Tortilleria Zaragoza in down-town Mazatlan is the place to go if you want authentic tortillas made from real corn. Nowadays other tortillerias have opted to use corn meal to make tortillas, which is less time consuming and cheaper. But mr. Rafael Tostado has dedicated his life to continue this century-old tradition of making tortillas from the corn grains. Originally from Nayarit state mr. Tostado started his tortilleria 50 years ago. In those days people ate much more tortillas, but Mexican diet has changed through the years.
The process to create Mexico's favorite staple food start by boiling corn kernels in limewater. Then the grains are ground into a dough called 'masa'. The 'masa' is pressed flat into small patties and cooked on a very hot 'comal'. This process has been mechanized by creating a tortilladora machine.
Mr. Tostado uses a local corn variety called 'Garañon' instead of other genetically modified options. Sometimes it's hard to find the right product, depending on the harvest and climate. He is proud to continue this tradition, even though his business has remained small. "Why would I want all the riches and power of a big business? God has given me everything I need in life, so why ask for more?"
Maaike Hoekstra has lived in Mexico for over 15 years. She is passionate about Mexican culture and food. Here are the stories and recipes she finds along the way.