Nestled in Napa, CA, the heart of the Curiel family beats with a passion for crafting authentic tortillas and tortilla chips. Founded in 1991, Morenita Foods embarked on a flavorful journey that has now touched the taste buds of many across California's Bay Area.
What started as a local restaurant venture quickly transformed as Morenita Foods’ chips won hearts with their unique crunch and distinctive flavors. Today, their products grace over 140 locations in Northern California, a testament to the love they've garnered over the years.
In November, Morenita Foods became a pioneer in the Non-GMO Project’s Equitable Transfer Program. Using the funds to facilitate Non-GMO Project verification, Morenita Foods’ Vice Jefe, Jerry Curiel, emphasized the importance of preserving ancestral heritage. "As a Mexican American, corn is not just a staple but is entrenched in our culture. It was vital for us to use only non-GMO ingredients," Jerry expressed.
He applauded Mexico's efforts in banning GMO corn, finding it a validation of their mission. Jerry acknowledged the time it takes to tackle the GMO issue but expressed hope for a brighter future, thanks to organizations like the Non-GMO Project.
Jerry shared a poignant cultural connection, comparing his parents' migration to the monarch butterfly's journey, symbolizing resilience and the pursuit of a brighter future.
Since achieving Non-GMO Project verification, Morenita Foods partnered with UNFI, a renowned wholesale distributor specializing in natural and organic products. This collaboration aims to bring Morenita Foods' unique chips to more households, aligning with its mission to provide healthier food options.
Morenita Foods’ tortilla chips are crafted in small batches and boast three distinct flavors: Original, Salt & Lime, and Chile Lime. From their original creation in 2002 to the zesty Salt & Lime flavor in 2011 and last year’s addition of Chile Lime, Morenita Foods continues to innovate and bring smiles one tortilla chip at a time.
- 1 bag of Morenita Chips (Original Flavor)
- 7 clean and deveined Guajillo Chiles (Add four chilies if you like it very spicy. Use one or two for a milder flavor)
- 2 cups of water or chicken broth
- 3 fresh tomatillos (250 grams)
- A few sprigs of epazote
- 2 cloves of garlic
- A small pinch of cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- Salt to taste
- Boil the guajillo chilies in two cups of water. Adjust the quantity based on your spice preference, using four chilies for extra heat or one to two for milder flavor.
- After two minutes, add the fresh tomatillos to the boiling water. Once the tomatillos change color, remove and set them aside.
- Once the guajillo chilies have cooled, strain them with chicken broth and set the mixture aside.
- Grind the tomatillos along with the spices (garlic, cumin, Mexican oregano) to create a flavorful base.
- In a little oil, fry four slices of onion. Remove the onion to perfume the oil, then sauté the tomatillos with the spices for about five minutes.
- Add the ground guajillo chilies to the mixture, followed by the epazote sprigs. Adjust the consistency by adding more chicken broth if necessary. Let it cook for an additional five minutes.
- Remove the epazote sprigs and season the sauce with salt to taste.
- Plate Morenita Chips and generously pour the sauce over them. Top with sliced onion and cheese.
- Enjoy your delicious homemade chilaquiles!
Explore Morenita Foods’ deliciously different tortilla chips online or locate them through the retail map on their website, www.morenitachips.com. Stay updated and inspired by following their Instagram and Facebook pages for more tantalizing recipes. Indulge in La Morenita's flavors and bring a piece of tradition to your table.
Guest writer: This piece was written for Morenita Foods by Jackie Roldan. Morenita Foods was a 2023 recipient of the Non-GMO Project's Equitable Transfer Program funding.