Nixtamal: A guide to masa preparation in the United States
This book is a brief distillation of our experiences with scientists, chefs, tortiller@s, journalists, academics and home cooks about nixtamalization, as well as answers to some of the frequently-asked questions that we receive at Masienda.
Partnering with Blair Richardson of MiniSuper Studio in Mexico City, we self-published this primer on nixtamalization. We have drawn on one notable academic and scientist, Amanda Gálvez, PhD, to highlight the nixtamalization basics, from history to science. We have similarly enlisted Lesley Téllez, a culinary tour guide and Mexican cookbook author, to help edit and contextualize this phenomenon for the home cook. And finally, we have featured several of the dynamic stateside chefs with whom Masienda has collaborated, each of whom approaches nixtamalization in a distinct and personal way.
In Daniela Soto-Innes’s case, this experience is informed by her roots in the molinos and tortillerías of Mexico City; for Carlos Salgado, his approach is marked by the same culinary, technical precision he honed as the pastry chef at COI; Sean Brock marries Mexican technique with the corn tradition of the American South; and, finally, Steve Santana demonstrates how nixtamalization can translate into crowd-pleasing, whimsical beach food.
For those who are just encountering nixtamalization for the first time, we hope you walk away from this guide with an ability to recognize and describe this technique over your next taco with friends. For the advanced students of the craft, we hope you’ll share your own experiences with us and others, so that we might collectively grow and preserve this tremendous culinary marvel for many generations to come.
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