Traditional Comal (14 in) by Doña Victoria
Doña Victoria is the resident earthenware comal maker for the Chatino indigenous community of Tiltepec, in Oaxaca’s coastal region. Her work is a critical link in the preservation of masa traditions, and one we were fortunate to watch first-hand.
Utilizing the centuries-old process, she’ll first collect clay from throughout the town’s surroundings. The clay, collected in dry rock form, is soaked in water and broken down into a paste, which is then meticulously packed into hand-made molds. After drying for two full days, she builds a fire over which she cooks each comal. The comales are then individually covered in ash to insulate them from the direct heat, which might cause cracking or discoloration. They are left to cook for two hours, by which time, they’ve transformed into a finished red clay comal.
It takes three to four days total to produce each comal, and Doña Victoria averages 6 new comals per day. She, like so many individuals throughout the artisan masa value chain, inspire us to do our part in ensuring traditions like these are celebrated and supported.
With the help of our Oaxaca-based team, we sourced a limited number of comales from Doña Victoria and her fellow clay artisan (and cousin) Doña Felicitas.
The comales can be used for both culinary and decorative purposes. If using the comal for cooking, it is important to season the comal with cal beforehand. To season, combine one part cal to 4 parts water and brush the solution evenly across the entire surface of the comal. This will fill the comal’s pores within the clay so as to prevent food from sticking. Upon heating for use, be sure to brush off any bits of loose cal that have accumulated on the surface.
This type of traditional comal is very fragile. Handle with care.
Dimensions: 14″ (35cm) diameter
Weight: 2lb 12oz
**Due to fragility in transit, this comal will ship by itself and other items will ship separately.
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