Fresh tortillas, where have you been all our lives? Chewy, savory, and crispy-edged in all the right ways — they turn your shlubby Tuesday night tacos into an extravaganza!
To figure out how to make them, we went straight to the masters: Chocosol Traders. They’ve been working hard to champion local maize production and bringing traditional methods back into out kitchens with their Feast On Certified Tortilla Project.
“Our community-based tortilla project reflects our commitment to a crop-to-tortilla approach and provides customers with whole corn, stone ground, local, sustainable tortillas” said Michael Sacco. “Maize is rooted in 10 thousand years of culture, while corn has, for the most part, become an input in our industrial food system.”
They use organically grown purple maize raised by Bob Kerr from Wolfe Creek Organic Farms in Chatham. The maize is nixtamalized and stone ground in the traditional way. That means no gluten, it’s more digestible, and there’s no packaging in the process. Nixtamalization is the the lye-ing process that takes off the hard outer pericarp of the maize kernel and makes it more digestible while activating the niacin. When asked why purple, Bob Kerr mused, “Anthocyanins account for the purple colour of Purple Maize, more concentrated on a dry matter basis than blueberries. The indigenous people were definitely onto something.”
Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Well, the team at Chocosol teach workshops on making tortillas and also have them on offer at events and farmers market’s around Toronto. If you want to try your hand at making them yourself check out the recipe below!
PRO TIP: While you don’t have to have a tortilla press, it makes the whole process much easier and more fun. The beauty of the tortilla press is that it provides very even pressure, making perfectly round, thin tortillas batch after batch. If you don’t have a press, have no fear. Use a rolling pin to roll your tortillas as thin as possible. They won’t be perfect but they’ll still serve just fine as vehicles for tasty tacos fillings!