Enrique Olvera’s Molino El Pujol leads the way in making real, authentic corn tortillas for the people of Mexico City as a way to reclaim a cultural heritage that is being eroded by mass production and modern corns.
Traditionally yellow corn in Mexico is used for animal feed and a real tortilla should be made with locally sourced blue, red and white corn. So the ‘Tortilla Movement’ is looking to fight pre-packaged products with the real deal, made by hand at a series of totilleria’s across the city.
Associated Press reports on the movement that includes Maizajo and Cal y Maíz as well as Olvera’s Molino El Pujol who produce tortilla’s the traditional way using only corn, water and lime or calcium carbonate. The corn is slowly cooked or soaked in the lime in process called nixtamalization, which breaks down the outer indigestible kernel of the maize.
This nixtamalization is fundamental to the authentic tortilla and mass production often bypasses it.
"Mexico took its corn for granted," Rafael Mier, director of the Tortilla Foundation, told AP. “A poor quality tortilla yields poor performance. Tortillas are a part of Mexico's culture, national identity, economy and gastronomy."
For generations of Mexicans, taking their grandmothers hand as she walked to the local tortilleria to buy the corn tortillas for the day was a a part of the daily ritual that leaves a lasting impression. That tradition has been lost in recent times as supermarket look to sell mass produced versions at knock down prices to get people in the doors.