Harina Tortillas and Heat

by on 11/06/10 at 4:30 pm

The northern areas are where the harina tortillas originated (the yellow corn ones are Aztec in origin and are preferred in other areas). In Chihuahua they tend to be a bit smaller and thicker. In Sinaloa they are larger and thinner. There is a trick to getting them rolled out thin…I have watched novices there really struggle with the process. The thicker ones are a breeze to handle.

You gotta get that rolling pin just right.

So any way…James Peyton has some good pointers on heat. You cook these things on an ungreased comal or heavy skillet. Actually in most kitchens in Copper Canyon, they cook em straight on the wood stove top.

An experienced Tarahumara hand turning tortillas in Areponapuchi at Cabanas Diaz.

What Peyton points out is that the heat needs to be hot, but not burning. Here is the key: in 20 seconds, if the tortilla has black spots, it is too hot. If no spots, it is too cold. A few brown spots and puffing, just right. We often have these hot…sometimes right off a calendon with coffee in the morning in a Tarahumara home…yes!

THIS is norteno food.

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