Heirloom Red Nal Tel Corn (Yucatán)
(Video above^^^From Milpa to Mesa–translation: “From Corn Farm to Table”–is a preview of the kernel-to-masa process that turns heirloom corn into fresh masa.)
We worked with our friends at Traspatio Maya again this year to source hyper-local Yucatán heirloom corn varietals. Traspatio Maya holds similar values to Masienda for sourcing and works on the Yucatán peninsula to support 15 indigenous Mayan communities who are dedicated to the sustainable and fair production of native and culturally significant crops and products, like corn.
While dzit bacal and nal tel are the officially recognized landraces native to the Yucatán according to Biodiversidad Mexicana, the region has many regionally adapted varietals that have been naturally crossbred over generations. Tuxpeño is also a prominent landrace in the region, referred to regionally as the xnuk naal. Although the exact crosses of some varieties are unknown historically, it truly shows the significance of natural cross pollination, and the variations in microlots and terroir. Didn’t think corn and wine had much in common? Well, friends, take these for a spin and let us know just how these taste on the palate–you may be surprised at both their similarities and differences that may or may not be apparent at first bite.
Nal tel is a landrace native to the Yucatán dry tropics, said to be one of the ancient corn varietals that was the origin of many that now exist in central Mexico and Guatemala. Known and appreciated for its short maturation cycle, it’s often relied on by subsistence farmers to quickly give them the first crop of the year when the prior year’s surplus has run out. Enjoyed both as fresh elote and dried masa preparations, nal tel has small kernels yet the thickest pericaps of all our maíz varietals, giving it a higher protein and fiber content which is preferred in classic dishes like pozole, tortillas, and sweets. Typically grown in white and yellow, this red varietal is very special and limited in quantity, with beautiful kernels that look like little pomegranate seeds.
By accepting delivery of the landrace maize or heirloom beans associated with this order, recipient acknowledges and confirms that this Masienda product shall not be propagated, cultivated or resold in strict accordance with the Nagoya Protocol and state sales tax regulations.
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