Make the Most of Your Masa

This quarter's gourmet cooking box from Culinarie Kit includes an heirloom white corn masa from Masienda. Masienda is a Latinx-owned company sourcing the best and most sustainable corn varieties to create their top-tier masa harina. Masienda is chef-focused, so you'll find their signature masa varieties in restaurants around the world — but you get to try it in your very own kitchen!

Want to try this heirloom masa and other delicious ingredients by independent Latinx food artisans? Our Sabor box is shipping to subscribers through 5/21! Get yours here.

What Is Masa Harina?

Masa harina, at its most simple, is flour made from corn. It's gluten free, so it has very different uses than the glutinous wheat-based baking flours we're all used to. You may not have cooked with it, but you've certainly eaten it! Masa harina is the key ingredient behind tortillas, tamales, and many other corn-based Latin American dishes.

How Do You Use Masa Harina?

Uses for masa harina are varied, but primarily it serves to create a doughy vessel for fillings or toppings. Each use will require different ingredients, but much like its wheat flour counterpart, you can whip something up with just a little water and salt. Fresh, homemade tortillas require little more than that! Tamales are blended with fats, spread onto corn husks, and filled with tasty meats, vegetables, or cheeses, then steamed to fluffy perfection. Masa harina can also be blended with wheat or gluten free baking flours for less traditional uses, like breakfast muffins, rich cornbread, or even tender pastry shells ready for fruit fillings.

Recipes That Use Masa Harina

Here are some recipes direct from Masienda to get your corn-y creativity flowing!

Tamal de Fresa (Strawberry Tamales)

Totopos (Tortilla Chips)

Arepas

Huarache

A pile of delicious tamales
Do you have a favorite masa recipe? A favorite tamal filling? Let us know in the comments!

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