‘Maíz is life’ — the history, science, and politics of masa

Lend us your ears, this week’s episode is all about masa — the dough made of corn, an ancient crop that sustained civilizations and grew dense populations.
Photo by Graydon Herriott.

Some people measure the passing of time by the weather. Some people measure it by holidays. Good Food measures it in tortillas. Every year, for the last five years, host Evan Kleiman helps Gustavo Arellano judge KCRW’s Tortilla Tournament. Every year, it has gotten bigger and more competitive. Every year, listeners learn a little more about the subtleties of texture, flavor, density, and consistency. But in half a decade, one thing has remained the same — at the heart of any truly great tortilla or pupusa or tamal, you’ll find one ingredient — masa. 

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