The true foundation of Mexican Food is a Tortilla, specifically a Nixtamal Tortilla. MAiiZ Tortillas start in the fields of Armstrong BC. These kernels are grown by BC Farmers then dried and delivered to MAiiZ Tortilleria to start in the process of Nixtamalization.
“The corn I use for my tortillas is Canadian. I want people to understand that corn from this area can become part of our food supply chain in a different way, bringing the flavour of Mexican Food and better nutrition in a way not seen before.
I want to lead the way using BC agriculture with ancient techniques just like the Mayans, Aztecs and other civilizations in Mesoamerica times. “
After the kernels arrive to our Tortilla Shop on Fisgard, the process of Nixtamalization can begin! First Chef Israel Alvarez boils the dried kernels in an alkaline solution of water and Cal, or Calcium Hydroxide, a rock mineral. The kernels then soak up to 16 hours overnight. As a result the outer hull of the kernel can be rinsed off and they are ready for grinding!
“I began to see corn from a new perspective when I found Organic BC grain. My goal is to share the true flavour of Mexican food and give a renewed understanding of corn in a way that reaches more people. I always hear the complaint “tacos here don’t taste like in Mexico”. This is because the majority of tortillas in Canada are made with powdered mixes. For example even in Mexico every variety of corn, every batch of nixtamal, is a little bit different. This resulting diversity is a beautiful thing.”
After that Chef uses Basalt Volcanic Lava Stones to mill the Nixtamalized Organic BC kernels into a masa dough. The grinder pulls the kernels through the middle of the stone, and the kernels are ground between two rotating stones, finally falling out as a wet dough called Masa. Finally Chef presses the masa into Nixtamal Tortillas.
“The texture and flavour of using a Basalt Lava stone can’t be replicated with metal grinders. It’s like using a molcajete for mole, or a mortar and pestle for pesto. The texture of the stone and the process of grinding adds another level of depth to the Tortillas”
Hacemos país donde haya maíz!
Y ante las dificultades nos hacemos mas fuertes.
De donde vengo el maíz es país, vida, cultura y sustento; y tan lejos a donde yo vaya me llevo un pedacito de esta herencia milenaria.
El proceso de la nixtamalización que se realiza día a día en @maiiz.nixtamal es el resultado del esfuerzo de un grupo de personas mexicanas y canadienses comprometidas a la difusión de una práctica culinaria mesoamericana con altos valores nutricionales y un legado gastronómico milenario intangible, que muy difícilmente pueda ser remplazada con “-tortillas-” elaboradas a base de harinas de maíz instantáneas que en su mayoría están contaminadas con organismos genéticamente modificados.
Mi visión es conservar esta tradición y sus sabores en Canadá por medio de la difusión y la promoción del maíz Canadiense.
We make a country where there is corn!
And in the face of difficulties we become stronger.
Where I come from, corn is country, life, culture and sustenance; and as far as I go I take a piece of this ancient heritage with me.
The nixtamalization process that takes place every day in @maiiz.nixtamal is the result of the effort of a group of Mexican and Canadian people committed to the dissemination of a Mesoamerican culinary practice with high nutritional values and an intangible millenary gastronomic legacy, which it can hardly be replaced with “-tortillas-” made from instant corn flour, most of which are contaminated with genetically modified organisms.
My vision is to preserve this tradition and its flavors in Canada through the dissemination and promotion of Canadian corn.”