Every Chicagoan who loves corn tortillas, or even just likes them, knows that the very best source is El Milagro, a local company based in the Little Village neighborhood. But now El Milagro has announced that it’s shutting down for the next two weeks for a deep cleaning after one longtime employee died of COVID-19, two other workers were diagnosed with the virus, and four more showed symptoms. The good news is that all employees will be paid their full salaries during the shutdown. The bad news is, fewer tortillas for the rest of us.
“We expect to be able produce about 25 percent of our corn tortillas and hope to get back to our regular production after our 14-day shutdown,” the plant’s safety manager, Anna De Leon, told the Chicago Tribune.
Although the shutdown wasn’t officially announced until this past Monday, word had gotten out: grocery stores reported that there had been runs on El Milagro tortillas all weekend and that they were sold out.
There are, of course, other tortilla companies, some of which, like Tortilleria Atotonilco, are also based in the city. But, as El Milagro lovers will be quick to tell you, they are not the same. Friends, use your stash of tortillas wisely and be kind to one another in this difficult time. And if you have any advice to offer, please share it in the comments.