There is a ritual that, in front of the comal, becomes endearing: place a warm tortilla on the palm of one hand and with the fingers of the other, roll it up as tightly as possible. But this ritual is only possible if the tortilla is soft enough not to break. Knowing how to recognize an authentic tortilla, besides being a 100% healthy habit, is the richest way to experience Mexican gastronomy.
According to the Mayans, corn was the cornerstone of their civilization and according to the Aztecs, it is the sign of the love that Quetzalcoatl felt for his people, who went to the mountains to obtain a golden seed, transforming into an ant. From this seed was born the tortilla, symbol of the current Mexican national identity and culture.
The tortilla is the tool of choice for making a national dish: tacos. Yet, few people really know the process behind the preparation of a tortilla and what its ingredients are. Fortunately, we are here to enlighten you!
The traditional tortilla must be differentiated from the rest. It comes from Mexican corn, and in the traditional process, the corn that has been harvested according to the season is left to dry naturally and is shelled with an olotero. Then the corn undergoes the process of nixtamalization in which the corn kernels are polished like a rough diamond to make them more digestible in the body, maximizing their nutritional value by increasing their content of calcium, protein and antioxidants.
The real tortilla, the healthy and authentic one, is always nixtamalized. To do this, you need to dilute lime in water, cook the grains in the mixture, let them soak overnight and the next day rinse until the water is clear. From there you get the precious nixtamal which is taken to the mill or metate. The result is a soft and delicious paste, ready to tap tortillas, tlacoyos, sopes, or (put your favorite corn preparation). When they puff up on the comal or on the plancha tortilla, the omen of a good meal is obvious. The process is purely cultural. But as unlikely as it may seem, in most culinary schools this ritual is not taught.
There is no doubt that to recognize a good tortilla, one must also befriend the language, with its knowledge. A good tortilla deserves to stand out from the rest, that’s why our tortillas are and will always be nixtamalized and made with 100% national corn.