Calling all foodies! I was at a party over the weekend with some Cheverly friends and had the most amazing corn tortillas. Turns out that they were homemade. The dough was purchased by a place called Moctec which is only 2 miles away. They have lots of amazing items including tortilla chips which I cannot wait to try. Give them 24 hour notice and they will put together an order. Thankfully my gracious host, Angela happily agreed to blog about it. Thank you, Angela! Can’t wait to make these on my own…
Yeats has a poem about “the fascination of what’s difficult”. I’m pretty sure he’s referring to writing poetry, but that phrase perfectly encapsulates my relationship with cooking.
Bread will have a better “crumb” if I make it with something called “levain”? The best levain can only be made by spending a week coaxing airborne yeast bacteria to grow in a mixture of rye and unpasteurized honey? Sign me up! If it’s harder and takes longer it must be better. It just must be.
But I recently discovered I have limits. I found that limit while looking for a recipe for corn tortillas on that internet mecca of difficulty junkies, Serious Eats. Because according to Kenji López-Alt, making corn tortillas by hand from masa harina is not, I repeat, not, the best way to get really good corn tortillas. To get the best corn tortillas, you need to do it the right way. You need to buy dry corn and soak it in lime (you can order both, he helpfully points out, from Amazon) until you are able to rub the “bran” off and then you need to grind… well, you get the picture. I got as far as amazon.com before I admitted to myself that nixtamalizing corn (that’s what it’s called, apparently) was just too much effort. Even for me.
And then I found yet another reason to love Cheverly, a reason called Motec. Because barely two miles away is our very own…wait for it…tortilla factory! The same tortilla factory that (according to this site) supplies Oyamel, the same tortilla factory that makes its own nixtamalized corn, its own fresh masa, and its own fresh tortillas. And, best of all, the same tortilla factory that – while mainly supplying stores and restaurants – is more than happy to sell nixtamilized corn, fresh masa, or fresh tortillas to the average Joe. They just ask that you give them 24 hours notice, so they have time to make it for you. You can download the product brochure from the internet.
So, last Saturday, having called in advance, I made the very short drive to Motec. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. It’s just an industrial building. The parking lot was empty and the door was locked (the factory is closed on the weekends, but the office is open until noon). But I got the attention of the very nice woman inside, gave her my money, and got my bag of fresh masa. I don’t know that I’ll ever make corn tortillas with fresh masa again – I’ll probably find some other difficult thing to obsess over – but after all, why bother? I can buy fresh, Oyamel worthy tortillas, made by pros, any time I like!