BA LogoBen Allen


Replicating a Mayan Tradition. Making Tortillas from Scratch.

A strain of corn originally from the Yucatan. Peg sports her huipil, also from the Yucatan and I'm pleased with the corn.

corn is growing The farmer


The corn grows in the moonlight.

The corn shows up in the moonlight.


The corn in fall with fans.

fall corn


Peg harvests an ear.



Dried ears before opening.

a small harvest


Now shucked

dried corn


Now for the cooking. First add cal or lime (calcium oxide).

adding cal


Now a bit of heat. Yeah, it's supposed to look like that. At this point is does not appear appetizing, but a warm smell of corn starts to permeate the kitchen.

on the stove


Rinsing the corn. I was told to do this a minimum of seven times.

rinsing rinsingrinsing 3rinsing 3rinsing 2rinsing1


Now grinding with the molina. Not an easy thing to find. I suppose a metate would have been even more authentic, but I went with the "modern" technology of the hand molina.

grindingthe grinder


Cooking tortillas. Not the perfect circles I hoped for, but close. No wood fire over an open hearth. Natural gas instead.

making tortillastortillastortillas


Quality control from el maestro.

quality control



Helpful things

Good soil in which to grow corn (something I take for granted in Iowa)
Cal or lime (calcium oxide)
A hand grinder (molina)