Masa Madness

LC came up with the idea to sign up for Masa Madness which is this cooking class sponsored by La Cocina which is an organization that helps low-income food entre­pre­neurs.  It looks like they mainly offer a com­mer­cial kitchen space in which these entrepreneurs can cook, but they also offer cooking classes which are taught by some of these same vendors.  It’s an interesting concept really.

For $65, not only did we learn all about masa (which is a corn flour) and how to make different tortillas, gorditas and papusas, but they gave us unlimited amounts of wine to go with all the food that we cooked and eventually ate.

The tortilla is the simplest thing you can make with masa, and it was kind of fun to use the tortilla press to make a whole batch that we immediately started snacking on, because we were so hungry.

The gordita is a Mexican delicacy which is essentially like a fat-stuffed taco. There was a vegetable mix and a meat mix that we could use as filling. Both of them were rather tasty. Unlike the tortillas which are cooked on a skillet, the gorditas are deep- fried in a pan full of oil. Obviously, this partly added to the appealing crunch and flavor of the gorditas, but generally speaking, with the variety of fillings, it inherently was better than the plain tortilla.

The last thing that we learned to make was the Salvadorean papusa. I had never heard nor eaten this before today.  This is very similar to gorditas except that instead of sealing the corn tortilla around the filling, the filling is kind of mixed in with the masa and flattened into a pancake.  The filling is also different, because it’s more of a paste consistency. You can use everything from squash to chicken, but I think the traditional one contains queso and chicharron which is pork. These were the best things I had that night. Seriously, the fillings were tasty and the paste-like consistency seemed to go well with the masa.  I really liked these papusas. It makes me want to go try and them somewhere.  So yummy!

Overall, it was a pretty fun night.  Lots of food, plenty of wine and fantastic friends… what more can you ask for. I did happen to notice that there were a lot more women than men at the event, but I guess it’s a cooking class so it’s probably not a common interest for them. I really had a good time though, and I look forward to taking more classes like this in the future.

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