Why is Nixtamal important to Sunrise Tacos instead of Masa Harina?
Nixtamal is an Aztec word to describe corn that has been partially cooked and soaked with calcium hydroxide, otherwise referred to as cal or lime. Calcium hydroxide is simply the dust that results from scraping a limestone rock. The Aztec would grind corn against the limestone found in the riverbeds which is how they discovered the amazing interaction with corn. This process, nixtamalization, was first developed in Mesoamerica where maize was originally cultivated. There is no precise date for when the technology was developed, but the earliest evidence of widespread use of the process is found in Guatamala’s southern coast, with equipment dating from 1200-1500BCE.
Nixtamal can be ground into masa (a corn dough) for making tortillas or tamales which is more coarsely ground. Or it can be kept in its whole form to make pozole, more commonly known as hominy.
Masa harina, which is commonly used in commercial corn tortillas, is a very finely ground corn flour made from corn that has been dried, cooked, ground and dried again.
If you want authentic corn tortillas, not the processed corn tortillas that are found in the markets and used by many restaurants, then visit Sunrise Tacos for a fresh corn tortilla that is made using the Nixtamal method.