Tortillas in Tumacácori—Three Centuries and 90,000 Bricks
The wording is irresistible: "Get a taste of history." On the grounds of one of the oldest Spanish missions (est. 1691) in Arizona, tortillas cooked over a mesquite fire, in the shade of mesquite trees, steps from an adobe church--this is Tumacácori.
Drive about an hour south of Tucson. Just 20 miles from the Mexican border, this mission/Nat'l Historical Park was originally established by the Jesuits. The remaining structure (surprisingly intact) dates from the early 19th century, when Franciscans and the native Tohono O'odham stacked some ninety thousand adobe bricks together to build their church. Spaniards and Basques settled the Santa Cruz River valley, missionaries brought fruit trees and foreign religion...After the Colonial period, support from the government in Mexico dwindled, Apache attacks increased, and by the 1850's, when the U.S. acquired this territory, the mission had been abandoned.
Tortillas are made outdoors most weekends fall through spring; call ahead to confirm. (520-398-234)
[pronunciation note--Tumacacácori: "too-mah-KAH-koh-ree"]