Tortillas From Scratch
Making Tortillas With Maria Luisa
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Don't Forget the Beans and Salsa!

Of course the meal is only complete with salsa and frijoles (beans). For the salsa, the tomate (tomato) and chile serrano (hot,green chile) are roasted right on the stove. Then I can remove the peels very easily and mash the two together in a traditional stone bowl (molcahuete) with sal (salt) and ajo (garlic). This creates a pica salsa, (very spicy salsa) which tastes very good when mixing with frijoles. The frijoles are also locally grown, and once harvested and dried, we sort them and wash them before cooking. Although there are manythroughout Mexico, four common types of frijoles are found here: white and small frijoles called flor de mayo, white and big frijoles called patole, red and small frijoles called flor ginda, and light red frijoles called frijole de mata. Most frijoles are prepared in large quantities with lots of cebolla (onion) and chile serrano. After the third day, we then make molitas (mashed beans) yet this is only to make use of the leftover servings since frijoles lose the rich flavor after they are mashed.

Preparing the salsa. Maria's grand-daughter rolling her tortilla just before eating it.

Discussion Questions:

  • How many different types of food do you eat daily that have some ingredient based from corn?
  • If the molino receives about 300 individuals per day, with each individual carrying an average of two "cortarones", how many tortillas can be made from all the ground corn? (one cortarone can serve a family of five for two days, and each family member can eat an average of 15 per day.)
  • What other types of crop plants yield flour for general consumption purposes?

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