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Appears in
Making Bread at Home

By Tom Jaine

Published 2005

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Tortillas are flat breads made from maize: ‘the knife, fork, plate and napkin’ of Mexico, the staple of the Aztecs and Maya peoples in pre-Columbian times; ‘the rest [of their diet] was sauce’ comments a modern scholar. They developed an ingenious method of softening the dry kernels of corn by soaking and boiling them in lime-water before grinding to a paste. This was called nixtamal and is the raw material of fresh masa, from which tortillas are fashioned. Though freely available in Mexico