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Making Tortillas

Pat, pat, pat, tap, tap, tap, pat, pat, pat. There is a rhythm to making fresh tortillas. The hands pat the dough into a perfectly round, beautiful creation. Then, it is placed on a griddle or comal. Once the first tortilla is on the comal, the patting continues with the next tortilla. When both sides are slightly brown, the tortilla is transferred to a cotton cloth and carefully wrapped to keep it warm. The next tortilla is ready for the comal, and the process continues until all of the fresh dough, or masa, is completely gone.

I watch Elena’s hands move so expertly through this process. She has obviously done this before. She smiles as I marvel at her work. Her tortillas are green, made with fresh, organic spinach, and they smell delicious. She carefully places chopped vegetables, cheese, and shredded chicken on a tortilla, and returns it to the comal. When it is ready, Elena offers me her fresh salsa, made with tomatoes, cilantro, and onion.

We sit to chat while I savor the flavors of Elena’s cooking. She describes other tortillas she has made with pumpkin. I can’t wait to try those another time. She shows me photos of other dishes she has made, and I tell her she’ll have to host a cooking class one day. For now, it is so nice to see her smile. She is proud of her work and happy to be sharing her cooking.


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