Today’s blog post subject is about corn tortillas. Corn tortillas? Haven’t I exhausted that subject on my blog already? Lol! No! I could talk about this subject in length, but I won’t. Growing up with traditional Mexican traditions and all of it’s culture, there are some staple foods that come to mind. On the top of my list is corn tortillas. Not only will I share my experience with corn tortillas, but also sharing a little about my family roots.
This post is a collaboration with Ancestry at https://www.ancestry.com/
A while back I was contacted by a representative from Ancestry asking if I would be interested in getting my DNA test done. I did not hesitate and said, yes right away. I had been curious for a long time about getting the test done and then the opportunity just fell in my lap one day! In return for the DNA test, I agreed to share my results on my blog and to write about a food or recipe inspired by the result. Directly below are my DNA test results.
Any of you that have been following me for a while, know that my family is from Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Specifically Monterrey. So when I first read the results of the test, I was not surprised to see Nuevo Leon at the top of the list. The only one thing that surprises me on the test is Great Britain! Out of all the regions, I never imagined I would have roots in Great Britain. I think it’s great and I am even more curious than ever to find out more. Check out the link to get your DNA test done and explore your family roots
It didn’t take me very long to decide what recipe I wanted to write about according to the DNA results. When I think about the words(regions) Native American and Nuevo Leon, I think about corn! Corn tortillas. My dad, Ramiro Mendez, was one of the pioneers in the corn tortilla industry during the early 70’s in California. He worked for Casa Herrera in Los Angeles, California for a few years. Eventually he started his own business building commercial tortilla machinery. Right below in the photograph, my Dad, wearing sunglasses, is standing with the owners Casa Herrera.
The next picture is my dad working on one of the commercial tortilla machinery he built from the ground up! My dad, Ramiro, left school when he was only in the 6th grade and never went back. And how he designed and built this equipment with his two hands still amazes me.
I can only share bits and pieces of how my Dad used to test the machinery. Nixtamalization is the process of cooking the corn with some water and calcium hydroxide and then letting it soak overnight. The cal would help remove the hull or skins off of the corn, making easy to grind into fresh masa. The fresh ground masa would then be fed into the machinery where special cutters would cut out the round tortillas and then they were fed onto conveyors that were hot. After a few minutes of cooking time, the tortillas come down piping hot ready for packaging.
Unfortunately for me, I am very limited to some authentic and traditional ingredients for preparing corn tortillas at home. It would required online ordering and sometimes quantities that are much more than I desire. So, the next best thing that I can do is use corn masa harina that comes in a 5 pound bag. It’s much better than the tortilla selection at my local markets here. Below is the link on my blog on How To Prepare Corn Tortillas using masa harina. https://pinaenlacocina.com/fresh-corn-tortillas/
Now Look at all of the varieties of corn tortilla flavors I have prepared using masa harina. Click the individual links to go to the complete recipe on the blog.
Recipe for blue corn can be found on the link right above.
RED CHILE https://pinaenlacocina.com/chile-colorado-corn-tortillas-tortillas-rojas/
CILANTRO LIME https://pinaenlacocina.com/cilantro-lime-corn-tortillas/
ELOTE ASADO-CORN https://pinaenlacocina.com/tortillas-de-elote-asado-grilled-corn-tortillas/
ROASTED GREEN CHILE-Hatch https://pinaenlacocina.com/fire-roasted-hatch-green-chile-salsa/
CHIPOTLE For Chipotle tortillas follow the basic corn tortilla recipe and add in 1 large chipotle in adobo that has been finely minced when mixing the masa. Follow directions as usual for cooking.
RED CHILE AND BLUE CORN See recipe links above
It’s marvelous to tap into our ancestry for answers of our cultural genetics and heritage. I’m so glad you got your DNA test done with long suspected results except for the British. I’m surprised to not see more sephardic heritage. Your tortillas look so delicious! I can’t wait to try the dual pressing.
Leticia, the Great Britain surprised the heck out of me!! Lol!! Thank you!!
Maria L. Russo
What a beautiful post, Sonia. I love your sites, God Bless. I admire you & look to your stories along with your recipes. Thank you for your shares, Happy New Year, from Us Florida Coconuts…
Thank you Maria. Your words touch my heart and sharing about my family really feed my soul in the best way possible!