When I visited CIMMYT (The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre) in 2005 I was interested in understanding the traditional ways used to make Tortillas. I am grateful for Mike Listman for taking me to see the process.
The Aztecs developed a technique for releasing the seed coat of maize kernels from the content. This made extraction of the masa – the dough for making Tortillas easier. They used a warm lime or wood ash treatment of the seeds as the first step in the process.
There are not many tortillerias in this area of the Valley of Mexico where you can the traditional Nixtamalisation process. This one is in Texcoco. A tank contains maize in a warm lime solution. The lime solution is drained off and the seeds washed.
I was taken to see traditional hand made tortillas in a nearby village a popular area from the valley of Mexico to eat at the weekend.
Thanks for the help from staff at CIMMYT during my visit.
© Andrew Ormerod 2013