Maize is one of the most important grains grown in the world today. It fed this entire hemisphere for millennia, fueled the birth of ancient civilizations and inspired spiritual veneration. This workshop will begin with a concise introduction to what is known about how, when and by whom this remarkable plant became domesticated and will briefly outline the cutting-edge science underlying how we know these things. Corn’s utility as a foodstuff will be considered objectively, stressing the process of “nixtamalizion” (think “tamale”), a treatment with lime or wood ashes known since ancient times, which changes the simple starchy grain into a highly nutritious food. Practical, hands-on techniques demonstrating all phases of tortilla preparation will occupy the bulk of the workshop. If you have an apron, might be good to bring it along as we may not have enough. To enable sampling the fresh tortillas properly, there will be a good quantity of vegetarian posole for lunch. Posole is a Mesoamerican stew made with hominy, beans, herbs and chili peppers. Meat will be available on the side.


Presenters:  Dusty Dowse, Lynn Rowe, Albie Barden