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Fresh Masa for homemade tortillas?

mmh429 Aug 23, 2007 01:44 PM

Hello -Just back from Mexico and I'm craving homemade tortillas. I bought a tortilla press, comal, etc. but haven't been able to find fresh masa (the dried masa harina isn't the same.) Does anyone know where I can find high quality fresh masa to make homemade tortillas in the Bay Area? I live in the Peninsula but work in the city and am willing to drive. What about somewhere in Redwood City?


  1. a
    Alan408 Aug 23, 2007 03:20 PM

    Define "fresh".

    Chavez Market sells masa in the cold case, 2-3 kinds by the bag.

    1. b
      bdl Aug 23, 2007 04:51 PM

      La Palma on 24th St. @ Florida sells it by the pound. Cheap and perfect. Often still warm. Fina or quebrada, preparada (for tamales) or simple (for tortillas).

      1. a
        Armoise Aug 23, 2007 05:55 PM

        I buy fresh organic corn masa at the Berkeley Farmers Market. I think it is Primavera, so maybe the Saturday Ferry Plaza market has it too?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Armoise
          Joan Kureczka Sep 6, 2007 03:53 PM

          Yes, they do.

        2. j
          jungleboy Aug 23, 2007 05:57 PM

          Second to la Palma, but you still might want to work it a litle bit...

          1. s
            Sitka Aug 23, 2007 06:40 PM

            La Tapatia on Grand Ave. in South San Francisco

            1. Cat Chow Aug 23, 2007 06:59 PM

              I'm not 100% sure they would have it, but Fiesta Latina in San Mateo has always made sure I can get "masa preparada" (the one with lard in it so that we can make tamales) for the holidays. I gotta believe they can get some regular fresh masa (no lard) for you if your order it.

              Fiesta Latina Market
              1424 Cary Ave
              San Mateo, CA 94401

              (650) 343-0193

              1. l
                lgcov Aug 23, 2007 08:48 PM

                La Estrellita Restaurant (and tortillaria) on Middlefield Road in Redwood City has very good masa. They have an operation that adjoins the restaurant that is a tortilla factory. I typcially buy the preparada for tamales and it is smooth and silky once steamed. It is between Woodside Road and Sigona's Mkt, across Middlefield from Costco.

                2205 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063 (650) 369-3877

                1. e
                  Earl Grey Aug 23, 2007 09:26 PM

                  Wherever you go, ask them point blank if it's made from masa harina. I've been hearing a lot of stories about reputable tortillerias using Maseca. Then report back!

                  1. r
                    restaurantgal Aug 23, 2007 09:47 PM

                    If you're in the City, visit Pancho's on Geary @ Stanyan or Polk @ Clay. They make their tortillas from fresh masa. They are delish!

                    1. m
                      mmh429 Sep 4, 2007 08:26 AM

                      Thank you for all of the great suggestions. I visited La Estrellita Tortillaria and purchased some of their fresh masa. I would have checked out the restaurant as well but it closes early during the week -next time. The masa is made from white corn and is, in fact, fresh; not reconstituted from masa harina. I haven't had a chance to visit any of the city recommendations but I'll post as soon as I do. Thanks again!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: mmh429
                        maigre Sep 6, 2007 02:39 PM

                        Great news! I've been wanting the same on the peninsula and haven't found anything. I figured that area might have something, but I hadn't found it, yet. I don't want the stuff with lard. Chavez's stuff doesn't cut it for me.

                        Primavera's is great, as would be expected. La Palma makes good masa, too.

                        1. re: maigre
                          maigre Sep 7, 2007 07:47 PM

                          I stopped by La Estrellita today and bought a few pounds of masa para tortillas. The first small batch turned out great. This is probably the best of the masa I've found on the peninsula or south bay to date. Thanks, lgcov and mmh429.

                      2. d
                        domokun Sep 7, 2007 01:00 PM

                        Try Mi Pueblo market in Mountain View. It's on Rengstorff at Alma (right by the train tracks). They aren't grinding it there, but I remember that the fresh masa in their cold case (towards the back right) comes from a local producer. I bought an enormous bag from them for about $7 and it made great tortillas. They also have the coarser ground masa for tamales.

                        Aside from the masa, it is a great market, with a wide selection for its small size. I enjoy their tacos and huge burritos from the parking lot counter as well! Their al pastor is quite different from any other I have tried, with lots of strong spices including cinnamon.

                        1. h
                          hyperbowler Apr 8, 2014 11:57 AM

                          Bumping this. Any new places?

                          La Espiga De Oro on 24th in the Mission sells fresh masa from their own nixtamal for $1/lb. Very easy to work with. Has anyone compared their quality to La Palma or Primavera (El Molino Central)?

                          Also, do any of the listed places cut their fresh masa with wheat flour or is it 100% corn stuff?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: hyperbowler
                            Caitlin McGrath Apr 8, 2014 12:02 PM

                            Primavera's all corn.

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