The corn tortilla is one of the most important meals of the Mexican gastronomy. Its origin dates close to BC 500 and it was utilized as a base for most meals. For its elaboration, corn kernels are used and cooked in boiling water with a mixture of limestone called “mixtamalizacion”. With this preparation, the corn then becomes softer and therefore easier to digest. The next step is to convert the corn kernels into flour. The types of flours that can be used are blue corn, white corn, and others.
Tortillas cannot only be made of mixtamal corn but can also be made of wheat among others.
The tortilla press helps us in the elaboration of the tortillas and it is achieved by making a small ball of masa “dough” and placed over a sheet of plastic laid on the tortilla press. It is then covered with another sheet of plastic and then pressed down as to create a disk of approximately two millimeters in thickness and about 15 centimeters in diameter. It is then laid very carefully on the skillet or comal to begin the cooking process. The tortilla is then flipped two or three times until it is fully cooked and has taken its characteristic consistency. If done properly, the tortilla will inflate as it is being cooked.
The diameter of the tortilla; small, medium, or large can be a factor in which to utilize for different meals; such as, tacos, chips, tostadas, etc.