This September 29th we’re celebrating National Corn Day and in order to do so we want to expand our thinking beyond the tortilla. While this food staple of Mexico has a rightful place in our hearts and bellies, there are so many more corn-based dishes and drinks that you still may not know about.
Origins and derivatives
For starters, corn is a type of grass and there are 64 strains in our country, with colors ranging from red, black, and blue, to the better known white and yellow. The first record we have of this golden grain’s use among humans puts it very close to Mitla in the magical state of Oaxaca.
In Mexico alone we have registered more than 600 different preparations with this food stuff. Many are our old friends like esquites, tamales, atoles, cakes and, above all, the tortilla that makes an endless variety of garnachas. There is also an array of beverages, many of which are not so well known in the central parts of the country such as pozol, tascalate, champurrado, pox, tejuino, teja, and tejate.
Here are three places that we highly recommend to get to know corn better.
Expendio de Maíz
This small spot in Roma immerses diners in a full experience of corn in its visual, edible, and drinkable forms. The kitchen is reminiscent of a pre-Hispanic one, full of stone, fire, and smoke. The care they put into each dish and beverage is apparent in both presentation and taste. An ideal place for the indecisive, as there is no menu and each dish is a surprise based on the whims of the kitchen.
Yucatán 84, Roma Norte, Cuauhtémoc
T. 55 2498 9964
Molino “El Pujol”
Molino “El Pujol”, another project of entrepreneur and chef Enrique Olvera, tantalizes with the aromas and experience of a conventional tortilla shop. Inside we find a selection of groceries and some small tables to sit down and enjoy their gourmet dishes. They use different types of corn to make tortillas, totopos, atoles, tamales, conchas, and their famous “lágermaiz” beer.
Benjamín Hill 146-A, Hipódromo Condesa, Cuauhtémoc
La Casa de las Enchiladas
Enchilada lovers take note. This restaurant boasts more than 2000 possible enchilada combinations. Assemble your dish from start to finish by choosing the filling, sauces, type of cheese, cream, and the color of the handmade tortilla based on the type of corn.
Lago Alberto 416, Anáhuac, Miguel Hidalgo
We wouldn’t end without mentioning that the versatility of corn continues to delight and surprise us with its aesthetic and olfactory dimensions. The richness and subtlety of its flavor allows us to easily take it from the sweet to the salty, and vice versa.