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Masa Harina

A type of corn flour used to make traditional Latin American tortillas, tamales, and sopes.

Nixtamalization is the process of treating dried corn, or hominy or maize, with limestone water. The lime solution softens the corn and makes nutrients like niacin and protein more easily absorbable. Masa harina literally translates from Spanish to "dough flour" so, while the phrase "masa dough" will appear in recipes written in English, it's a redundant term (much like "chai tea" translates to "tea tea"). Masa harina is very finely ground, light, and almost tangy-- just try Sandra Gutierrez's Potato and Chorizo Sopes if you want to see how airy this flour can be! (This PeachDish is a staff favorite, by the way!) Because of the nixtamalization process, plain corn flour can't be substituted for masa harina-- don't worry though, masa harina is easily found at any international or Latin grocery store, and even in some larger American grocery chains.

Recipes with Masa Harina