Make Masa: Nixtamalized Corn

About 1,500 B.C., cooks in coastal Guatemala figured out that cooking dried corn in alkali water removed the kernels' skins and produced a softer dough than unprocessed ground corn.



Corn Tortillas
These homemade tortillas start with a dough made from whole-grain corn masa that is shaped and then cooked like a pancake on a griddle. Homemade salsa makes a great accompaniment.
Photo courtesy David Cavagnaro
Masa
Whether ground or whole, nixtamalized corn "has a taste and aroma like no other food on Earth — a delicately nutty quality combined with something almost chalky and mineral-like," says Zarela Martinez.
Photo courtesy Fotolia/Dahliamm

















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