Tortilleria Nixtamal is based in Corona, Queens and provides healthy, nutritious and satisfying food in a vibrant, laid back ambience that evokes and keeps alive memories of Mexico and its traditions. They use 100% corn that is non-genetically modified and non-transgenic; their white corn comes from a family run farm and their meat comes from a local butcher in Queens.
We recently shared a meal with some urban farmers and prepared Tortilleria Nixtamal’s tortillas as baked chips, fried chips, as well as for some delicious pork tacos. Their tortillas are the best in the city with a flavor that is a bit smokey and a grainy yet smooth texture. The unique flavor comes from a traditional way of preparing the corn, called Nixtamalization. Descried best by Tortilleria Nixtamal, “ nixtamal is an Aztec word to describe corn that has been partially cooked and soaked with calcium hydroxide, otherwise referred to as cal or lime. Calcium hydroxide is simply the dust that results from scraping a limestone rock. The Aztec would grind corn against the limestone found in the riverbeds, and hence discovered the benefit of the interaction of this natural element with corn. The process of nixtamalization was first developed in Mesoamerica where maize was originally cultivated. There is no precise date for when the technology was developed, but the earliest evidence of nixtamalization is found in Guatamala’s southern coast, with equipment dating from 1200-1500BCE.
Nixtamal can be ground into masa (a corn dough) for making tortillas or similar patted disk (finely ground) or tamales (coarsely ground), or can be kept in its whole form to make pozole, otherwise known as hominy.
Visit them at 104-05 47th Ave in Corona for dishes made with love and passion; we hope you enjoy them in this week’s Local Roots CSA bread, artisanal, and gluten free share!!