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Cooking With Clay, Part 5


Have you noticed how many people that have spent thousands to redo their kitchens with Viking ranges, full sets of All-Clad cookware and state of the art refrigerators never cook? I'd love a great professional range but clearly it' s not a guarantee of being a good cook or even developing an interest in cooking.


I think this P'urhépecha cook helps bring it all back into perspective. Her metate is state of the art for the task of preparing masa, in this case from blue corn, but her "range" is homemade and I'd guess the clay comal is made by hand as well. The white paste is lime, or CaL, and it's used to make the masa (soaking the corn in lime water loosens the skins of the corn) and to keep the tortillas from sticking to the comal. Note that she's got some tomatoes and chiles heating up on the side, probably for a salsa.

I took this photo in Uruapan, in Michoacan.

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