MASA is your guide to making authentic, high-quality masa from scratch and cooking with it in your home kitchen.
It's time to learn the way to a perfect taco, and it all starts with the masa. Like sourdough before it, craft masa is on the brink of a global culinary movement. Jorge Gaviria's company, Masienda, has become a proxy message board at the center of the swelling masa conversation and with this cookbook he completes the story of how to create this special building block from scratch.
Brimming with history, replicable techniques, and reflections from masa authorities, including third-generation tortillerxs and acclaimed chefs, MASA reveals the beauty and longstanding traditions behind this elemental staple. In addition to teaching how to make masa from dried corn kernel to fully realized dish, this book also shows cooks how to use masa in 50 base recipes for tortillas, pozole, tamales, and more, empowering chefs of any level to think creatively and adapt recipes confidently for their own use.
In addition, ten well-known chefs offer inventive recipes-such as tamal gnocchi, masa waffles, and shrimp and masa grits-to inspire new ways of relating to this timeless, dynamic food.
TORTILLAS ARE EVERYWHERE: For years now, tortillas, the most common masa application, have outpaced the consumption of hamburger buns in the United States, and their companion condiment, salsa, has outsold ketchup as the nation's leading condiment.
ENDLESS DINNER INSPIRATION: This book features a wide range of recipes from the traditional basics—Tortillas, Pupusas, and Arepas—to the inventive, like Blue Masa Sourdough Bread, Tamal Gnocchi, and Shrimp and Masa Grits.
THE MASTER ON MASA: Jorge Gaviria is the founder of Masienda, a resource and supplier of high-quality masa and masa products. Jorge Gaviria wrote MASA after successfully working through tens of thousands of inquiries from home cooks on everything from the best equipment to ideal cooking temperatures to how to prevent a tortilla from falling apart during reheating.
The dough that transforms into tortillas, tacos, and tamales is the star of this fascinating deep dive into the culture and craft of a Mexican cuisine mainstay. The first quarter of the book unpacks masa's three ingredients—corn (there are some 59 breeds in Mexico), water (making up 47% of a fresh-cooked tortilla), and alkali (used to treat the corn in a steeping process called nixtamalization)—and tracks the history and the forces behind the foodstuff's popularity and commercialization as it found its way into the U.S. Next, the masa cooking process is laid out step-by-step, from corn kernel considerations to the grinding of flour—be it with a traditional grinding stone or a food processor. Masa has literally hundreds of applications and, here, the recipe section focuses on 50 traditional uses as well as 10 modern twists. There are classic arepa, empanada, and flauta options, each awaiting the cook's choice of filling, which can be derived from a chart of "topping and stuffing basics." Torpedo-shaped molote fritters, for instance, can be stuffed with chorizo, while football-shaped tlacoyo are commonly filled with pureed beans and topped with cheese and salsa. Among the contemporary offerings are lamb birria with masa gnocchi from the former New York eatery Lalo, as well as shrimp and masa grits. Masa proves its mass appeal in this comprehensive and terrific guide.