Posts Tagged ‘tortillas’

Making Tortillas

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Mayan Women learn very early how to make tortillas. (more…)

Of Tortillas and our Cultural Strength

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

I am very pessimistic when it comes to evaluate our cultural strength. But I have to accept that there are some positive stories out here.

Every one here in Guatemala is familiar with this ubiquitous fried chicken restaurant…

when I left Guatemala more than sixteen years ago, the restaurant had a strict policy of not allowing tortillas in their restaurant: they would not sell them or allow customer to bring them in. Guatemalans have to have tortillas with their meal and they could not stand eating their chicken with bread instead of them tortillas. A lot of times Guatemalan customers would sneak tortillas in to eat their chicken with. Who did not?

Now the restaurant has formally surrendered and even has provided tortilla vendors outside their doors with umbrellas to protect them from Sun and Rain. And as a formal sign of capitulation; they now feature tortillas on their menu!

Oh, by the way, they have a new item on the menu: A Pepian Sandwich. Pepian is a traditional Guatemalan Dish and it is the first time a see a sandwich version with it. I did like it. 😀


We’re Men of Maize

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Maya women making fresh tortillas on a clay comal over a wood fire by Rudy Giron

As I have said on before, “it is impossible to think of the Guatemalan, Mexican and Mesoamerican diet without maize. From the Popul Vuh (Popol Wuj in modern spelling), the Mayan equivalent of the Bible, which states that humans were literally created from maize, to Miguel Ángel Asturias‘ novel Hombres de maĂ­z (Men of Maize) which is one of the best novels to understand Mesoamerica and its people. Guatemala and Mexico share the birth place of maize, which was and is the most important crop in human history. The richest diversity of maize can be found in Mesoamerica!

Many of the dishes of the Guatemalan cuisine are based on the milpa crops. The term milpa refers normally to a maize field, but it is so much more. In a milpa field there a dozen crops at once: maize, avocados, multiple kinds of squash, chiles (hot pepper chilli), beans, tomatoes, tomatillos, camotes (sweet potatoes), jicama (a tuber also known as sengkwang, yam bean, singkamas, Mexican turnip), amaranth (also called pigweeds) and mucuma (a tropical legume). “Milpa crops are nutritionally and environmentally complementary.” said Charles C. Mann in his book 1491. H. Garrison Wilkes, a maize researcher at University of Massachusetts in Boston is quoted in the same book, “The milpa is one of the most successful human inventions ever created.”

TortillerĂ­as and Tiendas

Friday, January 20th, 2012

As poverty strikes the rural areas of the country more and more, people living in the countryside are faced with the need of moving to the city in an attempt to make a little money. Most of them end up working in the informal economy selling candy, DVDs, clothes, etc. in the streets. Some women make tortillas and sell them to hungry customers throughout the day, especially around meal times. In the past, women used wood to warm up the “comales” (that were made of clay and are now made of steel) but now it is a common practice to use gas instead of wood. Making tortillas is a great time for women to bond: they talk, share their opinions and joys. They might also talk about their love life and crack up a little about it
what do you think they’re laughing about in this picture?
If you are planning on buying tortillas, consider not being in a rush and wait for the warmest ones which are “del comal”. You will not regret it!

P.S. Tortillerias are sometimes in the same spot as small convenience stores or “tiendas”. These stores did not have bars in the past but owners are now taking all actions possible to prevent robberies. I remember when I was little you could walk through the store and get your chips or soda yourself but now you have to ask the owner to get it for you
oh well, I guess things are not the same after 20 years

Text by: Astrid Fortuny

Colour up in the Napkins

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

In Guatemala we have color everywhere, these napkins in which we used to buy tortillas are being less and less used, tortilla sales now are using plastic bags to deliver them.

Anyway, in this case, you can download the picture as wallpaper.
Let us know what you think.