Tess on the Town: Olathe tortilleria has healthy line


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I ran across something new at the grocery store the other day. Well, not exactly new, but new to me.

I usually grab tortillas in the Mexican food aisle, but I was looking for fresh pasta in the refrigerated section and spotted a brand of whole-wheat tortillas made by Sombrerito of Olathe.

The tortillas — flour, corn and whole wheat — are sold in the cold-foods section because they contain no preservatives, according to owner Natividad Galvan.

Galvan and his wife have operated the tortilleria in Olathe for almost 20 years. They employ 10 people.

He sells directly to grocers and his clients include Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, Albertsons and “a bunch of little stores and mercados,” he said.

Despite being in the corn capital of Colorado, Sombrerito’s best-selling tortilla is flour, followed by wheat and corn.

Galvan remembers the tortillas his mother made with lard, admitting they were very good. But, he said, he’s happy to make the unleavened bread with only vegetable oil.

“Everybody wants to eat healthier and the flour tortillas go great with everything, without heating like corn tortillas,” he said.

Galvan decided to move to Olathe and create a business in 1994. Having reared seven children there, he says the community has been good to him. “It’s a great place to live,” he said.

HAPPY HOUR: A new book called “The Perfect Drink for Every Occasion” by Duane Swierczynski purports to have the cocktail for every holiday, milestone, malady and social urgency.

Some of the more interesting entries:

■ To freshen your breath: Vodka and cranberry juice. “In general, anything with citrus, gin and/or vodka such as a gimlet, gin and tonic or gin fizz, will keep your breath alive.”

■ To kill slugs: Beer, the cheaper the better. “For reasons known only to God, garden-variety slugs are extremely fond of beer. Before you get upset and call PETA, think about it (drowning in beer), there are worse ways to go.”

■ How to impress a female date when you’re ordering for her: Stoli vanil and ginger ale.

■ How to impress a male date: “Whatever you’re having.”

■ How to celebrate a second marriage, the Wallis Simpson: A favorite of the American divorcee whose wiles convinced Edward, Britain’s crown prince to abdicate the throne: Cointreau, peppermint schnapps, gin, lemon juice and soda water.

■ New Year’s Eve when you’re the designated driver: Mock champagne made of club soda, ginger ale and white grape juice.

SCAN & GO: Wal-Mart is testing a new system at some of its stores in the Northeast, whereby shoppers scan items with their iPhones, bag them as they are put into the buggy, and then pay for the purchase at a self-checkout counter, according to Reuters.

Wal-Mart spends millions upon million of dollars on cashiers and yet people complain about having to wait in the checkout line.

This strategy could solve both problems: save the company money and improve customer satisfaction.

Not everybody would want to shop this way, but we’re probably going to see more of it.

Yet another job going the way of the hand plow.

QUOTE: “The American poultry industry has made it possible to grown a fine-looking fryer in record time and sell it at a reasonable price, but no one mentioned that the result usually tasted like the stuffing inside of a Teddy bear.” — Julia Child

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