If you’ve ever been to Mexico, you know that the food there is something special. From tacos al pastor to enchiladas and chilaquiles, Mexican cuisine has something for everyone. But among all these classic dishes, there’s one staple ingredient that stands out: blue corn tortillas. These blue-hued treats are a must-eat for both locals and travelers alike.

Blue corn tortillas are made from blue maize that’s been milled, turned into masa dough, shaped, and then cooked on a griddle, or comal, until it’s lightly charred. Blue corn tortillas have been around since the Aztecs first domesticated maize several thousand years ago. Today, you can find them all over Mexico, from street vendors to fine dining establishments.

@foodwtf This is how blue corn #tortillas are made 👉 First the corn is ground in the mill to make a mass, then it's processed on a “metate”—a stone tool. The tortilla is then shaped by hand and cooked on the “comal”—a round griddle 🎥 IG: @j_oscarsegundo #foodie #foodtiktok #mexicanfood #bluecorntortilla #howtomaketortillas ♬ Fiesta Mexicana – Musica Mexicana

Though blue maize is still not as widely used as yellow or white maize, blue corn tortillas not only have a distinct color and flavor but also health benefits. Compared to yellow or white maize, blue corn contains more protein and dietary fiber but has less sugar. A high concentration of anthocyanins, the natural compounds that give blue maize its pigment, also means higher levels of antioxidants. Blue maize is also low in fat and cholesterol but high in essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and Vitamin B6.

In addition to being an excellent source of nutrition, blue corn tortillas have strong connections to Mexican culture and tradition. Some say they symbolize prosperity and good luck, so you might see them served on special occasions such as weddings and birthdays. They might also be served at funerals to commemorate loved ones who have passed away. Tortillas aside, blue maize can also make an appearance in traditional foods like tamales and pozole that are typically prepared during holidays and festivals throughout Mexico.

If you’re traveling to Mexico anytime soon, be sure to try blue corn tortillas while you’re there, whether with beans and eggs for breakfast or as a taco base for an afternoon snack. No matter where you go in Mexico — from the bustling cities of Guadalajara and Monterrey to the small towns along the coast — chances are you’ll be able to find fresh and delicious blue corn tortillas.