For other uses, see Masa (disambiguation).
Masa is Spanish for dough. In the Americas it is often short for masa de maíz, a maize (corn) dough made from freshly prepared hominy. It is used for making corn tortillas, tamales, pupusas, arepas and many other Latin American dishes. The dried and powdered form is called masa harina, masa de harina, and sometimes maseca, the name of a leading commercial brand. It is reconstituted with water before use. Masa de trigo is Spanish for wheat flour dough. It is also used for making wheat tortillas and other breads and pastries.
To make hominy, field corn (maize) is dried and then treated in a solution of slaked lime (hydrated mineral lime) or ash, and water. This loosens the hulls from the kernels and softens the corn. In addition, the lime reacts with the corn so that the nutrient niacin can be assimilated by the digestive tract. The soaked maize is then washed, and then ground into masa. When fresh masa is dried and powdered, that becomes masa seca or masa harina.
The process of making hominy is also called Nixtamalization and the ground product can be called Masa nixtamalera. In Central American and Mexican cuisine, masa nixtamalera is cooked with water and milk to make a thick, gruel-like beverage called atole. When made with chocolate and sugar, it becomes atole de chocolate. Adding anise and piloncillo to this mix creates champurrado, a popular breakfast drink.
- ^ Kennedy, Diana (1975). The Tortilla Book. Harper and Row. ISBN 0-06-012346-X.
- ^ Food and Agriculture Organization (1992). Maize in human nutrition. United Nations. http://www.fao.org/docrep/T0395E/T0395E00.htm. Retrieved 2007-01-12.
- Mexican ingredients
- South American cuisine
- Central American cuisine
- Latin American cuisine
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