Flashcards in Masa Deck (11):
What's the name of our masa supplier? What's notable about they way they do business?
Masienda. The name is a portmanteau of the words Masa and Tienda (store).
They seem highly focused on being an ethical business. They give small, landrace corn farmers enough business to keep their annual crop yield from going down, but are careful to leave them enough of the corn for their own consumption, as it's a critical nutritional and traditional part of the culture. So, not only are they providing unique, natural, high quality indigenously grown products, they also support those farming communities. At the moment, they work with very few restaurants; roughly 10 in the US, including broken spanish and bs taqueria.
What makes our masa different from any other tortilla?
Small landrace batched corn is a completley different product than most American mass-produced corn. It has different texture and flavour is is a much more natural fit for making into a tortilla than the sweet corn (not to mention the preservatives) used in many commercially available tortillas.
What kind of corn makes our blue corn masa?
It's from the estado de mexico, where it's grown by a dude named Armando, whose tiny 5 hectare farm produces the vast majority of this landrace product, which is perfect for tortillas and tamales.
What kind of corn makes our white corn masa?
It's from Michoacan. Masienda gets it from a co-op of roughly a hundred farmers farming 800+ acres together. Best used for tortillas and tamales.
Denotes the traditional crop growing system (based on the "three sisters" of agricultural cultivation, whiceh are maize, beans and squash) and the actual smallholder maize fields themselves, found throughout much of Mexico.
A more specific designation than "heirloom", implying a locally-adapted, traditional variety of domesticated species (in maize's case, a plant) that has developed over time to reflect the natural environment from which it originates. Masienda's landrace varieties are open-pollinated cultivars that are cultivated through selective breeding.
Pollination by insects, birds, wind, or other natural mechanisms.
A small farm, typically owned by a single family. Smallholder farms refer to a small-scale production based on a mixture of subsistence and cash-crop farming.
A preparation process for corn or other grains, you soak or cook the grain in an alkaline solution (usually lime-water), and then hull the grain.This allows the grain to be more easily ground, it also increases it's nutritional value, flavor, and aroma. It does this by breaking down the cell walls of the grain.This allows the corn kernels to be removed, creating Hominy, which is pulverized into Masa de maiz, which is cooked into tortillas.
tropical 0-1000m or less, subtropical 1000m-1800m, highland 1800+ m.