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Bittman gets it wrong...again.


zoramargolis
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There are so many mistakes in this article, that I hardly know where to begin.

Here's the comment I added to the online article:

So much misinformation here. There is no point in soaking dried nixtamal (aka pozole corn, hominy) to make masa. Washing is part of the process of making nixtamal, after cooking dried corn with lime it is washed to remove the gelatinous hulls. Plus, it is much harder to finely grind wet corn than to grind dried nixtamal in a grain mill. I often make nixtamal from scratch, cooking dried field corn with cal. The biggest challenge has been grinding the wet corn. I often oven-dry it before grinding, for that reason, and then rehydrating--essentially making homemade masa harina. So to make your own masa from dried nixtamal-pozole corn-hominy, grind it fine and then add water. As others have noted, fat is not used in corn tortillas. It is sometimes used in flour tortillas to make them more flexible. And solid fat of some sort of course is essential in tamales. Vegans can use coconut oil--it makes delicious tamales. And flouring prepared masa is also not necessary. If anything, the masa needs to be quite moist, so that the tortilla doesn't crack while being pressed. The secret to using a tortilla press is to cut open a heavy-gauge plastic zip bag and press the masa inside the layers of plastic. If the masa is of the correct consistency, the plastic will peel off easily. Rancho Gordo sells dried whole nixtamal for making pozole, and it can also be used to make masa.

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