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Louis Florez Ruiz, father of the frozen enchilada, dies

6 April 2007

 Louis Flores Ruiz, co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Ruiz Foods, died Sunday morning at his home in Dinuba, CA.

Flores Ruiz was born in Chihuahua on October 30, 1918 and came to the United States as a small child..  A pioneer in producing machine-made tortillas, he and his son formed Ruiz Foods in 1964 to produce and sell frozen enchiladas, tamales and burritos.  Under the “El Monterrey” brand name, his products are said to resemble Mexican food. 

He was inducted into the Tortilla Industry Association Hall of Fame in 2004.

Ok… microwavable crunchitos (whatever the hell they are) aside… maybe he did benefit the human race somewhat:


… though I can guarantee hers tasted a lot better.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 7 April 2007 3:31 am

    I’ve met the elder Ruiz’s son, Fred Ruiz, several times. He was appointed by Arnold S. to the University of California Board of Regents a few years ago.

    He’s always been very kind and sincere with me as I try to advocate for a tuition freeze or increase in the funding for academic preparation programs (outreach programs to prepare Chicano, African American, Native American and low income students).

    I’m not sure I’ve ever tried any of their products, but I know I like Fred Ruiz. Plus… he’s one of the only Regents who voted not to increase our tuition!

  2. 8 April 2007 12:10 pm

    Golly, I’ve been spelling enchilada wrong all these years!

    Flores Ruiz might have been a pioneer in CALIFORNIA, but machine made tortillas and frozen enchiladas, tamales and burritos were already common in NEW MEXICO in the ’50s.

  3. 8 April 2007 2:41 pm

    The problem with saying anything was the “first” was that somebody always pops up and says… nah… there was this a few years previous. We’ll probably find some bracero who froze enchiladas working on the railroad in Montana during the 1940s… or an early Chichimeca automated tortilla maker…

    Thanks for the correction. Between system crashes and whatnot, some days I’m lucky just to get anything posted… by which time I’ve rewritten four or five times and don’t even see the wackier errors — let alone the typos.

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