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masa (not fresh)

j
jsaimd Sep 19, 2006 03:47 PM

I like to keep masa in my pantry for corn tortillas - we eat a tremendous amount of them, and our local grocery store stocks aweful ones. i find myself not having time to go search out fresh masa when i want tortillas, so what kind of masa flour do people like the best. We are in the Bay Area, so best if it is available here. I have tried one standard national brand (the white bag one) and la tortilla factory. I wasn't enamored with any of them, the former having fine corn taste, but aweful aftertaste.

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  1. tenacity Sep 19, 2006 04:55 PM

    Fresh masa freezes well, and has, IMO, a much much better taste than any of the flours....

    Being in the Bay Area you have access to so much stuff - perhaps a small local company can produce fine enough flour for you, and then you can add your own slaked lime.

    1. k
      kmr Sep 19, 2006 04:57 PM

      I feel your pain! We're in the Sierra foothills, but same masa flour issues. Hubby travels through the San Joaquin valley periodically, so he picks up bulk masa flour from some of the Mexican markets in various towns, especially those with a tortilleria. You might have to experiment and shop around to find one you like. We don't like that national brand either! I think the last masa flour he got was from somewhere in Fresno or Riverbank... don't recall where, though. (FYI masa flour keeps just fine in the freezer)
      Good luck!

      1. a
        Armoise Sep 23, 2006 06:53 AM

        I'm going to up the ante and ask if there is a decent organic corn masa harina.

        I haven't found an edible organic corn tortilla yet, and although I have access to good tortillas here in the Bay Area, I know that all non-organic corn is now genetically modified in this country, would rather make my own from organic flour. Welcome your input.

        By the way to the OP, have you tried Trader Joe's hand-made tortillas? They are pretty good, and if they were only made from organic corn, I wouldn't be posting.

        1. Becca Porter Sep 23, 2006 02:54 PM

          I believe the most respected masa harina brand is Maseca. Its what I use and have seen recommended.

          1. j
            jsaimd Sep 23, 2006 07:24 PM

            Depends on where you are for organic stuff. I think in the bay area Primavera is organic and sells corn tortillas. I am sure there are others in different regions. I am allergic to wheat, so we only do corn tortillas, so don't know about flour.

            1. m
              Maud Oct 27, 2006 09:22 PM

              Maseca is not "respected;" it was forced on the Mexican populace by a corrupt government. Check this out:

              How Mexico's iconic flatbread went industrial and lost its flavor | By Tom Philpott | Grist | Victual Reality | 13 Sep 2006
              http://grist.org/comments/food/2006/0...

              1. Robert Lauriston Oct 27, 2006 10:11 PM

                Masa harina is in my experience a poor substitute for masa, though there are some funny 1950s-type recipes for tamale pie and so on where it's a must.

                If I lived where it wasn't readily available I'd buy masa and freeze it. Primavera's is superior.

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