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Here are the answers to those burning (so to speak) Frequently Asked Questions you've been wondering about!

What makes your tamales different than the other tamales?
The Whole Tortilla tamales feature traditional Mexican ingredients in a unique pie form – no husks, leaves or paper. We utilize whole fruits and vegetables for more flavor and nutritional value. Focusing on green and red chile peppers for both spiciness and depth of flavor gives our food a special New Mexican flare (see "What do you mean by "New Mexico-Style"?" below).

Where do you ship The Whole Tortilla products?
We are currently not shipping The Whole Tortilla foods but expect to offer that service in the near future. Please check back to the Ordering Info page for updates. Better yet, become a Facebook Fan of The Whole Tortilla and get updates on your Facebook page or mobile device!

How did The Whole Tortilla get its name?
The Whole Tortilla name comes from Ricardo’s childhood memories of being one of nine siblings. As his mother hand made tortillas daily, she would tear them in half and give each child a piece. So although Ricardo could see and smell a complete tortilla coming off the Comal, he only got a portion of it. Now that he’s an adult, he can have the whole tortilla…and more! See About Us for more info on The Whole Tortilla.

What’s the difference between “chile” and “chili”?
“Chili,” “chile,” and “chilli” are interchangeable words for the fruit of Capsicum plants or chile peppers. However, “chile” with an "e" is the most common Spanish spelling in Mexico. "Chili" commonly refers to dishes containing meats, beans and chiles or the spice consisting of ground chile pepper with cumin, salt, garlic powder and other herbs/spices. The lesser used term “chilli” is derived from xilli, the Náhuatl word for the chile pepper fruit.

What do you mean by “New Mexico-Style”?
New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment, a state whose cuisine was influenced by indigenous Native Americans, Spanish explorers and Mexican colonists. The widespread use of red and green chiles differentiates New Mexican dishes from the other Southwestern states and Mexico itself.  Our tamale pies, both filling and masa, feature from three to eight varieties of red and green chiles. The spicy tomato and peach salsas use the very popular Serranos. - more

New Mexico State Flag

What should I do if I bite into food that's too hot?
Ingesting dairy products like milk, yogurt, sour cream and ice cream or starches such as bread and rice will help dissipate the heat from the chile peppers. Alcohol (gosh darn it) dissolves capsaicin, a chile pepper's chemical component causing the burning sensation.

Where can I find your tamale pies and salsas?
The Whole Tortilla has a booth at the Jack London Square Farmers' Market in Oakland. We also participate in the coolest foodie events in the SF Bay Area! Click here for more information on these venues.

Do you offer vegetarian tamale pies?
The Veggie Delight Tamale Pie is vegan, containing absolutely NO animal products! The filling is a corn and vegetable guisado with sautéed onions and green chiles surrounded by corn masa. Click here for the ingredients.

Why do you use lard? 
Lard is rendered pork fat and, despite its reputation, has less saturated fat (bad stuff), more unsaturated fat (good stuff) and less cholesterol (really bad stuff) than an equal amount of butter by weight. Unlike many margarines and vegetable shortenings, unhydrogenated lard is a real, unprocessed food that contains no trans fats. Keep in mind that during the "good old days" when the predominant fat in people's diets was lard, there was much less obesity than there is now.

Lard is used in traditional Mexican and New Mexican cooking — there’s no substitute for its delicious taste. The Whole Tortilla uses fresh rendered lard in its Green Chile Chicken, Red Chile Pork and Red+Green Spicy Chorizo tamale pies. For vegans and vegetarians, we have the Veggie Delight Tamale Pie made with vegetable oil.

Are The Whole Tortilla foods organic?
Our foods are 100% natural and whenever possible, use organic ingredients. We're continually working to source our ingredients from local vendors, farmers and suppliers who are committed to organic and sustainable products.

Can people with allergies to gluten, dairy or nuts eat The Whole Tortilla's foods?
All of our tamale pies and salsas are 100% gluten, dairy and nut free. The tamale pies are made with 100% corn masa; no other flours or gluten are added. Our foods are produced in a facility that handles milk, wheat and nuts.

How long will your tamale pies keep?
4 months frozen in the freezer and 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

What about your salsas?
Our salsas freeze well and last up to 14 days in the refrigerator.

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