When you bite into a taco, you are tasting the results of an ancient chemical process called nixtamalization. It’s a technique that hasn’t changed much since 1500 BCE, and along the way it helped the Aztecs rise to power and made tortillas softer, tastier, and much more nutritious. Today, Benjamin Miller and Christina Martinez are the only chefs in Philadelphia making their tortillas from scratch, which means they practice the ancient art of nixtamalization.
A middle class Anglo family, tired of Mom’s home cooking, join la revolución with the help of an electric tortilla toaster.
On the ground floor of the Empire State Building in Manhattan, Tacombi Tacos Chef Oscar Hernandez serves fish tacos two ways. Looks legit!
Her mom’s and abuela’s recipes are the secret sauce at Liz Sanchez’ Casa de Ta males in Fresno. She uses fresh corn for the tortillas and tamales and serves micheladas tambien! What could be bad? [Fresno booster Jason Farris made the video.] It’s interesting that Sanchez switches back and forth between saying “tamal” and “tamale.” Que pocha!
In the growing Latino community of Lexington, Kentucky (aka Mexington), immigrant Laura Patricia Ramirez and her family suspected the new “Spanish” influx into town might mean they could earn a living providing comida Mexicana to the neighbors. First they imported fresh tortillas from Chicago, and then started making their own. Now they own a tortilla/taqueria even the gabachos love — they come for the asada and stay for the lengua. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Ramirez has the first Southern drawl-spiced Mexican accent we’ve ever encountered. God Bless THIS America, land that we love.]
Thanks to our amigo Profe Steven Alvarez for the link.
Sure you can have traditional elotes — whole Mexican corn on the cob — or you can have elotitos aka esquitos — de-cobbed corn in a cup. And today, just for you, with you can have elotitos inside a bag of corn chips in San Luis Potosí in Central Mexico! [Video by Pi Suarez.]
April Salazar longs to make her Grandma Alice’s tortillas with her daughter. It is the same tortilla recipe her grandmother’s mother made in Baja California and later in Tucson, Arizona, after she fled the Mexican Revolution. There’s just one problem: she needs the stars to align… and the cooperation of her two-year-old daughter.
In a year of increased hate crimes against immigrants and people of color, and also rampant xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, and anti-Semitism, I’m not surprised that the ire of mouth breathers has turned to street vendors.
YouTuber BrownBelle prepares yummy-looking grilled “Mexican street corn” — aka ELOTES — spiced up with Jamaican jerk seasoning and her own chimichurri. We like the way she braids the corn husks as handles for the cornsicles. And the way she says “BRUH!”
From Milpa to Mesa highlights the process of transforming heirloom corn from tiny farms across Mexico into tortillas.
Helpful glossary from video creators The Perennial Plate:
Corn — Maiz — is central in the Mexican food culture and was first cultivated over 100 centuries ago. Here is a short tribute to maiz, the golden gift of Mother Nature. [Video by Marysol.]
NPR’s Anne Hoffman and Maria Hinojosa of LatinoUSA are looking for answers:
When getting wrapped up in a soft and fluffy, warm from the dryer tortilla is your ComidaCosPlay character, you know you want it, you know you need it, the Tortilla Towel! The only question is — corn or wheat?
PREVIOUSLY ON ELOTES:
RONCO, the company that sells weird-ass single-use food prep gizmos via infomercials, wants you to buy their weird-ass single-use gizmo that makes elotes, which they call “Mexican Street Corn.” Actual street not included.
PREVIOUSLY ON ELOTES:
The Jewish celebration of Passover is a week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread, or “matzo” in Hebrew. Most Jews stick to matzo and avoid regular bread, wheat products, rice, corn, and beans. This may change, though, since an 800-year-old religious ban on rice and beans was just overturned.
Ingenious cooks over the centuries have found ways to make the most of matzo, by using sheets of softened matzo in place of lasagna noodles, for example, or transforming matzo crumbs into soup dumplings — so-called matzo balls. But what if you want a spicier treat, like nachos? Not to worry! This video from NBC’s TODAY SHOW has the recipe.
The rabbis’ rice and beans reprieve made NPR’s Maria Godoy a happy Hispanic:
The great Lalo Guerrero can hardly sing for all the weeping as he performs There’s No Tortillas. And who can blame him?
Here’s our favorite (non parody) Lalo Guerrero song — he calls it a “boogie woogie jitterbug”:
As a Mexican court considers overturning a ban on GMO corn, farmers continue the uphill struggle to preserve traditional seed varieties.
PREVIOUSLY ON MAIZ DE MEXICO:
Thomasina “Tommi” Miers, the British lady behind the Wahaca Mexican restaurant chain, is opening a new store in Manchester, England.
Miers commissioned Mexico D.F. artist Le Super Demon to paint a gigantic mural based on the myths of the Maya, especially maiz.
PREVIOUSLY ON WAHACA:
The Corn Man has been vending elotes in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Lincoln Heights for 27 years, according to L.A. Eater:
El Pozol, una bebida típica del estado mexicano de Chiapas, está hecha a base de maíz, agua y azúcar. Hay de distintos sabores, uno de ellos es el cacao. // Pozol is a typical Mexican beverage, it is made with corn, water and sugar. Also, it can be prepared with cocoa.
Este vídeo fue grabado en Chiapas, México. En él podemos ver la forma tradicional de hacer las tortillas, hechas por los mismos miembros de la comunidad de Petalcingo. Vuélvete un experto e impresiona a tus amigos. // This was recorded in Petalcingo, Chiapas, Mexico. We can see how native people of this community prepare traditional tortillas. Tortillas are typical in the Mexican gastronomy, so, if you want to become an expert and impress your friends, pay attention.