Just like famous people's mothers, the tortilla's mum merits are not recognized enough. In fact, it is completely unknown outside of Mexico and sometimes even outside the tortillerías. Like Van Gogh in his days, the nixtamal dough is unnoticed, and, what is more, eclipsed by its descendants. It's unknown who invented it in a culinary enlightenment, nor why it didn't transcend to the South of the continent, but what is certain is that in Mexico is part of the trilogy of success: corn-> nixtamal-> tortilla.
Nowadays the nixtamal dough is prepared with machines or industrial mills, although in more rural areas they still use the metate (flat stone for grinding). In this tortillería in Mexico City, they bring the nixtamal from the Zamora Mill, just a few blocks away, and then it goes through the machine, miraculous circle maker, which shapes the tortillas and toasts them lightly.
RECIPE -Nixtamal Dough-
- 1 kilo dry corn
- 3 tablespoons quicklime
- 3 litres water
1. Dissolve the quicklime in the water in a saucepan.
2. Clean the corn.
3. Boil the corn in the saucepan with the quicklime and let it cook until the water turns yellow and the grain skin peels easily.
4. Remove from the heat and let it rest overnight.
5. In the morning, rinse the corn two or three times and discard the yellow water (called nejayote).
6. Peel the grains until the corn is completely clean.
7. Mash the grains in the metate with a bit of water until obtaining a soft, compact and homogeneous dough.