Monday, November 25, 2019

Nixtamalized Tortillas

Many traditional cuisines have great ideas. Anyone who has been following my blogs and coming to our cooking classes has seen how I get inspiration from the Bangladeshi community in our area, both in terms of the kinds of vegetables we use and the selection of spices. But, we also have a great Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood in Taqueria Tlaxcalli on Starling Avenue, and the wife of the owner, Jesse Caballero has been interested in plant-based food for a while and from time to time they have made some food for the plant-based health fair at St. Helena's. On the menu there is not a lot of choice yet, but the cactus salad remains a favorite of mine, as long as they leave out the queso and the oil. If you are making it yourself, you can use firm tofu instead of queso.

Recently, we got talking about Nixtamalized Tortillas after there was a big article in the NY Times about Tortilleria Nixtamal in Queens, which used to be a restaurant, but these days is only a Tortilla bakery, where you can go and buy fresh tortillas, and they deliver to stores and restaurants. A one pound package is $2.00.

I went there recently with a friend who lives in that area. The process of nixtamalization starts with cooking the cornflour in a briney solution and it makes the cornflour much more easily digestible and nutritious. It is an old, traditional Aztec way of preparing the corn and it creates a delicious and healthy tortilla. Worth a try. There is a lot of information on-line about the process:
Have a ball, and please let me know if you find Nixtamal Tortillas in our neighborhood.

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