How To Make Corn Tortillas Like A Maya

Posted By: Marty

How To Make Corn Tortillas Like A Maya - 10/22/11 04:03 PM

Maya Corn Tortillas

Corn tortillas are practically the main element in every Maya meal. Not only are they healthy, but they are also comfort food when eaten hot. It’s interesting to watch how the Mayas make their corn tortillas, as it gives you a glimpse of their past since the process hasn’t changed in centuries.

Here is the process on how to make a corn tortilla like the Mayas do:

1. Harvest the corn and collect the dried corn kernels.

Maya Corn, Belize

2. Par-boil the kernels with lime powder to soften the skin of the kernel.

3. While still al dente, grind the boiled kernels either with a flat stone mortar and cylindrical pestle (like ancient Mayas did) or with a hand cranked processor (like modern day Mayas do).

4. Take the course masa dough and turn it into a ball. Add a bit of water to re-grind into a finer dough. Repeat until the dough has a fine smooth consistency.

5. Heat the comal griddle with logs and fire. (The comal griddle has a flat metal pan held by a concrete base. Wood logs are placed under the pan)

Maya Comal, Belize

6. Place the dough in the center of a low table located next to the griddle to start making the tortillas.

7. Place a circle cut plastic sheet on top of the working surface. On it you will mold the tortillas into their circular shape. The plastic sheets are flexible, smooth, and the dough peels easily off it.

8. Collect a golf ball sized piece of dough and pat it down with your fingertips to form a flat thin disk from the center out. Use the other hand’s edge to keep an overall circular shape as you rotate the dough. (see video).

9. Grill the dough until golden on each side. Turn over the tortilla with your hand. If the tortilla inflates, deflate it by patting it with your hand, or with another tortilla on top to prevent burning. The best texture the tortilla can have is a slightly crispy outside with a chewy inside. Comfort food is a hot tortilla.

10. Eat and enjoy with your favorite meal or a traditional Maya meal like chicken stew and white rice.

Posted By: Marty

Re: How To Make Corn Tortillas Like A Maya - 03/27/14 11:03 AM

How to Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

I use the Harina de Maiz to make homemade corn tortillas. Just by adding a few ingredients to the instant corn flour, in no time at we have fresh homemade corn tortillas.

Posted By: Marty

Re: How To Make Corn Tortillas Like A Maya - 12/24/15 09:59 PM

San Antonio Women’s Group

The San Antonio Women's Group in San Antonio Village Belize still make ceramic pottery by hand. They demonstrate how this is done using the "coil method", and guests will be able to try their hands at creating something of their own. Following this, help to prepare your lunch by learning to make corn tortillas on a traditional fire hearth. Learn about the process of grinding the fresh corn and transforming it into the “masa” or dough that you will use to make the tortillas.

Making Tortillas

Posted By: Marty

Re: How To Make Corn Tortillas Like A Maya - 02/14/17 12:33 PM

Making Corn Tortillas the local way!

Corn tortillas are a staple of almost every Belizean meal. Similar to rice and beans, corn tortillas are the perfect accompaniment for a variety of local dishes, from soups to stews, and especially classic breakfasts like beans and eggs.

Growing up, I was always astounded at how my grandmother prepared the masa for tortillas (and other Mestizo dishes such as tamales, bollos and k’ol). The dried corn kernels were boiled with lime powder (Calcium hydroxide) and then grinded on a hand cranked grinder called a molino – this was the part I usually had to do. Many, many children went through this rite of passage!

Once the masa was done, it was time to make tortillas! Add salt to taste to the masa and knead until the dough has a fine smooth consistency. Heat the comal on your stove top or a fire hearth (cooking over open fire is the traditional way to go, and it’s the secret ingredient to an authentic flavor).

Click here to read the rest of the article and see LOTS more photos in the My Beautiful Belize Blog

Posted By: Marty

Re: How To Make Corn Tortillas Like A Maya - 05/21/17 11:53 AM

Corn off the cob

Belize is a dot on the map, located in the narrow strip connecting the two Americas. Seldom do people know it for the various delicacies. From tamales to chicken tacos, the country is home to some delicious corn-based specialties that go well with cocktails made with Caribbean rum.

But what catches attention here are the corn tortillas and masa (which means dough in Spanish). So popular are the tortillas that the local populace eats it with anything. Even with dumplings, as the Chinese living in Belize are known to do. Fuelled by such demand, masa is prepared in large quantities in little factories that are located across the country.

Belize is divided into five districts and each of them has its share of corn tortilla factories. But, closer to the north in Corozal and Orange Walk, you will find more tortilla factories because of the influence of the product from the neighbouring country of Mexico. Factory workers will have you know that unlike eating them, the making is tedious.

Most factories start operations on a daily basis at 4 am! As I walked into Tortilleria Chico’s (located on a busy highway in Corozal), the fragrant smell of freshly ground corn was overpowering. It was like being trapped in a giant can of Green Giant corn, easily the most popular can of corn in any neighbourhood supermarket in India or abroad.

Tortilleria Chico’s is believed to have gotten its name from the founder Munda Remunda Medina (fondly known as Ms Medina by the local folk). The tale that most people like to narrate is that she had a little (‘chico’ in Spanish) boy whom she brought up. Medina is said to have named this factory after him in 1981. She and her husband resided in the wooden bedroom that had an attached kitchen and a bathroom above the tortilla factory, which has been left undisturbed after Medina’s death. It’ s believed that like this boy, Medina looked after many children.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the Deccan Herald

Mayan Woman Grinding Corn for Tortillas in Belize

Woman in Belize grinds corn for her family and as a small business in her community.

Posted By: Marty

Re: How To Make Corn Tortillas Like A Maya - 04/02/21 04:44 PM

It's all about the tortillas! Learn all about the tortilla making process.

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