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Blue Corn Tortillas: better than yellow.

It became that time of the year when I was about to run out of corn flour for tortillas.
The thought of being without my beloved tacos or quesadilla was too much pain & denial to consider taking on.
Since we are within the Covid-19 epoch -- let's call the period,'Covid Pan' for short -- when I went online hunting supplies, stocks were almost non existent. Just like wheat flours, there must have been a rush on. And besides the supply line is disrupted by infections and deaths....
Given that my usual yellow corn flour was in very limited supply, I ordered a bulk of BLUE CORN FLOUR.
In Mexico, there are three colors of corn dough for making tortillas: white corn, yellow corn and blue corn.
The blue corn flour you want is Harina Azul (aka Harinilla) as it is first been soaked in water with lime (the mineral) in it. Corn soaked in lime ( a process called Nixtamalization) is much healthier and more digestible.
Fortunately my preferred brand -- Minsa -- sells it. Minsa's corn is also non-GMO.
After using the blue corn flour I'm hooked. It has a coarser texture and creates a thicker tortilla with a sweeter, nuttier taste. Given that us aficionados make our own tortillas at home for the excellent taste, going blue is plus plus plus.
Harina Azul was developed by the
Hopi, the Pueblo Indians of the Rio Grande in New Mexico, and several Southeastern Tribes, including the Cherokee.
In Peru there is a much loved PURPLE CORN...but the blue corn I use still makes a PURPLE tortilla!
Blue corn's protein content is 7.8%, compared to 5.7% in yellow corn tortillas. It also has less starch and a lower glycemic index than its sisters ... except for the purple variety.
Readymade supermarket tortillas are
really not much chop. Indeed, commercially made tortillas are nothing like the taste of what you can do at home.
And corn is a wholegrain flour that keeps for a long time. So there! suck on that Mr Wheat.

Tonight's fare was navel orange marinated braised lamb chops, roasted spiced pumpkin with a tomato salsa atop blue corn tortillas.

Went down well.

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Comment by Dave Riley on June 12, 2020 at 9:27

To find blue corn --search for a supplier online. I got mine from El Cielo -- but like wholemeal wheat flour there aren't necessarily supplies available.

You pay $7-8 per kilogram.

Corn is gluten free. Indeed, I don't know why folk who suffer from gluten intolerance  just don't eat corn rather than those terrible chemistry set options. I'm not gluten intolerant but corn is the only grain I eat.

I grow corn cob yellow sweet corn like Balinese. While I may grow blue at some stage, the problem is I'd have to grow it in very large quantities given my dependence, grind it, then nixtamalize it. Nixtamalization is the key prep as it improves corn's nutritional status significantly.

You can get Australian grown corn flour -- but it isn't nixtamalized. It's also much dearer than the Mexican import.

I use all colours of corn flour so there is a variation in taste and texture.

Generally, the structural difference between corn and wheat tortillas is that the wheat ones can be larger because of the gluten. It comes as a surprize when your first corn tortilla seems so small. Well that there is flavour punch. Right in the kisser.

I've not served my tacos up to anyone who has not raved about them. That's speaks highly of the tortilla & not of me.

Comment by Valerie on June 11, 2020 at 7:39

I love tortillas. This is inspiring. 

The seed collection sells the Blue hopi maize. Have you ever grown it? I had mixed results, possibly due to my impatience. I am giving it another go next spring. 

Have you tried nixtamalization? Where would you get the lime? 

Comment by Fiona Ryan on May 30, 2020 at 10:34

Corn tortillas do take some getting used to if you’ve been brought up on white tortillas but they are much tastier, once you preservers. I like your use in curries too. Similarly, when I make naan, they are used as pita too.

Comment by Dave Riley on May 30, 2020 at 0:05

Corn is gluten free. People who are gluten intolerant should live off corn rather than all those chemical mixes sold in supermarkets as 'gluten free'. .

I do use a press. Using a press makes production of tortillas  so easy...and a lot of fun.Well worth buying if you seek out the  way of the Maize .

The Mexicans use oranges in their marinades and stews. Lime are used in salsas.In the Middle East it's lemon juice (rather than alcohol based acids like vinegar) .

All meat marinades should include an acid because it denatures the protein in the meat.

I also make tortillas for curried dishes -- used  like naan. To make it more curry like I throw in some nigella seeds (black cumin).

While usually associated with pork consumption (such as with carnitas) , lamb is also popular in Mexico because so many Lebanese migrated there and introduced al pastor -- what we call(via the Greek)  Gyros --lamb cooked on a vertical spit.

Fun fact: Salma Hayek is of Lebanese Mexican heritage.

I have been using a  lot of pork but I recently switched back to buying lamb sides as I've been a long time baa lamb lover. My long term culinary habits were Middle Eastern, Turkish and Greek.

We eat tortillas several times per week in the way others would rely on wheat products. Nixtamalized Corn is healthier than most other grains.Keeps much better, is lower in carbs and is a lot easier to prepare than relying on baking bread.

Comment by Doug Hanning on May 29, 2020 at 22:00

Dave do you use a press?

I love your use of citrus with fatty meats, a winning combination.

Comment by Christa on May 29, 2020 at 21:08

Not sure if I can enjoy blue coloured tortilla, Dave.  I suppose it is no different to purple tomatoes.  Where do you buy this flour. Is it gluten free?

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