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PorkSkinIsLove Jan 21, 2010 12:50 PM

I've been using Maseca masa harina in an attempt to make good tortillas but have failed every time. Followed the recipe (water, salt, masa), put in on a heated cast iron skillet but they become dry and brittle. Added water to dough but still off. I just fry them now in lard, which is far from the worst way to go but I'd like to get the real thing. Tips anyone?

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  1. StriperGuy Jan 21, 2010 12:58 PM

    Add some lard, seriously.

    Fact is that masa harina is sort of a short cut. The best tortillas are not made from masa harina, but rather are made directly from hominy corn which is ground into a wet masa dough and immediately made into tortillas.

    Masa harina is essentially that dough, dried and pulverized.

    Heck with the widespread availlability of really good tortillas in MA I gave up trying to make my own a long time ago.

    Course if you want to get a metate and make your own masa from scratch:


    8 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy
      ChickenBrocandZiti Jan 21, 2010 04:50 PM

      Where are you getting your tortillas? I remember buying rather large tortillas made by Marias (i think) but can no longer find them. I don't consider Goya tortillas good so any info on good tortillas both taco and very large flour burrito sized would be really helpful.

      1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti
        chickendhansak Jan 22, 2010 08:18 AM

        People here put me on to getting the Cinco de Mayo tortillas from Somerville Market Basket, which are often still warm on the shelves. I've noticed some of the places I frequent using CdM themselves: Tacos Lupita and Cantina La Mexicana, for instance.

        1. re: chickendhansak
          StriperGuy Jan 22, 2010 08:22 AM

          Precisely, Market Basket, or I also get em from a little store near the twin donut in Allston, though just bought some decent ones from TJs too.

          Some of the big Asian supermarkets will also have tortillas.

          Maria's did make good tortillas, what ever happened to them.

          1. re: StriperGuy
            ChickenBrocandZiti Jan 25, 2010 08:00 AM

            Living in the South End Somerville is a bit of a hike just for tortillas, know of anywhere closer to me?

            1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti
              StriperGuy Jan 25, 2010 08:08 AM

              Bet Tropical Foods has fresh ones on Washington Street just the other side of Mass. Ave.

              1. re: StriperGuy
                ChickenBrocandZiti Jan 25, 2010 08:45 AM

                Tropical foods doesn't carry anything bigger than soft taco sized tortillas(unless I just can locate them in there) HiLo has some decent one but they just arent big enough to make a true burrito, if such a thing exists.

                I will keep looking, my guess is that JP is going to hold the answer for me.

                1. re: ChickenBrocandZiti
                  StriperGuy Jan 25, 2010 08:58 AM

                  The OP was talking about corn tortillas which are traditionally smaller. If you are talking about big wheat (burrito) tortillas then my reccos are not relevant. You can't make a burrito out of corn cause the tortilla will crumble, wheat is more flexible.

          2. re: chickendhansak
            deglazer Jan 22, 2010 06:49 PM

            And Taqueria el Amigo, at least on my two visits.

      2. Aromatherapy Jan 21, 2010 12:59 PM

        If you're looking for cooking tips, head to the Home Cooking board. To buy locally, I like the Cinco de Mayo brand, pretty widely available.

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