more protein and fiber.
What’s most important to Alejandro and Aurora is to keep their company small and conscious. They want to continue to provide foods that help people live healthier. “Authentic Mexican cuisine is an art that involves time, tradition, and natural ingredients.Fresher is better for everyone. Unprocessed foods that are GMO-free have more vitamins and minerals and will keep us all healthier. We want to see this changing overall in the food industry,” says Alejandro.
You can enjoy the Tres Marias line of tortillas, including many gluten-free options, and salsas at your nearest Community Natural Foods. The only challenge is trying to decide which delicious filling to wrap in which flavorful Tres Marias tortilla?
By Lauren Mangion, Conscious Home