Masa Feature : Heirloom Blue Masa Harina (the wait is finally over!)

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Have you ever tried to perfect something for months, maybe even years, but you could never get it just right? And then, when you finally did, you had a complete eureka (!) moment and you couldn’t be more excited about sharing it with others?

That is exactly how we feel here at Masienda HQ about launching our all new Chef-Grade Masa Harina (Blue Corn). It has been years in the making!

Why has it taken so long, you ask? It boils down (pun intended) to color. Blue corn is sensitive to calcium hydroxide (cal) and without a neutral pH (for us, we aim for a pH of 7-7.5), the masa can either come out concrete gray or blue-green (and not in a fun, tie-dye tortilla sort of way). We were getting results on both sides of the spectrum and never felt that we had landed on a product that we were proud to share and that reflected the beautiful corn from which it was made.

We produced this first round of Chef-Grade Masa Harina (Blue Corn) using our farmer partner Armando’s heirloom blue cónico. Grown in the highlands of Atlacomulco in Estado de México, the cónico landrace (especially the blue varieties now endemic to the region) has long been coveted for its application to table tortillas. Armando maintains a 5 hectare milpa that has been in his family for five generations, which is as far back as he can personally trace. Armando almost exclusively uses blue cónico for his tortillas at home, citing a more tender texture than any other color varietal he grows. The color also translates to the most brilliant blue of any other landrace we’ve worked with. Its flavor and aroma are incomparable, and we’re thrilled with the texture and color that result when the dry masa harina is mixed with water.

Armando in his milpa.

Masa flavor: blueberries and cream-of-wheat
Masa aroma: sweet, nutty, earthy
Masa texture: super soft (not the most descriptive, but certainly applicable)

We are excited to experiment with other blue landrace varietals over the coming year. Let us know if you have a suggestion or are excited about a particular varietal, we would love to hear from you in the comments! (Heirloom Blue Bolita or Chalqueño, anyone?)

There are so many delicious meals at your fingertips with this masa harina and we encourage you to explore a variety of recipes and shapes, ranging from beautiful, puffy table tortillas, to sopes, huaraches and tlacoyos.

Speaking of, if you ever find yourself between Mexico City and Toluca, be sure to stop by La Marquesa National Park. Just 20 miles outside of the city, the air is fresh and the sky is bright and I highly encourage you to eat at the stands that dot the highway. Blue masa is the star of the show at all of the eateries and I opt for a blue corn quesadilla filled with tinga de pollo or a blue corn huarache topped with chorizo verde (always served with a cafe de olla).

 

Heirloom Blue Corn Masa Recipe : Tlacoyo

You can go from hungry to happy in 11 minutes and is all you need is:

✔ 1 cup of Chef-Grade Masa Harina (Blue Corn)
✔ 1 scant cup of warm water
Masienda x Doña Rosa Tortilla Press
✔ Fillings/toppings of choice (filled with heirloom black beans topped with avocado, onion, cilantro and queso fresco sounds good to me)

  1. Mix the masa and warm water with your hands or with a mixer until well-combined. The masa should be cohesive and not sticky to the touch. If the masa seems too dry, add a little more water. If masa seems too wet, add a little masa harina. Practice a few times and you’ll be a seasoned tortillerx before you know it.
  2. Take ~28g of prepared masa and roll between your palms.
  3. Place masa between two pieces of plastic in your Masienda x Doña Rosa Tortilla Press and press lightly.
  4. You should end up with a flat round of masa onto which you can spread your beans or other preferred fillings. Fold into a half moon, pinch the seam and place face up in your press. Gently flatten into a tlacoyo, which resembles an oval or football shape, with pointed ends.
  5. Place on a hot comal or non-stick pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes each side. We use lard to cook them up crisp.
  6. Top until your heart is content.

 

Heirloom Blue Corn Masa Recipe : Huarache

You can go from hungry to happy in 8 minutes and is all you need is:

✔ 1 cup of Chef-Grade Masa Harina (Blue Corn)
✔ 1 scant cup of warm water
Masienda x Doña Rosa Tortilla Press
✔ Toppings of choice (heirloom black beans, quesillo, chorizo are all excellent selections)

  1. Mix the masa and warm water with your hands or with a mixer until well-combined. The masa should be cohesive and not sticky to the touch. If the masa seems too dry, add a little more water. If masa seems too wet, add a little masa harina. Practice a few times and you’ll be a seasoned tortillerx before you know it.
  2. Take ~34g of prepared masa and roll between your palms. Keep rolling into a thick log shape, with tapered ends, kind of like a snake.
  3. Place masa between two pieces of plastic in your Masienda x Doña Rosa Tortilla Press or Tlayuda Press and press lightly.
  4. You should end up with an oval masa shape (huarache = sandal). Note: some huaraches are bigger than others, it all depends on your preference and shoe size. You’ll want to keep the masa slightly thicker than a table tortilla because it will give your huarache the strength to stand up against your toppings of choice.
  5. Place on a hot comal or non-stick pan and cook for about 3 minutes each side. We like ours a little on the crispy side.
  6. Top until your heart is content.

Comments (4)

  • M Cox Reply

    When will the comal be available to order?

    November 12, 2020 at 11:31 am
    • Masienda Reply

      Hi! Our Comal will be launching on Tuesday November 17th

      November 12, 2020 at 11:41 am
  • Michelle Cook Reply

    What is the diameter of the comal?

    November 15, 2020 at 12:00 pm
    • Masienda Reply

      Hi! 13.75″ total, 11.75″ for the cooking surface.

      November 16, 2020 at 12:16 pm

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