Old San Antonio Molino
When I was young, my aunts ran Old San Antonio Molino, a small mom-and-pop tortilla factory. They sold corn and flour tortillas, masa for tamales, as well as barbacoa. I was always amazed at all the things they did. Except for a few steps, everything was pretty much made by hand. They had washtubs cooking the ‘maiz’ for masa for corn tortillas and tamales. If it was a Friday, barbacoa would cook overnight so it would be ready for Saturday. My aunt Margarita would be kneading the dough for flour tortillas, my aunt Toñy would make the doughballs and then flatten them into their tortilla shape, and my aunt Lety would be cooking the tortillas on the comal.
It was these flour tortillas for which they were most known for. I remember the line would sometimes go out the door with people waiting for them to be cooked. Sometimes my aunts would skip lunch just so they could keep up with demand. And rightly so there was a demand. These tortillas would come fresh off the ‘comal,’ fluffy and light, with a buttery taste that was hard to resist. I loved stealing a just-cooked tortilla, bouncing it around my fingers so that it would cool. And as a treat, my aunts would let me pair it with my favorite drink: Big Red. There was something insanely delicious of eating a fresh off the comal flour tortilla with Big Red. Yes, I thought my aunts’ work was pretty special.
The building where Old San Antonio Molino was housed suffered a fire in 2005, the same year that Panifico Bake Shop began operations. My aunts had nowhere else to go, so it seemed fitting that they continued their operations out of our shop rather than just quitting and letting go. That is one thing I always admired about my aunts. They were very hard workers, always working long hours to make a product that made lots of customers from far and wide happy. They did this for many, many years, never taking vacations, only stopping for holidays. The only thing that stopped my aunt Margarita was cancer, who passed away in 2009.
Old San Antonio Molino flour tortillas continue to be made fresh, with the same recipe that started it all over forty years ago. It is a continued tradition to serve the tortillas for the many loyal customers and their new fans, but also, it is also our strong commitment to family tradition and the legacy they have built for our family.