Making Guatemalan Tortillas

Making Guatemalan Tortillas

Blame this photo on Eric, who just yesterday invoked the tortilla-making ladies.

It is interesting how the aroma of freshly-made tortillas can be so haunting. This is especially true for Guatemalans who are not used having tortillas not made the same day or even within the same hour. It’s funny now that I think about it, I’d never seen tortillas sold in the supermarkets like they do in the U.S. or even in Mexico, packaged and with produced and expirations dates. How about that?

Well, the aroma of tortillas just coming out of the comal can be equal to the aroma of bread coming out the oven. Especially if you grew up with tortillas made los tres tiempos (can somebody explain this custom).

Tortillas, unlike bread, are even more versatile: you can fold or roll them; you can tear them apart; you can use them in tacos or burritos if they are large enough; you can fry them or toast them and use them as tostada shells; you can use them as utisels as explained by LD in her Miss Manners International entry: “Gotta love the tortilla, which is essentially another utensil. It can push food onto your fork, wipe up extra sauce in your place.” Tortillas can be tiny, like in garnachas, or huge like in tlayudas; tortillas can be thin like in the average Mexican tortilla or thick like the Guatemalan pishtones. Tortillas can be found in several colors like red, black, yellow and white. You can add stuff to the tortillas at the time of cooking and turn them into pupusas or Mayan pizzas as I like to call them. You can use tortillas as wrappers for the carnitas and chicharrones.

Man, I could on and on talking about different ways of eating or using tortillas in Guatemala. I feel again like Bubba, the character from the Forest Gump movie.

Did I miss anything?

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