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Posts tagged ‘Tortillería Nixtamal’

Catching Up in May

I collect links and articles for my monthly catching up posts every day so it’s not until I sit down to go through them all that a theme emerges.  The New York Times City Room covered the struggles of two neighborhood restaurants.  Due in part to the efforts of community leaders and a last minute fundraiser, Coqui Mexicano was able to temporarily stave off eviction from their South Bronx location but Manhattanville’s La Floridita, one of the last Cuban restaurants left in the area, was forced to close for repairs and faces an uncertain future.  The Village Voice interview with Fernando Ruiz of the Tortilleria Nixtamal, which is doing well, was about mistakes, misconceptions, and underappreciated ingredients — a more interesting read but still.  Even news that Rick Bayless would be preparing the state dinner President Felipe Calderón of Mexico stirred up some controversy both before and after.   On a brighter note, Carolina González wrote for the Daily News about the prominence of women chefs and restaurateurs like Zarela Martínez and Sue Torres in high-end Mexican cuisine.  I thought May would farmer’s markets and spring blossoms but there were some shadows too.

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New Arrival

A few weeks ago, I went on a search for fresh masa through the Mexican owned grocery stores in Sunset Park.  I was surprised that despite the growing Mexican population in New York, it wasn’t sold anywhere.  Settling instead for masa de harina, the dried corn flour that can be reconstituted to make fresh tortillas at home, I actually thought of taking a closer look at corn grinders instead.  If I couldn’t find fresh masa, how hard could it be to have my own corn nixtamalization set up at home?  Was it a slippery slope?  If I ground my own corn would end up churning my own butter?  When I read this article in today’s New York Times about Tortillería Nixtamal which now offers fresh masa, I knew I had been rescued from a bad and expensive idea (for now).